You’ve been seduced by the images of the 2019 Suzuki Jimny, now it’s time to understand a little more about next year’s must-have 4×4. Suzuki has released new information on the pint-sized SUV, to provide some substance to go with the undoubted style.
The Jimny can trace its roots back to the LJ10 of 1970: a small, but mighty 4×4 with terrier-like boundless energy and the ability to climb a hill like a mountain goat. Through subsequent revisions and generations, the little Suzuki developed a reputation for dependability and reliability, meaning there’s a lot resting on the square shoulders of the fourth-generation Jimny.
The one-and-only, small, lightweight 4WD vehicle, the Suzuki Jimny, on sale 2019
— Suzuki Press Office (@SuzukiPress) July 5, 2018
Has it got what it takes to carry the family name into a new decade? Let’s examine the evidence.
Based on looks alone, the new Jimny is a guaranteed winner. In common with the Ignis, the new Jimny tips its tiny hat to models of old, with elements inherited from Suzuki’s heritage. The round headlights, independent indicators, front grille and rear combination lights are all nods to the past.
There’s a delicious functionality to the design – everything is there to serve a purpose. The Suzuki Jimny doesn’t do needless trinkets or fluff. Take the flat clamshell bonnet, squared body, upright A-pillars and the shape of the driver- and passenger-side windows: all designed to enhance off-road visibility.
The drip rails on the roof edges prevent water ingress into the cabin, while the wheel arch extensions and side sill covers are there to protect the body. The rear lights are located on the bumper to contribute to a wider rear door opening.
Meanwhile, the tailgate-mounted spare wheel is so retro, it’s a wonder it isn’t listening to Showaddywaddy and giving you a call via a GPO 746 telephone. Look at the back of the new Jimny and you have to wonder how Land Rover could get the current Discovery so wrong.
Inside, the Suzuki Jimny majors on practicality and functionality. The instrument panel and surrounding parts are finished in a scratch- and stain-resistant grained finish, while the dials and switches are designed to be operated in off-road conditions and while wearing gloves.
The large instruments are clear and permanently illuminated to allow for clear viewing when driving in and out of shady conditions. A 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system is fitted to higher trim levels.
In the boot, Jimny owners will find 377 litres of luggage space – 53 litres more than the outgoing model – while the side-mounted square tailgate should make for ease of loading and the carrying of wide loads. Some models will feature plastic-coated rear seats and luggage floor – ideal for wet dogs and muddy boots.
The old 1.3-litre engine is replaced by a new and lighter 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol unit developing a little over 100hp at 6,000rpm and 96lb ft of torque at 4,00rpm. Two transmissions are available: a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic. Under the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), the manual Jimny emits 178g/km CO2, with the auto higher at 198g/km.
Top speed – as if it really matters in a Suzuki Jimny – is 90mph for the manual and 87mph for the automatic. The acceleration times haven’t been revealed, probably because the tester grew tired of waiting for the Jimny to hit 62mph.
Jimny loyalists rejoice: the new car inherits much of what made the old car such a willing off-road companion. Ladder frame? Check. Three off-road angles? Check. Three-link rigid axle suspension with coil springs and part-time 4WD with low-range transfer gear? Check.
A new x-member and two additional cross members have been added to increase torsional rigidity, while a 37 degrees approach angle, 28 degrees ramp break-over angle and 49 degrees departure angle will be a boon for off-road drivers.
If there’s one thing the Suzuki Jimny desperately needed, it’s a full suite of safety systems. The new Jimny features six airbags, hill hold control, hill descent control, ESP, a pedestrian injury mitigation body, dual sensor brake support, lane departure warning and weaving function alert.
The Jimny is also the first Suzuki to offer a traffic sign recognition system.
When, what and how much?
Predictably, Suzuki hasn’t released any pricing details, but we’d expect prices to start from around £13,000. This is the based on the fact that the Ignis starts from £9,999 and the Vitara from £15,999. That said, the strength of the Japanese yen could push this price up a little.
The 2019 Suzuki Jimny will make its public debut at the 2018 Paris motor show, before going on sale in early 2019. It’s obvious that you will want to buy one, so it all comes down to the choice of colour. Kinetic Yellow and Jungle Green should be popular.
- Length: 3,480mm (3,645mm to spare wheel cover)
- Width: 1,645mm
- Height: 1,725mm
- Wheelbase: 2,250mm
- Seats: 4
- Kerb weight: 1,090kg – 1,135kg
- NEDC Fuel economy (combined): 41.5mpg (manual)/37.7mpg (auto)