The Suzuki Jimny stands alone, and that’s one of the key reasons waiting lists have been so long.

    If you want a small, rugged off-roader for around $30k, it’s the Jimny or… nothing. It can fit into the tightest of parking spaces, and it scramble over the rockiest of trails – and it looks great doing either.

    But what if you don’t want to wait six months or more to take delivery of one? The members of the CarExpert team have shared some alternatives you may want to consider.

    Alborz Fallah: GWM Tank 300

    Buy a GWM Tank 300! It looks cooler than a Jimny, has far better creature comforts and doesn’t get blown away by the wind on the highway. Are you really never going to go off-road anyway?

    Jade Credentino: GWM Tank 300

    Going to go with the Tank 300 here. Alborz beat me to it!

    Every time I experience one, I’m impressed.

    Although it’s quite a significant amount more than a Jimny, it offers almost everything you’ll need if you decide to go off-road and get it dirty or stay on road.

    I know there are a lot of Tank 300s kicking around and plenty being delivered to customers. New customers will be able to get one quickly and start going off-road with fellow Tank 300 owners.

    It has plenty of tech and equipment including both a front and rear differential lock (with the Hybrid) which is unheard of unless you go into Land Rover, Jeep and Mercedes-Benz territory.

    MORE: Buy a GWM Tank 300

    Anthony Crawford: Subaru Crosstrek

    Forget about the GWM Tank 300 – sure it looks cool, but the Jimny tops out at $31,490 plus on-roads, while the Tank starts from $55,990+ – so unless you’ve just scooped up a lottery win that’s not going to fly. And, let’s face it, you’re not going rock-hoping or doing any mud slinging but want a cool looking car for similar bucks.

    Easy, buy a Hyundai i20N and have a blast – on and off the track. But if you really do need to go down a dirt track – get a Subaru Crosstrek.

    MORE: Buy a Subaru Crosstrek

    Scott Collie: Mahindra Scorpio

    It’s a Mahindra Scorpio for me.

    Given the Jimny is an off-roader, I’ve gone for something conceptually similar. The Scorpio will take you deep into the wilderness, and has the benefit of a diesel engine instead of the, erm, hard-working petrol in the Suzuki.

    It’s also a bigger, more grown up car which means there’s space for your family or friends.

    MORE: Buy a Mahindra Scorpio

    William Stopford: Subaru Crosstrek

    Sorry, Suzuki, I may have talked a few prospective Jimny buyers out of your rugged little SUV over the years.

    I have the utmost respect for this little tyke, particularly the amount of off-road ability it offers at a low price.

    The thing is, though, a lot of people who are swayed by the Jimny’s adorable styling don’t actually plan to take it off road. Buying a Jimny and not using it for what it was designed to do seems a bit silly. You may as well just add a Liberty Walk body kit with big wheels like someone I know did…

    Perhaps the idea of going off-road intrigues you. In that case, may I suggest the Subaru Crosstrek?

    No, it’s nowhere near as cute as the Suzuki. In fact, I wouldn’t call it cute at all. But there’s a decent amount of ground clearance here for a small crossover, plus standard all-wheel drive in a segment where that’s not a given. You’ll also have something that’s much more comfortable on the highway, and more practical if you’re driving more than one other person around.

    MORE: Buy a Subaru Crosstrek

    Jack Quick: Mahindra Scorpio

    The Mahindra Scorpio is considerably larger, plusher and offers 50 per cent more seats than the Suzuki Jimny, but I’d argue you should at least consider the Indian-built SUV as an alternative to the tiny Japanese off-roader.

    I had the opportunity to test the Scorpio’s off-road-ability earlier this year on Indian and Australian soil and it proved to be an absolute mountain goat. My favourite feature was the auto-locking rear differential, though it did clunk into action a little loudly and dramatically.

    The Scorpio is a better highway cruiser than the Jimny with its 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine providing a considerably calmer ambience. If you’ve ever driven a Jimny at 110km/h you’ll know exactly what I mean.

    If you spend the majority of your time on sealed surfaces, I know I’d absolutely be taking a look at the Mahindra Scorpio. A very close second would be the GWM Tank 300.

    MORE: Buy a Mahindra Scorpio

    James Wong: Subaru Crosstrek

    The Jimny is cool and all, but I doubt most owners actually need the rugged 4×4 capability the little Suzuki offers – I see heaps of P-platers driving them in the suburbs of Melbourne, and they’re always clean.

    If you’re adventurous and want something with decent off-road capability for similar money, I think the Subaru Crosstrek is a great pick.

    From the base level ($34,990) you get full-time AWD, 210mm of ground clearance and a much more comfortable and practical cabin than the Jimny. You have to spend more to get the clever X-Mode off-road settings, though.

    It’s also more powerful and better to drive in normal conditions than the Suzuki, and on the Australian media launch we took the Crosstrek up some pretty gnarly trails and it held its own. Very impressive.

    MORE: Buy a Subaru Crosstrek

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers