Suzuki Jimny 5-Door (2023) Review

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The Jimny is Suzuki’s iconic model, as is the 500 for fiat. What’s not to like? It’s a refreshingly simple easy to live with city off-roader with formidable capability and adorable Japanese K-car styling; it tugs on the heartstrings – that’s why Suzuki has sold thousands of units across 4 generations.

However, the Jimny’s biggest critics will be quick to say that its failed to be practical; even in its latest (4th) iteration, the Jimny’s 85-litre load bay and 3-door configuration are big drawbacks considering the versatility offered by equivalently priced compact crossovers or SUVs.

Enter the Jimny 5-door

What’s New?

To create the new practical Jimny 5-door, Suzuki extended the wheelbase of the ladder-frame-based 4th-gen model by 340 mm. That additional length allows for the fitment of 2 more doors and the load-bay capacity to more than double to 211 litres which equates to space for shopping. The resultant kerb weight increase is not much: a gain of just over 100 kg.

Mechanically, not much has changed, the Jimny 5-door uses the same powertrain as the 3-door. The engine on duty is the K15B naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol. Outputs of 75 kW and 130 Nm on the flywheel, and a choice of either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed automatic. The 4 Speed automatic is our pick!

Suzuki Auto SA offers 3 derivatives of the 5-door variant: an entry-level 1.5 GL and the 1.5 GLX in manual and automatic guises. For a detailed look at the specifications and features, click here.

What is it like to drive?

Our vehicle was a Sizzling Red dual tone Bluish black roof 1.5 GLX Manual. It passed its first test all right: I could fit my Laptop bag in the load bay! Remember, if you want even more load space, you can fold the rear seats down. Then I attempted a sit-behind-myself test… Again, success, although headroom for tall people may be an issue and getting in and out with the low roof line and high bench seat provides a yoga work out for some.

We’ve always preferred a stick-shift in Suzuki models because the brand’s 5-speed manual tends to be easy to use thanks to a slick shift action, but, the Jimmy didn’t get this gearbox. It feels very mechanical and you can feel the gearbox feedback through the shifter its almost hard to place, so for ease of use and daily driving the 4-speed automatic would never disappoint.

The big question is: Can the K15B engine cope with the 5-door additional 100 kg of weight? We’d like to think so.

Seeing as punchy in-gear acceleration is NOT the Suzuki Jimny’s forte, you need to adopt a measured approach (with applied patience) when overtaking slower traffic. Despite some full-throttle overtakes on the open road, however, the 5-door was frugal, with our trip computer displaying a tidy 6.8 L/100 km.

The Jimny’s 15-inch alloys (wrapped in chunky 195/80 tyres) help to soak up the road’s imperfections, but when cornering you are reminded that the Jimny exhibits quite a bit of body roll, but that’s to be expected, given its ladder-frame underpinnings.

Can the Jimny 5-door 4×4?

The Jimny 5-door’s so-so road manners are soon forgotten the moment we slowed down and headed off the tar, however. Despite its additional length, the more practical Jimny seems to have retained its iconic off-road capabilities. Once we hit the trails, the diminutive Suzuki put all its remarkable talents on display.

For the stats fans, ground clearance is rated at 210 mm and the approach, breakover and departure angles are an impressive 36 degrees, 24 degrees and 47 degrees respectively. The AllGrip Pro is a part-time system with the user able to select from 2High, 4High and 4Low range. The Jimny also features hill descent control and can simulate a differential lock via selective braking courtesy of the ABS software.

When I drive off-road, I prefer to use as little of the 4×4 hardware as possible, so I can judge under which conditions a vehicle will be at ease and where/when it may struggle. Bigger/heavier off-roaders may have required 4L and low range on some parts of our trail, but the Jimny could keep up in 4H.

How much does the Suzuki Jimny 5-door cost in South Africa?

Jimny 5-door derivatives come with a 5-year/200 000 km warranty and 4-year/60 000 km service plan.

Jimny 5-door 1.5 GL Manual R429 900
Jimny 5-door 1.5 GLX Manual R457 900
Jimny 5-door 1.5 GLX Auto R479 900

Review Overview
  • Driving experience
  • Exterior styling
  • Interior look and feel
  • Technology and connectivity
  • Family friendliness
  • Value for money


If you were thinking about buying a new Suzuki Jimny only to be dissuaded by its limited practicality, the 5-door largely addresses that shortcoming. Even if it isn’t sprightly, the tiny off-roader is well suited to commuting – its compact dimensions and excellent exterior visibility make it easy to drive and park.

However, the Jimny remains a niche model and still has other shortcomings, such as its performance (or lack thereof) at triple-digit speeds, and not everyone will appreciate its ruggedness and off-road abilities.

Still, if you desire an undeniably cool vehicle that offers “many smiles per mile” and will positively ace a gravel track or potholed road, then the Suzuki Jimny 5-door should be towards the top of your list.

We know that the Jimny can tackle the rough stuff with ease, and we know the 5 door is now a easy to live with practical commuter, you can definitely fetch the kids during the week and hit the mountains on weekends.

Its really in a class of its own, if you’re reading this article you should really go test drive one.

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