New Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki release details of retro-replacement Jimny

05 July 2018

SUZUKI has released the first details of its new Jimny, which will be a retro-replacement for the current car after 20 years.

Looking for all the world like a scaled-down version of the mighty Mercedes G-Wagen, the boxy newcomer will be a no-nonsense 4x4 with impressive off-road ability.

Resisting the temptation to emulate the current craze for swirling body shapes, the newcomer will aim to be the most practical vehicle of its type on the market.

It will also be one of the most affordable, which will be welcome news to those for whom it is a favourite second vehicle.

Whilst perhaps not the most comfortable or competent vehicle on tarmac for the daily commute or school run, it has few peers for the money in the rough stuff.

Arriving at a time when the trend towards leisure pursuits is scaling new heights, the Jimny is the perfect tool to reach territory that is out of reach to ordinary vehicles.

Despite its boxy toughness, the body uses relatively slender roof supports, which gives excellent all-round visibility.

There are small 15-inch wheels housed within purposeful blistered wheel arches for serious mud-plugging, with a large side-hinged tailgate that also carries a full-size spare wheel.

The same length as the current car, but wider and taller, it offers 375 litres of load space, which is an increase of 50 litres.

To emphasise its practicality, the boot floor and the backs of the rear seats are protected by plastic, although the rest of the interior becomes less utilitarian with new features that include a seven-inch touchscreen and latest-technology connectivity.

Power comes courtesy of a new 1.5-litre petrol engine with a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions.

There is no turbocharger for the four-cylinder unit, which generates 100bhp of power and 130Nm of torque, or pulling power.

As is so often the case, this larger-capacity engine is physically smaller and lighter than the current 1.3-litre unit, whilst offering a top speed of 90mph.

Economy is claimed to be 40mpg for the manual, and 38mpg for the automatic, with CO2 figures of 154g/km and 170g/km.

Power reaches the wheels in one of three ways, either to the front only, alternatively to all four, or finally via a low ratio transfer box for exceptionally tricky terrain.

Suzuki says that its designers have deliberately stuck to basics with the body shape, with short overhangs giving an approach angle of just 37 degrees, with a departure angle of 49 degrees.

In other words, the short vehicle can negotiate very steep inclines and narrow hollows that would render larger vehicles with greater body overhangs useless, which is especially good news for farmers.

It will be up to the job of carrying hay bales or collecting errant sheep from far flung places too, thanks to the use of tough conventional coil sprung suspension throughout.

Hill-hold descent and emergency braking systems are included, as are half a dozen airbags and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

Despite its shortness and bias towards off-road terrain, Suzuki says that it will be marginally better on tarmac too as a result of a stiffer body and new steering damper systems.

Although there is no news on likely prices at this early stage, it could weigh in at less than £15,000 when it arrives here next year.