Suzuki ends off successful 2023 with the launch of the Jimny 5-door
In November 2018, Suzuki South Africa launched the brand-new and long-awaited 4th generation (code named: JB74) Jimny. While the 3rd generation Jimny was one of the key ingredients for Suzuki’s success, since re-entering the country in 2008, the model needed some modern updates. In fact, at that time, the third generation Jimny (JB23) had been in the country for a decade (two in other countries).
The 4th generation Jimny (in GA and GLX manual and automatic iterations) was an immediate success, featuring a larger, 1.5L naturally-aspirated petrol engine, which kicked out 13kW and 20Nm more than the third generation; while carrying a more modern design.
Such was the success of the JB74 model, that buyers had to be placed on waiting lists to receive their orders. The nimble little 4×4 continued its 50-year old legacy to such an extent that Suzuki SA released a GL-specification (both in the 4-speed automatic, and 5-speed manual) in 2022.
Whilst perfect for two people, the Jimny had one big flaw, in that it only had three doors, thereby resulting in little rear legroom, whilst the luggage compartment only had just under 90L of storage volume (with the rear seats up). For larger families, or those with a higher storage requirement, the Jimny 3-door was simply too small.
The past year has been very productive for Suzuki SA, not just in terms of vehicle launches, but also in terms of sales figures.
Since 2020, the Japanese manufacturer has been constantly breaking its own sales records, of which last month (October 2023) saw the latest record being broken with 3857 new vehicles sold. This comes as customers see increasing value for money in these products.
Looking at Suzuki SA’s model range, it is also evident that the manufacturer offers something for everyone, whilst also listening to their customer base when it comes to improvements.
A prime example of this is the new 5-door Jimny. As with the 3-door, which already had a waiting list, prior to its official launch in November 2018 the 5-door already has a waiting list.
This comes after the 5-door made several public appearances at certain events since September; with onlookers just waiting for the final price.
The wait is over…
How is the 5-door different?
The new 5-door comes into the market as an addition to the 3-door, measuring in at 340mm longer than the latter, while the height and width are pretty much the same. The new 5-door will also feature the same 1.5L engine; and while many may question this, the 5-door only weighs in at 100kg more. Considering that both model iterations can essentially transport four occupants, there was no real need to enlarge the engine capacity.
Jimny owners will know that the car is not a rocket ship and that speeding tickets are not necessarily associated with Jimnies. Yet, the Jimny is second-to-none when it comes to its 4×4 abilities, and the new 5-door is no different.
Featuring the same AllGrip Pro 4WD system, the 5-door also has a similar ground clearence of 210mm, while offering similar approach (36 degrees), break-over (24 degrees), and departure angles (47 degrees).
Similarly, its new weight of 1185kg has also not affected the fuel consumption, as Suzuki claims 6.3L/100km for the manual and 6.8L/100km for the automatic. During all our tests within the past four years, our 3-door test units have seldomly exceeded 7.8L/100km, except if the throttle is used “enthusiastically”, or the roof rack has been fully loaded.
The addition of 340mm in length and two extra doors now means that rear (second row) occupants have ample legroom, while the storage compartment has been enlarged to 211L.
In addition to these technical changes, the new 5-door Jimny will be sold in a GL and GLX specification, with the GLX featuring either the 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual gearbox (for now). Many suggest the automatic to now be even more refined and accustomed to the longer wheelbase.
Both GL and GLX models will feature the iconic 15-inch alloy wheels, while the GL model will enter the (5-door) line-up with fog lights, electric door mirrors and front windows, USB ports, manual air-conditioning, and a Bluetooth stereo system.
GLX models will be sold with all of the GL specifications, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, light-sensing LED headlights, automatic climate control, cruise control, and a new 7-inch infotainment screen (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).
Both models will feature ABS, two airbags for front occupants, as well as hill-stop and descent control. The GLX will see a total of six airbags.
How does it drive?
In this regard, the 5-door does not really differ from the 3-door. As previously stated, the 1.5L engine will not propel the car to new speed records. The vehicle and engine are at its happiest between 100 and 115km/h, at a manageable 2500-3000 rpm. This might seem high, yet this K15B engine has proven to enjoy higher but consistent revolutions.
Rear occupants are also much happier as they have more legroom and can be more comfortably seated for longer periods.
True to any lightweight, short wheel-base 4×4, the 3-door tends to ‘wobble’ more when it experiences unbalanced road surfaces, or unwanted winds. The longer wheelbase of the 5-door has almost eliminated this, presenting much-improved road handling.
During a recent discussion with colleagues in the motoring industry, it was agreed that an entry price under the R500k-mark (for the 5-door version) would result in an immediate success rate.
While the prices for new cars have drastically increased, Suzuki SA now introduced the new 5-Door (GL) Jimny at a price of R429 900. This is exceptionally well-priced, considering that it is only R39 000 more than the GL manual 3-door. It is even more astonishing when compared to other 4WD competitors, knowing that the 4WD system in the Jimny is much more capable.
The range will top out with the GLX 5-door Automatic at R479 900, well below the R500k mark.
|Suzuki Jimny 1.5L GL AllGrip (3-door) manual||R390 900|
|Suzuki Jimny 1.5 GL AllGrip (3-door) automatic||R412 900|
|Suzuki Jimny 1.5 GLX AllGrip (3-door) manual||R416 900|
|Suzuki Jimny 1.5 GL AllGrip (5-door) manual||R429 900|
|Suzuki Jimny 1.5 GLX AllGrip (3-door) automatic||R438 900|
|Suzuki Jimny 1.5 GLX AllGrip (5-door) manual||R457 900|
|Suzuki Jimny 1.5 GLX AllGrip (5-door) automatic||R479 900|