Daihatsu Taft Poised to Challenge Suzuki Jimny in the Compact Off-Roader Segment

by AutoExpert   |  4 December, 2023

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Daihatsu is gearing up to potentially challenge the Suzuki Jimny with a new iteration of its Taft model, poised to enter the compact off-roader market. This move could reignite a rivalry reminiscent of the original Taft, which once contended closely with the Jimny. However, the modern-day Taft might take a softer approach compared to its historically rugged counterpart.

A New Direction for the Taft

First introduced as a concept four years ago and later evolving into a production model, the current-generation Taft is being considered for transformation into an off-road vehicle. This development represents a significant shift from its original conception as a road car. Unlike the Jimny, which was designed from the ground up as a versatile off-roader, the Taft is built on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA), primarily intended for on-road performance.

Suzuki Jimny

Design and Capability Tweaks

According to reports, this new Daihatsu off-roader is expected to sport design changes differentiating it from the regular Taft. These modifications may include an increased ride height and more robust front and rear bumpers, enhancing its off-road capabilities. While details remain sparse, these changes are anticipated to make the Taft suitable for navigating simpler trails and shallow water crossings.

Suzuki Jimny

A Legacy of Compact Off-Roaders

Daihatsu has a rich history in compact off-roaders, dating back to the first-generation Taft, produced between 1974 and 1984. Known for its toughness and all-terrain capabilities, the original Taft (an acronym for 'Tough and Almighty Four-wheel Touring Vehicle') was a robust vehicle akin to its contemporary Jimny. This heritage has evolved into the current model's motto, 'Tough & Almighty Fun Tool,' reflecting a shift towards a more lifestyle-oriented approach.

Suzuki Jimny

A Softer, Yet Capable Off-Roader

While the new Taft may not match the Jimny's ruggedness, it's poised to offer a blend of off-road capability and urban practicality. This balance could appeal to a broad audience looking for a vehicle that is versatile yet not as intensely off-road-focused as the Jimny.

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