Suzuki Jimny PROS and CONS
- Competitive pricing for an off-road vehicle
- High ground clearance
- Wide rear door opening
- Noise, vibration, and harshness suppression is not that great
- Legroom could be better
- Design and performance may not be for everyone
The Suzuki Jimny is a nameplate for four-wheel drive, off-road compact sports utility vehicles (SUVs) from Japanese car manufacturer Suzuki. It first launched as a car in the Japanese Kei car category, which covers the smallest highway-legal passenger vehicle. It had evolved into what may be considered a mini-SUV by the time it reached its third generation in 1998. The model has always appealed as a utility-oriented off-road vehicle and has remained as such, but it has also become more and more powerful and sophisticated over the years.
The model, which has been in production since 1970, entered its fourth generation in late 2018, retaining a lot of the elements that have made the Jimny one of the most prominent models in its category for almost five decades, while introducing new technologies and enhancements to make it more attractive and competitive. After much anticipation from car enthusiasts, the 2019 Jimny finally made its Philippine debut in March 2019. The model name now carries the appendix "All-Grip Pro" as a reference to the new off-road driving technology that it has been equipped with.
The nameplate used to target more established professionals who have earned considerable working experience but with the new iteration's features and styling, it is likely to expand its customer base to include younger buyers and lady car owners as well.
The Jimny is manufactured by Suzuki Motor Corporation, a prominent Japanese multinational organization that operates within the automotive industry. The company designs, develops, manufactures, sells, and distributes cars, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, four-wheel drives, and marine engines as well as special and industrial equipment. The vehicle automotive producer has a global footprint that encompasses more than 190 countries.
In the Philippines, Suzuki makes the Jimny available in three variants, namely 1.5 GLX A/T priced at PhP1,085,00; 1.5 GL A/T at PhP1,036,000; and 1.5 GL M/T at PhP975,000. All units are powered by a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. This setup can generate up to 100 horsepower at 6,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) and 130 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. Being an off-road vehicle, the Jimny sports a 37-degree approach angle, 49 degrees for the departure, and 28 degrees for the break-over angles. The latest Jimny carries a 40-liter tank.
As Suzuki wants the all-new Jimny to stay true to the general concept used for the model, the part-time four-wheel drive system with low-range transfer gear has been retained. This allows switching between four-wheel drive – for when driving on challenging terrains – and two-wheel drive for efficient fuel consumption and cornering on smoother surfaces.
The ladder frame, which is known to be more suited for off-road adventures compared to a monocoque body, has been carried over to the latest iteration as well. For its suspension, the car uses the same three-link rigid axle with coil spring. There is also a 4L mode for added torque for when the vehicle has to pass through a difficult terrain.
All variants use solid disc brakes at the front and drum, leading and trailing type at the rear. As a vehicle positioned heavily as an off-roader, the Jimny comes equipped with Suzuki Safety Support, a preventive technology that aids in avoiding accidents. The car features Electronic Stability Programme, which automatically adjusts torque and brakes to better manage wheel slippage. It is also armed with Total Effective Control Technology (TECT), which is responsible for having a structure that absorbs and disperses energy in case of a collision; and pedestrian injury mitigating body, which allows the car's bonnet and surrounding parts to absorb the impact in case of collision with a pedestrian, minimizing the possibility of head and leg injuries. It also packs dual front airbags.
The Jimny also packs a generous number of driver-assist features. Such include Hill Descent Control, which can be activated with just a push of a button when going down a steep hill; Hill Hold Control, which assists in driving up a steep incline; and Brake Limited Slip-Differential Traction Control.
The all-new Jimny runs on a bigger 1.5-liter K15B gasoline engine, which can deliver a more powerful performance than predecessors. Fuel consumption is estimated at 6.4 liters/100 km.
For the 2019 Jimny, Suzuki does not stray too far away from the previous iterations of the model but does amplify the off-roader quality and appeal of the car. It may be noted that the latest Jimny gains 20mm more ground clearance, which enhances the car's approach and departure angles, and, in effect, its off-roading capabilities. The brakes received some improvements as well, as they are now more responsive and has a stronger grip on the road. The suspension in the new Jimny is more rigid and stable compared to predecessors. One will also easily notice a body roll, but it's not a major issue.
