By Jimininity! Big-hearted Suzy baby all ready to rock

  • All new, higher, and with more goodies
  • You don’t need to go big to go off-road
  • New, more efficient, engines and ‘boxes
2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress
2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – The 2018, ”all-new” Suzuki Jimny is now in showrooms and all ready for the daily commute or some serious off-roading on the back trails.

The petite 4×4’s are the latest versions of the now two-decades old fun vehicles and, the automaker says, ”already have an international Good Design Award”.

The 2018 Suzuki Jimny will be offered in South Africa as GA and GLX with a choice of five-speed manual our four-speed auto and, Suzuki says. ”a host of made-for-adventure accessories”. Not negotiable, however, is an AllGrip Pro driver-shifting, 4×2/4×4/4×4 low-range transfer in a rigid ladder-frame chassis.

2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress
2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress

Suzuki Auto SA’s André Venter, divisional head for sales and marketing, told The Corner: “The new Jimny not only shares many of the design cues of its forebears – the LJ, SJ and Jimny – but also their engineering ethos of providing a no-compromise, off-road capable, vehicle accessible to everybody.

“The philosophy of building a compact but  capable on/off-roader at an affordable price is now more-needed than ever before.”

2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress
2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress

The latest Jimny, its maker says for the benefit of Jimny experts, has the same upturned front fenders, round headlights and round orange indicators of the LJ Series and the side slits in the clamshell bonnet of the SJ Series. The upright grille is reminiscent of the previous generation’s Jimny (1998-2018) and the SJ.

The ”retro-modern” design has won a Good Design award in the US.

READ MORE Suzuki features on Carman’s Corner

The upright roof pillars to carry more weight – think roof rack, rooftop tent and rollover. All-round rain gutters mean easy mounting of a rack.

”Angled front / rear bumpers,” Suzuki says, ”not only keep them off rocks and shrubs and increased approach and departure angles. The front bumper design also exposes more tyre tread to benefit ascending a rocky trail.

2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress
2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress

The spare wheel is mounted on the rear door (who wants the hassle of unloading the boot to get to the spare?).

Moulded bumpers and wheel-arches protect bodywork; the square wheel-arches allow greater wheel articulation and access to the tyre valve – think deep sand…

…AND IN THE CABIN

The exterior practical/retro is also used in the cabin. The instrument cluster, facia, part-exposed door panels and boot also reflect the near half-century history while  while incorporating feedback from earlier owners.

Three-layer facia, grab bar, and cellphone tray on the middle level and ”glovebox” (why is it still called that, we wonder?) on the lower level and semi-exposed body-coloured metal sections – all easy to clean, robust and, Suzuki says, ”they fit into the overall angular style of the new Jimny.”

2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress
2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress

Tachometer and speedo are in separate square binnacles, each permanently illuminated, with ”brush” metal very apparent. The door grabs double as closers and rough-road support, the switches are big enough to use while wearing gloves (ah, that’s why there’s a ”glove box”, then…

”Specs vary from model to model,” the automaker says, ”and accessories may vary, but every new Jimny has the same mechanicals mounted on a ladder frame which also carries rigid wheel axles.

BETTER RUBBER MOUNTS FOR SHELL

The backbone of the new Jimny’s capabilities is the ladder frame chassis. In the new model, Suzuki’s engineers have added a patented cross member, the Suzuki X-member, between the two rigid axles which, Suzuki says, ”greatly improve serious off-road capability.

The shell sits on eight rubber mounts, described as ”vertically softer and horizontally harder”.

The axle system also helps to dampen the typical off-roader’s nosedive, such as when cresting a sand dune.

2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress
2019 SUZUKI JIMNY: 20 years on from the original and still one of the best off-roaders. Image: Suzuki SA / Motorpress

Which brings us to the all-wheel drive…  it  replaces the push-button selection between two high, four high and all-wheel low-range with a shift lever directly connected to the transfer gear: two high and four high can be swopped at up to 100km/h – something made famous years ago by the Mitsubish Pajero.

The whole system has an extra-power mode, which kicks in below 30km/h in low-range ”for the best-possible traction” and gradient-descent auto-braking.

The ’18 Jimny has approach / departure angles of 37 and 49 degrees, each a few degrees more than its predecessor, and extra degree of chassis breakover. Ground clearance is 210mm, 20 mm more than the previous model.

MORE FUEL EFFICIENT

Motive power comes from a new 1.5-litre petrol engine rated at 75kW (at 6000rpm) and 130Nm at 4000rpm, helped by a slightly higher compression ratio (10.0:1) and improved thermal efficiency.

A corporate fuel-consumption test returned, Suzuki says, 6.3 litres for the manual models and 6.8 litres for the automatic model – down from the previous 7.2 and 7.8 – manual v. auto.

All versions will have aicon, power-assisted steering, and the selectable all-wheel drive. The more-expensive GLX adds auto aircon, power windows and external mirrors, projector headlights, remote locking and cruise control.

As is becoming more frequent in new models the GLX also has Suzuki’s versions of a smartphone display/audio with a 19cm screen, all ready for Android Auto, Apple Carplay and MirrorLink integration. Also present are a USB connector, SD-card slot and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity – all of which can be controlled from the leather-clad steering-wheel.

SPECIAL STUFF FOR THE BOOT

Loadwise, the rear seat can be folded flat. Front occupants have 30mm more legroom, the steering-wheel has more vertical adjustment and the rear riders will note 40mm more legroom and a higher hip point.

The boot also hasl utility hooks and screw holes for additional hooks, (available from Suzuki dealers). Depending on model,  the rear seats can fold individually, theres an additional removable luggage box and toolbox under the ‘boot floor, and a 12V socket for, for instance, a camping fridge.

area floor and Suzuki has added an extra 12V socket to power items such as a camping fridge.

Here’s the equipment levels for the two grades of Jimny:

The manual model with GA specification level has:

  • Air conditioning
  • Power-assisted steering
  • Immobiliser
  • ABS brakes, BAS and IsoFix child-seat anchors
  • Dual front crash bags
  • AllGrip Pro AWD with low range
  • Hill-hold and gradient descent control
  • 15” steel wheel rims, full-size spare wheel
  • Double DIN radio preparation with two speakers and antenna

The GLX is available with either manual or auto gearbox and:

  • Colour-coded door releases, painted exterior mirrors
  • Power windows and mirrors
  • Auto climate control
  • 15” alloy rims
  • Remote central locking
  • Auto LED projector headlights
  • Front fog lights
  • Touch-screen infotainment system
  • Multi-function leather-clad steering-wheel
  • Cruise control
  • 12V socket in boot
  • 50:50 folding rear seat
  • Luggage-area box

2018 Suzuki Jimny prices in South Africa

1.5 4×4 GA manual: (two-year/60 000km service plan) – R264 900
1.5 4×4 GLX (four-year/60 000km service plan) – R299  900
1.5 4×4 GLX a/t (four-year/60 000 km service plan)  R319  900

Check with your salespersonmanladyother which of a wide range of other accessories that might suit your choice of lifestyle.

Like all Suzuki models, the Jimny is priced to be accessible to as many people as possible. The GLX model is standard with a four-year or 60 000km service plan and the GA with a two-year of 30 000km service plan.

That all on top of a base five-year or 200 000km mechanical warranty.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE NEW SUZUKI JIMNY HERE

 

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