Suzuki’s 2019 Jimny

22 November 2018

SUZUKI has announced that its new Jimny, which is one of the most affordable small 4x4 SUVs, is due to arrive here in January costing from £15,500.

That will be for the entry-level SZ4 version rising to £18,000 for the SZ5 with manual transmission and £19,000 with automatic transmission.

The newcomer retains its traditional sturdy ladder-frame chassis for optimum off-road performance, with rigidity now one and a half times greater than the current car.

The vehicle will be 30mm shorter, 45mm wider and 20mm higher than currently, with selectable four-wheel drive fitted as standard.

Dual sensor brake support, hill descent control, lane departure warning,  six airbags and high beam assist are all fitted as standard. The SZ5 grade also gets LED headlights.

Nonetheless the SZ4 will come with air conditioning, cruise control, dual sensor brake support, CD player with DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and front foglamps.

The SZ5 adds 15-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, climate control, navigation system with Smartphone Link, and heated front seats.

Metallic paint is a £485 option with dual tone metallic paint available as a £650 option.

All models will be powered by a new 1.5-litre four cylinder petrol engine generating 100bhp of power.

Looking 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.

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.

It offers 375 litres of load space, which is an increase of 50 litres, and to emphasise its practicality, the boot floor and the backs of the rear seats are protected by plastic.

However, 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 Suzuki’s new 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 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.

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

A global success of gargantuan proportions, the Jimny has attracted more than 2.8 million buyers worldwide.