The Jimny's small dimensions offers advantages over bigger rivals, as it can pass through narrow mountain or forest trails where a bigger vehicle might not be able to. Meanwhile a 1075kg kerb weight allows the Jimny to easily navigate muddy or sand-filled roads.
On the downside, noise, vibration, and harshness suppression is not that great when driving at 110 km/h with the engine running at more than 3000 rpm.
The Jimny was not built with the masses in mind. Rather, it is targeted at a specific niche – professionals with off-roading interests – and such is reflected in the car's exterior design.
The all-new Jimny measures 3,480mm in length, 1,645mm in width, and 1,725mm in height. It has a wheelbase that is 2,250mm long. Meanwhile, it has a minimum turning radius of 4.9m, which enhances the car's maneuverability in tighter spaces.
On any side, the Jimny sports a tough square form. The car's fascia is decorated with the same distinctive front grille seen in previous iterations. Set wide apart on either side of the grille are Jimny's iconic small and round LED headlights that come with washers so drivers need not worry about mud or dirt affecting visibility. Small round turning lights are found on the upper corners of the headlamps. This set is framed with the model's body color.
Viewing it from the side, one will notice a flat clamshell bonnet and almost upright A-pillars. Both front and side windows are rectangular in shape but a dipping front window line adds a nice touch. The square-shaped wheel arches and moulded black bumpers, side sills, and wheel arch extensions lend this compact SUV a masculine appeal. Meanwhile, a closer look reveals an angled rear bumper, which increases clearance to make climbing over bumps easier.
One thoughtful touch is the drip rail, which keeps water from dripping off the roof to the sides. The idea is help keep drivers and passengers dry when boarding or alighting the car.
On the rear is a large square door that measures 1,030mm in width on the upper half and 1,015mm at the bottom half and 850mm in height. This makes it easier to bring cargos in and out of the storage cabin. Furthermore, the rear door has stoppers at 31, 51, and 70 degrees. The Jimny's backside is decorated with a rear-mounted spare tire that sits in the middle.
Prospective buyers may get the 2019 Jimny, which runs on 15-inch alloy wheels, in either monotone or two-tone variants. Monotone shade options include Metallic Silky Silver, Pearl Bluish Black, Solid Jungle Green, Solid Medium Grey, and Superior White. Meanwhile, two-tone choices include Metalllic Brisk Blue, Metallic Chiffon White, or Solid Kinetic Yellow.
Inside, one will find a black interior that uses a lot of hard plastics, and the overall look is rugged and utilitarian. The idea is to make driving as easy and as straightforward as possible, with very little inside to distract the person behind the wheels. The instrument panel sports a horizontal design, while the meter cluster and center console panels form vertical lines. This layout helps the driver determine the angle of the SUV when traversing rough terrains.
The all-new Jimny comes with a leather-clad steering wheel. Behind it, the meter cluster has an orange backlight and features a hairline finished garnish. At the center of the instrument panel is a nine-inch capacitative touchscreen infotainment system, which not only serves as interface for the car's multimedia features but also for its offline Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system and off-road functions, including clinometer, compass, altimeter, and barometer in the GLX trim. Below the multimedia screen are airconditioning vents and controls. The GLX variant features automatic climate control. The bottom of the panel's center are easy-to-reach controls and a multipurpose center console tray.
Between the driver and the front passenger seat is a floor console tray to hold more things such as wallet, mobile phone, and water bottles. The Jimny has a seating capacity of four persons. The seats come wrapped in fabric in all trims. The front seats are provided with seat bolsters for better hip support, while the shoulder area is flat so that the driver's body can shift comfortably as the car tilts when running on off-road tracks. The front seats are also narrower at the shoulder area so that the driver can look behind with nothing blocking his view. The front passenger eat features a walk-in mechanism.
The front passenger seat features a walk-in mechanism, while the rear seat is 50:50-split single-folding to aid in achieving a flexible cargo space. Behind the rear seats is an 85-liter cargo space, which can be increased to 377 liters with the rear seat folded.