Lots of people want the Jimny in Japan, which is limiting Suzuki's ability to export them.

The new Suzuki Jimny is a little, rugged SUV that many countries around the world, particularly the US, are jealous that Europeans can buy. Anyone envious of the new owners can feel a little spiteful joy about what's happening to the vehicles in the U.K. market. Suzuki U.K boss Dale Wyatt tells Autocar that demand for the Jimny is "staggering" in Japan, and this is limiting deliveries to right-hand drive markets, like England.

The company has had 4,500 people register interest in the compact SUV, Wyatt told Autocar. However, Suzuki will only be able to deliver an estimated 1,100 Jimnys to the UK this year. There will still be buyers in the UK waiting to get the model in 2019, too, because Suzuki will only be able to deliver around 2,000 units of the SUV each year there without some change to the vehicle's production.

Suzuki Jimny

In Japan, the Jimny comes with a 658cc turbocharged, three-cylinder engine that produces 63 bhp and 71 pound-feet of torque. Buyers there can choose between a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. A two-speed transfer case and part-time four-wheel drive give the little SUV its famous off-roading capability.

Suzuki Jimny

Different regulations mean the setup is a little different in Europe. The Jimny has a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder with 100 bhp and 95 lb-ft of torque. Like in Japan, it hooks up to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. The off-road equipment carries over, too. Motor1.com’s First Drive finds this to be “absolutely fantastic” on rugged terrain.

If there's a major downside to the Jimny it's that the little SUV doesn't score well in safety. Euro NCAP's test gave it only three stars and cited “underwhelming driver assistance systems” as standard equipment.

Gallery: Suzuki Jimny first drive