Its predecessor had been on the market for 20 years, but the eagerly-awaited Suzuki Jimny is now finally available in South Africa. However, be prepared to wait to get your hands on one, at least initially...
The 2018 Suzuki Jimny arrives here with the choice of 2 specification levels (GA and GLX), 2 transmission options (5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic) and a host of made-for-adventure accessories. What is not optional, is the in-built off-road capability with AllGrip Pro mechanical shifting 4x2, 4x4 and 4x4 low-range transfer case, the rigid ladder frame chassis and patented Suzuki X-member (cross member) between the rigid axles.
The "bad" news for prospective buyers, however, is that a local Suzuki spokesperson confirmed last month that the first 2 consignments of the new Jimny have already sold out, which indicates that demand will outstrip supply in the short to medium term as more stock arrives from Japan.
The Jimny is powered by an all-new 1.5-litre petrol engine, which produces peak outputs of 75 kW and 130 Nm of torque and is mated with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. This lighter engine with its higher compression ratio helps to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 14%, Suzuki says. The claimed consumption figure for the manual derivative is 6.3 L/100 km and 6.8 for the automatic.
Suzuki has retained the Jimny's boxy shape but has refined and modernised the overall design.
The new model looks much like a miniature Land Rover Defender or Benz G-Wagon, with its block-like design and ‘Postman Pat’ shape. It’s nice to see that Suzuki hasn’t softened the Jimny in any way as many an off-roader will attest to its ability to bounce over just about any obstacle in its path.
The new Jimny is actually 45 mm wider, but 50 mm shorter in length while the wheelbase of 2 250 mm has remained unchanged. The front and rear tracks have been increased by 40 mm. The Jimny’s approach angle has improved from 35 degrees to 37 degrees while the breakover angle has increased from 27 degrees to 28 degrees. Lastly, the departure angle has improved significantly from 46 degrees to 49 degrees.
The Jimny's AllGrip Pro 4x4 system enables the driver to easily switch between 4x2, 4x4 high and 4x4 low range with a secondary gear lever. The system will be backed up by vehicle stability control (ESC) and a new brake-enabled Limited Slip Differential.
The Jimny has good ground clearance at 210 mm which is a 20 mm improvement over the outgoing Jimny. Other useful features such as Hill Hold Control, Hill Descent Control and Brake LSD Traction Control will prove to be invaluable in offroad situations.
The cabin features a modern look and a touchscreen infotainment system is a possibility for SA, but has not yet been confirmed.
The new Jimny will be offered in GA and GLX specification and Suzuki has modernised the interior substantially. The front seats are now 55 mm longer than before with wider cushion frames. The front seats can now also slide up to 240 mm to accommodate taller drivers. Front passengers are afforded 30 mm more legroom while rear passengers will appreciate an extra 40 mm. The good news is that a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system will be offered on the top-spec Jimny GLX and it will offer Mirror Link as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Two grades available
The manual derivative with GA specification level has:
- Air conditioning
- Power steering
- ABS brakes, BAS and ISOfix
- Dual SRS airbags
- AllGrip Pro 4WD system with low range
- Brake LSD
- Hill Hold and Hill Descent Control
- 15-inch steel wheels with full-size spare wheel
- Double DIN radio preparation with 2 speakers and antennae
The GLX specification level is available with the choice of manual and automatic gearbox and has the following additional specifications:
- Colour-coded door handles and painted exterior mirrors
- Electric windows and mirrors
- Automatic climate control
- 15-inch alloy wheels
- Remote central locking
- Auto LED projector headlamps
- Front fog lights
- SLDA touch screen infotainment system
- Multifunction leather steering wheel
- Cruise control
- Additional 12V socket in luggage area
- 50:50 folding rear seat
- Luggage area box
Suzuki will offer a wide range of accessories for both city-dwellers and off-road enthusiasts. These include mud flaps, side under-garnish strips, under-garnish for the front bumper, front and rear differential guards, utility and luggage hooks and side body mouldings.
All derivatives are sold with a comprehensive 5-year/200 000 km mechanical warranty. .
Suzuki Jimny Price in SA
1.5 4x4 GA Manual: (2-year/60 000km service plan) R264 900
1.5 4x4 GLX (4-year/60 000 km service plan) R299 900
1.5 4x4 GLX Automatic (4-year/60 000 km service plan) R319 900