The new Jimny fills the very big shoes of its predecessors, which were responsible for creating a new market segment for compact, affordable, capable and – most importantly – fun, off roaders. In fact, this ladder-framed, low-range vehicle made Suzuki so iconic and loved that this is only the fourth all-new model since the LJ10 was launched in 1970.
Styling – a homage to its forebears
The new Suzuki Jimny made waves when it was officially unveiled in Japan in June this year for its bold, angular styling, which includes the most iconic signature elements of each of its predecessors.
Styling elements include:
• An overall angular design that is reminiscent of the first LJ and second generation SJ model ranges;
• The round headlamps and separate round orange indicators of the LJ10, the first generation;
• Side bonnet slits and an angular front windscreen from the SJ series – the first range to be called Giant Killer by the 4×4 community;
• Steel wheels similar to the SJ series on the GA spec level;
• A clamshell bonnet and upright grille like the SJ and previous generation Jimny;
• A moulded rear bumper with lights in the furthermost corners, like the SJ series.
The new Jimny adds some unique features of its own, which include a full drip rail around the roof, which is both functional in rain and off-road conditions and which allows for the easy fitment of a number of roof rails and other accessories.
Inside the cabin, Suzuki’s designers have also added hints of the new Jimny’s forebears, such as exposed painted metal window frames at shoulder height, a speedometer and tachometer in separate square binnacles and the fit-for-purpose dashboard with many storage binnacles and three-layer design.
Mechanical pedigree – better in every way
The all-new Jimny improves on its predecessor, the 1998 – 2018 Jimny, in every respect.
The new model is built on a new ladder-frame chassis with a patented “X”member between the two rigid axles for 1.5 times the torsional rigidity of its predecessor. Both axles remain rigid, a boon in sand and mud driving; and with the addition of new coil springs and shock absorbers the Jimny now has a 210 mm ground clearance, 20 mm more than before.
The ladder frame benefits from Suzuki’s leading Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) which uses modern design, high-tensile steel and an integrated cabin and chassis system to provide greater collision protection.
The new ladder frame and TECT-enabled body has left the Jimny’s wheelbase unchanged at 2 250 mm, but has increased the front and rear track by 40 mm and the vehicle width by 45 mm. The overall vehicle length has been shortened by 50 mm, thanks in part to the new moulded bumpers.
New engine, more power, less fuel
Under the clamshell bonnet, Suzuki has fitted its modern K15B petrol engine. This 1,5 litre four cylinder unit replaces the 1.3 litre M13A engine of the previous model and delivers 75 kW at 6 000 rpm and 130 Nm at 4 000 rpm.
The new K15B-engine is 15% lighter than the 1.3 litre unit it replaces. The lighter weight, higher compression ratio and overall improvement in efficiency mean that this engine uses more than 14% less fuel than both the manual and automatic versions of its predecessor.
The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox and an optional four-speed automatic gearbox in GLX specification.
All new Jimny models are fitted with a 4×4 system called AllGrip Pro®, which allows the driver to comfortably switch between 4×2 (rear-wheel drive), 4×4 high and 4×4 low range with a secondary gear lever. This system is supported by both the vehicle stability control (ESP) and a new Brake-enabled Limited Slip Differential system.
The ESP-system is standard on all models and adjusts its functioning based on the number of wheels driven and the road conditions. Similarly, the Brake LSD will adapt its support between 4×4 high and low modes and will detect slippage and distribute power (or brake a spinning wheel) between paired wheels on an axle and between the front and rear axles.
The Brake LSD and ESP-systems are further enhanced by the integrated Hill Hold Function and Hill Descent Control. These systems will not only enhance the everyday ease of driving but will improve the vehicle’s capabilities off the beaten track.
Lastly, the new design has enabled Suzuki’s engineers to improve on the Jimny’s already legendary off-road curriculum vitae. The Jimny’s approach angle has improved from 35 degrees to 37 degrees, the breakover angle is up to 28 degrees from 27 degrees and the departure angle has improved significantly from 46 degrees to 49 degrees.
Comfort, technology and a smart use of space inside
While Suzuki did not want to compromise the compact character of the Jimny lineage, it has improved driver and passenger comfort and added practical storage concepts in response to owner feedback.
The front seats are 55 mm longer than before and have wider seat cushion frames. Interestingly, Suzuki engineers have lowered the seat bolsters to allow comfortable shoulder movement when the driver and front passenger want to look around and behind them, for instance when they navigate a tricky obstacle in the bush.
The front seats also have an improved sliding range of 240 mm to accommodate longer drivers. Front occupants have 30mm more legroom than before and the rear passengers have a massive 40 mm more space and a higher hip point, for greater comfort. This is easily the roomiest Jimny ever.
In South Africa, Suzuki has added its 7” SLDA – smartphone linkage display – to the new GLX-specification. This large touch screen is fitted with Apple Carplay, Android Auto and Mirror Link to accommodate most smartphones’ in-car features and voice control functionality available in the market today.
In designing the new interior, Suzuki has focused on comfort and practicality. There are a number of additional storage bins that are perfect for a smartphone and the split rear seats now fold flat into the vehicle floor on certain specification levels.
The rear load bay is a joy for overland enthusiasts. The luggage area on models with split seats is covered in hardy moulded plastic and has several tie-down hooks, a 12V socket (on the GLX) and multiple utility screw holes under the rear windows and in the load bay.
Suzuki has also designed a large removable luggage box that is part of the comprehensive option catalogue, and just behind the rear door sill there is a hidden toolbox that can also be removed.
GA and GLX models available
To widen the appeal of the all-new Jimny, Suzuki South Africa will introduce both a GA and GLX specification level.
True to Suzuki’s value-for-money and family-first ethos, both specification levels will have a full-sized spare wheel, ABS brakes, brake assist (BAS), electronic stability control (ESP), ISOFIX anchors for child seats and dual SRS front airbags. Both models will also have the AllGrip Pro® 4×4 system with low range transfer gear and the Brake LSD traction control system.
The GLX specification – available with the choice of manual and automatic gearboxes – include features such as a leather-covered multi-function steering wheel, electric windows, colour coded door handles and mirrors, 15” alloy wheels, LED projector headlamps, remote keyless access with central locking and front fog lights.
GLX models also have the 7” touchscreen with smartphone connectivity and Bluetooth hands-free operation, cruise control and the 50:50 split rear bench with two headrests.
Priced for accessibility
Like all Suzuki models, the Jimny is priced to welcome any adventurous family into the Suzuki fold. While not confirmed yet, the indicative pricing – which includes a service plan and mechanical warranty – is:
Suzuki Jimny 1.5 4×4 GA Manual: R265 000 (estimated)
Suzuki Jimny 1.5 4×4 GLX Manual: R300 000 (estimated)
Suzuki Jimny 1.5 4×4 GLX Auto: R320 000 (estimated)
The all-new Jimny will be available to customers from 1 November but interested buyers can view pre-production versions of the new model at the Johannesburg Festival of Motoring at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit from 31 August to 2 September 2018.
Suzuki has also assembled a number of previous Jimny, Samurai, SJ and LJ models for the show, including a beautiful LJ50 from 1979, an SJ410 and an SJ413.