The long-awaited all new fourth generation Suzuki Jimny, which retains an unrivalled position in the small four-wheel-drive market, has landed in New Zealand.
Launched in Japan last year, the latest Jimny Sport Utility Vehicle has received international praise, not only for its unique, practical styling but also for retaining so many of the worthy features of the previous model.
The 2019 Jimny is the culmination of more than half a century of Suzuki experience in four-wheel-drive technology while also introducing the latest technology and safety enhancements to bring the compact 3-door right up to date.
Retaining high and low ratio gearing , the latest Jimny keeps true to its off-road heritage by retaining a traditional separate ladder-frame chassis for optimum off-road performance. Torsional rigidity of the body frame is now 1.5 times higher than the previous model, further improving off-road ability while also making the vehicle better on-road.
Already attracting a cult following, the highly distinctive looking Jimny, with an overall length of just 3,645 mm, is 30 mm shorter than its predecessor. The wheelbase is unchanged at 2,250 mm, while body width is increased by 45 mm and the new body height of 1,720 mm is an increase of 40 mm over the previous JX model.
Both wheel tracks have been extended, from 1,355 mm to 1,395 mm at the front and from 1,365 mm to 1,405 mm at the rear.
The new model is not only safer and sturdier but also more powerful and uses less fuel. In spite of the additional equipment, the latest Jimny remains a lightweight champion, tipping the scales at just 1,095 kg in manual gearbox form and an extra 15 kg when specified with automatic transmission. Kerb weight is up a mere 5 kg compared to the outgoing Jimny Sierra.
A bold square body shape reflects simplicity and off-road functionality as well as adding to driver appeal and safety with good all round visibility. More upright A-pillars and the flat clamshell bonnet enhance frontal vision, while the dipped driver and front passenger window lines provide good visibility from the side windows.
A new four-valves-per-cylinder K15B engine has a capacity of 1,462 cm3 and is 134 cm3 larger than the old power unit in the generation three Jimny. The naturally aspirated double overhead camshaft 4-cylinder motor has variable inlet camshaft timing and is 15 per cent lighter than the previous model’s power plant.
Engine power is boosted by a useful 20 per cent, with 75 kW produced at 6,000 rpm, while there is an 18 percent increase in torque at 130 Nm at rpm, up from 110 Nm at 4,100 rpm.
Economy improves significantly for the new Jimny, despite the increase in engine capacity and power output. In the combined cycle, which is a combination or urban and extra-urban driving, the manual version achieves 6.4 litre/100kms – a 9.9% improvement over the previous model. The automatic records 6.9 litres/100 km and uses 11.5 per cent less fuel than its predecessor.
Reduced friction is a feature of the revised 5-speed manual gearbox with ratios optimised for the new engine, while the optional transmission is a 4-stage automatic. High and low ratios effectively provides ten forward gear ratios and two reverse ratios in the manual version. AllGrip ‘Pro’ selectable all-wheel drive incorporates three driving modes with 2H for two-wheel-drive high gearing; 4H for four-wheel-drive high gearing and 4L for four-wheel-drive low gearing. All wheel drive can be selected at speeds up to 100 km/h.
In rough terrain, off road or tricky road situations, the new Jimny’s approach angle is 37 degrees, while departure angle is 49 degrees and the ramp break-over is 28 degrees. Ground clearance has increased by 20mm to 210mm.
Brake assist function, hill hold control which is handy for both on- and off-road motoring, and hill descent control are all standard, along with anti-lock braking and ESP.
Jimny's have traditionally been admired for their off-road prowess and the latest model further advances this cause. The part-time 4WD system has a manually operated shift lever directly connected to the transfer gear. Switching from 4H to 4L mode transfers more torque to the wheel when in lower gears, offering better traction on steep slopes and rough terrain.
When two wheels diagonal from each other lose traction, the Jimny’s newly designed brake LSD traction control automatically brakes the slipping wheels to redistribute torque to the other side and allow the vehicle to gain traction.
New Jimny is one of the few authentic SUV off-roaders equipped with a rigid axle for both front and rear. The three-link suspension has coil springs front and rear and the front axle housing is now constructed of more robust high tensile steel. Meanwhile the rear axle housing is larger diameter with 30 per cent higher flexural strength for greater durability.
Aluminium alloy road wheels are shod with 195/80R tyres and the full spare wheel, finished with a half cover, is secured to the outside rear of the body for easy access.
A five slat design grille is finish in black and flanked by circular headlights, with the headlight housings hosting turn indicator signals. There are black flared wheel arch extensions, drip rails and body colour door handles. Auto self-levelling LED projector headlights are standard.
New Zealand launches with the high specification Sierra derivative with automatic light operation, daytime running lights (DRL) and headlamp washers. High beam assist enhances relaxing and courteous night driving by automatically switching the high and low beams at speeds of 40 km/h and more.
Front fog lamps are fitted to all Jimny Sierras along with green tinted window glass, quarter window and tailgate privacy glass.
The new model marks a huge step forward in technology with standard equipment including lane departure warning and weaving alert function. Also fitted is dual sensor brake support (DSBS) that has a camera which can detect pedestrians as well as “seeing” mid-to-long distance.
DSBS includes a laser sensor for short distances and at night. Using information from these sensors it can detect a potential collision and act accordingly with autonomous emergency braking, helping either avoid a collision or reduce damage.
Six airbags accommodate dual curtain, front, and side protection. Driver and passenger comforts include electric windows, electrically adjustable black door mirrors, centralised door and tailgate locking, seatbelt reminder, door ajar alarm and automatic air conditioning.
The split rear seats fold flat into the floor for increased capacity loading and there is a luggage box for the flat floor. This 377 litre capacity load space with the rear seats folded is 16.4 per cent larger than the outgoing Jimny. The backs of the rear seats and luggage room floor are coated with plastic for easy removal of dirt or stains.
Five hook points are fitted on each side under the rear side windows along with four luggage hooks around the floor area for flexible usage of luggage space. As an added function, the rear seats can be folded down and meet with similarly folded front seats to form a bed.
A rake adjustable multi-purpose leather-covered steering wheel activates audio selection, cruise control function, speed limiter and hands-free phone control. There are lights off and key reminder alarm, Smartphone linkage, Bluetooth connectivity and navigation.
New Jimny is introduced with a recommended retail price of $25,990 ($27,500 for the automatic) plus on road costs. The optional Black two-tone roof is an additional $500. In addition to the three year, 100,000 km warranty, the Jimny comes as standard with a five year, 100,000 km powertrain warranty and full five years roadside assistance plan.