20 years since the last Suzuki Jimny
Off-road adventuring often sparks an interest for bigger everything, but authentic 4×4 enthusiasts know that bigger is not necessarily better. If you shop small, but more importantly smart, you can follow Land Cruisers and Land Rover Defenders wherever they might venture, and perhaps even further and beyond!
Suzuki’s legendary Jimny is easily known as the Lionel Messi of 4×4 adventuring. This fourth-generation version will make its debut at the South African Festival of Motoring held in Gauteng last year, after nearly 20 years of waiting for a redesign.
When reshaping a vehicle as characteristic as the Jimny, there is a level of expectation. However, Suzuki’s done a brilliant job of improving the previous weaknesses of the the Jimny, while retaining all the acquired appearances.
There’s a fundamental sincerity around the Jimny, everyone loves it, even the fans from rival brands.
The Jimny might be classified as cute, but under the Japanese Kei-car dimensions, it’s a rugged capable vehicle, perfectly for severe off-road trails. The new design has also managed to transform its biggest weakness – the cramped cabin – without losing any sense of charming exterior.
Charming & Distinctive
The Jimny might be a bit larger now, but remains easy to drive in the urban environment, while the cabin ergonomics and space use has improved dramatically. Jimny keeps its distinctive squared-off design in a world full of SUV shapes and overly rounded corners.
The improved mechanics might be the most impressive attribute to the new Jimny, despite the more comfortable cabin and modern Suzuki switchgear digestion. The redesigned and re-engineered platform make it 50% more rigid, which means taking corners off-road are even better than before.
Driving your Jimny long distance and after dark won’t be a problem anymore, thanks to the new 1.5-litre engine. At 75kW and 130Nm might not seem impressive on an output graph, but this 1.5-litre makes the new version far superior for highway cruising. The new engine is also lighter and more fuel efficient.
The Jimny really doesn’t have any rival in off-road conditions, and its compact shape means it can take on and attack obstacles that simply aren’t possible in larger Land Cruisers or Defenders. It also has some algorithmic technology, and a feature called ‘brake LSD traction control’.
The ABS-system has been calibrated as well for when Jimny lifts one or more wheels, while crawling over a cross-axle obstacle. This pseudo-limited-slip is a popular feature in most SUV’s, but the simplified version in the Jimny gives this mini-4×4 a smoother off road drive.
Was this new Jimny worth the 20 year wait? Absolutely!