Like a lot of people around the globe, my international travel goals and aspirations have been put on hold due to the pandemic. I recently found out that one can rent a stick-shift, off-road-ready Suzuki Jimny in Iceland (and even camp on top of it), and now I can’t stop thinking about buzzing around that beautiful country in a tiny truck.
For those who aren’t familiar, the current Suzuki Jimny debuted in 2018 and follows a proud lineage of small-yet-super-capable off-road rigs. The one linked above is a previous generation, but still still pretty recent. You might’ve seen old Suzuki Samurais rolling around American streets – that’s the Jimny’s grandfather. This cute little two-door segment of Suzuki’s lineup debuted all the way back in 1970, but has been the most-beloved around the globe since the 1980s. Barely any overhang, short wheelbase, tiny box shape, perched-up ride height, featherweight, four-wheel drive, stick-shift, no frills, and ultra-simple engine choices; what’s not to love?
Well, some of this doesn’t pass muster with modern American crash standards, so you could say the NHTSA doesn’t love it. Which is a friggin’ shame because the new one is friggin’ awesome.
You can see why the idea of off-roading one of these little steel billygoats in a gorgeous country like Iceland sits so high on my Must Do Post-COVID list. Off-roading is a ton of fun, Iceland is absolutely gorgeous, and the Jimny seems like one of the best enthusiast cars on sale today – three birds with one chunk of cooled-down Icelandic magma.
I did get a taste of this place on a 24-hour layover once – it’s hard for me to articulate Iceland’s beauty. Super lush and green yet barely any trees, massive mountains, rock formations of all kinds, it’s just awesome. As in, it truly puts visitors in awe.
A big part of the fun of off-roading in SoCal is getting to spend all day outdoors, traversing mountainous, rocky areas. In that sense Iceland is very much the same, it just has a more pleasant, cool climate (in the summer at least), it rains, and is very green, brown, and black as opposed to just brown.
Plus, with a tents affixed to the lil’ Suzuki’s roof, sleeping accommodations be incredibly cheap. This is especially interest-piquing as hotel, hostel, and bed & breakfast accommodations are quite pricy in the little North Atlantic nation. I don’t camp very often, but am always stoked to do so.
The rooftop tent also serves as good protection from threatening, fellow members of Kingdom Animalia; there are no bears or wolves in Iceland, but there are crazed, tweaked-out travel influencers usually roaming about.
One company, Go Car Rental Iceland, created a beautiful piece of marketing for their fleet of rental Jimnys. Just look at it!
Oh my God, you can also rent Defenders with sleeping accommodations. The yearn-factor just got way higher.