Suzuki Jimny 1.5 Standard Two-Tone Review
Go Anywhere In A Jimny

clifford chow
12 Sep 2019
 

The many design cues, like its vertically slotted front grille, round headlamps (LEDs this time), upright windshield, and even little details like two dimples at the base of the ‘A’ pillar, a nod to the vents cut into the side of the bonnet of the SJ 410, are genuinely pleasing touches.

I could not stop smiling when I first got into the new Jimny. Suzuki’s fourth generation baby SUV pays homage to their generation one and two cars, with its own take on the no-nonsense styling taken from the original cars. 

While Suzuki had gone on another design direction with the third generation Jimny, the modern styling proved to be popular equally with those who were keen on buying an affordable true off-roader, as-well-as those who simply wanted a chic-looking personal car.

The Jimny has always been built as a proper off-roader, with its rigid ladder chassis, and body-on-frame construction. We are glad that even when most present day offerings, are unibody, Suzuki had stuck to their guns with the Jimny, going body-on-frame; and truth to be told, what a white space they have found for themselves!

The many design cues, like its vertically slotted front grille, round headlamps (LEDs this time), upright windshield, and even little details like two dimples at the base of the ‘A’ pillar, a nod to the vents cut into the side of the bonnet of the SJ 410, are genuinely pleasing touches.

Doing away with the coloured bumpers of the previous car, the new Jimny now features a robust set of black ones, which I feel are the correct way to go, since this car will likely in its lifespan take quite a good rough and tumble. 

Inside

The retro-themed design does not only stop with the exterior. Suzuki designers have also taken a (big) leaf from the SJ 410, with the new Jimny featuring a chunky-squarish instrument cluster; with even the dials retaining their orange markings. Its centre stack, with its box-like high-mounted infotainment unit, also bears a strong resemblance to the boxed-up stack of the SJ.

While the interior may give a nod to the past, quality-wise, the plastic bits feel robust. Its three-spoke steering wheel, which carries on it switches for cruise control, audio and mobile functions, is lifted right out of the Swift hatchback.

While its fabric front seats are comfortable and supportive, rear seats are not ideal for long journeys, though legroom is quite decent. After all, the Jimny is after all a personal car, and I would not complain. 

With its tail lamps sited within the rear bumper, Suzuki has also made the most of the boot aperture, which measures over a meter across and 850mm in height. With the rear seats deployed, you get a paltry 85 litres, which can perhaps hold grocery shopping for two. There is also a luggage box under the boot floor, which adds a little more flexibility. With both rear seats folded, cargo room at 830 litres is practical. We also like that Suzuki had included a hard-wearing loading area.

The Drive

For Singapore, the Jimny is powered by a lightweight 1.5 litre K15B engine, good for 100bhp and 130Nm. Delivery of drive to the wheels is through a 4-speed automatic… yes... proven, and reduces gear hunting when going off the beaten path.

No prizes for guessing that the Jimny is not a quick car, but there is an old-school charm of how the natural-breathing engine works through the gears, building torque as the revs rise; then sloshing to the next gear. There is a slight mechanical whine coming from the gearbox as you accelerate, which adds to the experiential magic of driving this tiny car.

Ride quality is actually decently good, with sufficient damping from the suspension; though going through multiple humps can be quite an unpleasant experience. Those 15” rims carry 198/80 tyres with necessary amounts of sidewall for applications off the tarmac, and they do work decently well on-road. Steering feel is adequate, but with those chubby tyres, do not expect road-car type sensitivity.

There is however a little bit of wind noise at higher speeds, thanks to the upright windshield. I would have liked that the Jimny could brake a little better too. The disk-drum combination needs a little working on, to stop the car.

Improvements made to the ladder chassis, in the form of an “X-member” located after the transmission, and two additional cross members, reduces flex. Coupled with tougher axle housings, which the small car manufacturer says is 30% stronger, ensures that the Jimny is even more capable as an off-roader than before. Like its predecessors, the Jimny can be switched between 2H, 4H and 4L modes, to suit conditions.

While there is an old-school charm about the Jimny, it is loaded with important modern safety nets like Dual Brake Sensor Support (BSBS), which relies on a camera and laser sensor to monitor the path the car is taking, and is able to automatically brake in the event of a collision risk. Features like its Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), ensures that the Jimny stays in control, when wheel slippage is detected.

Our Thoughts

The Jimny is a handsomely-packaged small car, and a very special one in being able to do what it can do. There are also heaps of aftermarket parts readily available for those who wish to do a little more personalisation to their ride. 

If you are seeking a car-like experience, or something quicker, perhaps you are looking at the wrong car. However if you are someone who can appreciate the Jimny for all that it is capable of, I believe that ownership definitely will be rewarding.

In Summary

We Like

Beautifully penned, Affordable-real offroading ability, Robust interior

We Don't

Brakes could be a little better, Wind noise

Verdict

Cheeky, bold, larger-than-life personality, and heaps of fun to be in, especially if you do like going off the beaten path

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SGD 108,800 (10 Oct 2019)

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Engine

Engine Capacity 1462cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 100bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 130Nm @ 4000rpm
Power to Weight 90.1 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 140s (0-100 km/h)
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 4 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type SUV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(3480 x 1645 x 1725) mm
Wheelbase 2250 mm
Turning Circle 9.8 metres
Kerb Weight 1110 kg

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Discs
Brakes (Rear) Drums