Johannesburg Festival of Motoring launch report: Suzuki Jimny

Liked the previous Suzuki Jimny? Well, you are going to love this!

Since its inception in the 1970 with the Suzuki LJ10 (have a look at our NamWheels Suzuki Jimny Lineage article: the Jimny has been a success from the word “GO”! However, as Jimny sales figures rocketed exponentially, the brand has not seen a new Jimny in nearly 20 years. Well, the wait is over and it was certainly worth it!

Combining new and old, the new Jimny returns to its old “rugged” form, yet also features the same modern design of the  previous JB23 range. Secondly, the car also features new technological and spatial refinements to make it an even better die-hard 4×4 than before.

Let’s get right into it. Have you ever heard about a Jimny struggling in mud or the dunes? Well, now the Jimny has even better off-road capabilities and also feature a lighter design, with the engine weighing 15% less than the previous model. The car has also been lifted 20mm higher from the ground (210mm) and features a shorter, taller and wider design, without taking away the essence of its existence.

To give an idea, the approach angle has been improved to 37 degrees, the break-over angle to 28 degrees and the departure angle to 49 degrees. The total length of the car is now 2250 mm (shorter than the previous model), height is 1752 mm and the width stands at 1405 mm.

Bring in hill start- and descend assist, as well as low range and this new Jimny is the perfect offroad companion. The square body also helps to improve visibility, especially on the roads less travelled.

The new Jimny also comes with the new AllGrip Pro system, allowing the driver to switch electronically between 4×2 (rear-wheel drive), 4×4 high and 4×4 low range. A new ESP and Limited Slip Differential system also enhances its capabilities.

In terms of exterior design, the new Jimny features the headlight design of the first generation LJ10, the bonnet panel design of the original SJ, the steel wheels of the first generation SJ, the front grille of the JB23 and the rear bumper of the SJ. In doing this, Suzuki made it possible to use space more efficiently, as with the taillights, which is now fitted in the bumper.

Built on a new ladder-frame chassis, with a “X” member between the two axles, the new Jimny has 1.5 times more torsional rigidity. New coil springs and shock absorbers also means that the Jimny can conquer obstacles with more ease.

In terms of power, the new car features a 1,5 litre (four cylinder) petrol engine, capable of delivering 75kW (@6 000 rpm) and 130 Nm (@4 000rpm). Although the 1.5 liter replaces the previous 1.3 liter, the car uses 14% less fuel.

Manual derivatives will come with five-speed, while the automatic GLX model will feature a four speed gearbox.

Ok, so it is clear that the new Jimny will be more capable than ever on the roads less travelled, but what about “driver experience”?

The GLX range will feature the brand new seven inch SLDA infotainment touchscreen system, capable of connecting with Apple Carplay, Android Auto and Mirror Link. Voice control will also help to make things easier. This will also include USB connection and 12 V sockets (GLX).

In terms of comfort, the front seats are 55mm longer, with the seats also being fitted with wider cushioning to help with shoulder movement. The seats also has a sliding range of 240mm (for longer individuals). The rear passengers will also now have 40mm more legroom and more comfort.

In the rear, the second row can fold flat, with hard moulded plastic fitted to the rear of the seats to make it easy to clean inside. The rear swing door has also been fitted with a lock-shock, capable of holding the door by itself.

The GA model will feature a rugged, yet appealing design, while the GLX will be a bit more expensive, but with much to offer. Actually, all three models have been priced very well to get excellent value for money!

All Jimny’s will be fitted with a full-sized spare wheel, ABS brakes, brake assist, Electronic stability control (ESP), ISOFIX points, dual SRS front airbags, as well as the AllGrip 4×4 system.

In addition to all this, the GLX will feature both manual and automatic gearboxes, a leather covered multi function steering wheel, electric windows, 7 inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, cruise control, colour coded door handles/mirrors, 15 inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, remote keyless entrance  (with central locking) and front fog lights.

In conclusion, the new Jimny returns to its previous rugged, go-anywhere appeal, yet is modern and sophisticated enough to take to church on a Sunday.

This is going to be a real seller!


1.5 4×4 GA (Manual): R 265 000 (estimated)

1.5 4×4 GLX (Manual): R300 000 (estimated)

1.5 4×4 GLX (Auto):      R320 000 (estimated)

Text: Franco Theron
Pictures: Galimoto Media 

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