We love it. You love it. The new Jimny is sex on wheels. It’s a pocket rocket.
It’s not some sort of soft SUV monocoque hybrid. It’s a legit hardcore 4WD and the new model pays direct homage to the boxy, no-nonsense Zooks of old.
That’s why to its target market, it IS everything.
This is the first totally new Jimny in two decades, and the softer lines of the previous model have been done away with completely.
The new Jimny traces a direct linage to the Suzuki SJ Sierras that graced our offroad tracks and beaches through the 80s and 90s, and the earlier LJ Sierra that first trundled off the line back in 1970.
The Jimny exists in a class of very few competitors in the hardcore 4WD realm.
Value-wise, it’s head and shoulders ahead of the competition at half the price of a Jeep Wrangler, a third of the cost of a kitted out 70 Series LandCruiser, and perhaps a down payment on a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon.
WHY YOU’D BUY ONE
First up, you don’t look at buying a rig like this for its safety specs or onroad manners, although it doesn’t stack up terribly in either department, but more on that shortly.
You buy a Jimny to have fun. These things are fun to look at and so much fun to drive that it feels like it should be illegal.
As soon as you jump behind the wheel, the rig feels lithe and catlike. Like it can go anywhere. Over anything. Like there’s no chance of getting stuck.
We picked one up out of Sydney but knew that in order to give this thing a proper workout, we’d need to clock up some serious miles on the beach.
After a quick 1000km run up the east coast, we’d boarded the Noosa River ferry at Tewantin and were tearing up the beach from Teewah to Double Island Point and Rainbow Beach.
After chewing through well over 100km of sand, we can safely say that the Jimny laughs at any sort of sandy terrain. It goes straight through soft sand blows, over washouts, dips and chewed up heavily trafficked beach entries without blinking.
Moreover, it’s absolutely at home in the soft stuff, and the beach feels like its natural habitat. You’d have to be trying hard to get this thing stuck, and it’s so capable and lightweight that it just walks straight out of any sort of sticky terrain.
The only time that things felt a touch dicey was when navigating the Jimny’s boxy frame with its high centre of gravity over and around a steeply angled dune in order to avoid a rapidly filling in tidal pool.
The Jimny’s 1075kg kerb weight is a big factor that lends itself towards its offroad capability.
If you do manage to get the thing stuck, it just pops out of anything, doing away with the sort of in-depth recoveries that are part and parcel of heading offroad in heavier rigs.
The Jimny’s boxy frame sits astride a 2250mm wheelbase and measures up at 3645mm total.
It offers an impressive 210mm of ground clearance and its 37° approach, 28° rampover, and 49° departure angles are a big part of why it feels so unstoppable offroad.
The Jimny’s big point of difference against any other vehicle remotely in its price range is that its body sits astride a robust ladder frame, as opposed to the monocoque frames utilised for every other small SUV on the market.
The new Jimny is equipped with a three-link rigid axle suspension system and the axle housing has been beefed up some since the previous model.
Thankfully, the gimmicky low range dials and buttons that are du jour on most modern rigs are nowhere to be seen. You slip into 4H or 4L by reaching for a proper second gear shifter, as you should in a proper 4WD!
The Jimny’s cockpit is surprisingly spacious and comfortable. There’s ample headroom, fantastic vision aided by the rig’s ride height and generous side windows.
The front seats are comfortable and have a wide adjustment range. The interior is intentionally utilitarian, with rigid plastic surfaces that feel well made and are easy to keep clean.
The dash is well appointed and equipped with just the right amount of concessions to modernity, including a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment unit that’s equipped with Apple Carplay/ Android auto, reversing camera and it’s own sat-nav system.
Other modern comforts include the cruise control function and LED headlights with an automatic high beam function.
The Jimny’s rear houses an additional two passenger seats, as well as a limited 85L storage space.
However, the design team were well aware that most people won’t be travelling with more than two passengers, and the two back seats cleanly fold down to provide a flat-based storage area of almost 380L.
For reference, we travelled and camped out of the Jimny for two days, with two people sitting up front, with ample storage space for two swags, sleeping bags, a 50L icebox plus a few additional bags.
If you’re travelling solo, you can fold the front passenger seat all the way forward or lay it down and store bulky items like surfboards, fishing rods or additional camping gear within the vehicle.
UNDER THE BONNET
The Jimny is equipped with a multi point injected 1.5L four-cylinder petrol powerplant that outputs 75kW at 6,000rpm, and 130Nm torque at 4,000 revs.
The engine is matched to either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.
While you won’t be breaking any land speed records in this badboy, it’s got ample get up and go for zipping about town, dodging washouts on the beach and crawling up, down and over steep, rocky and rutted inclines and descents.
On the highway, it can cruise comfortably at 110km/h at around the 3,000-rev mark.
It’s claimed fuel consumption of 6.4L per 100km for the manual and 6.9L/100km for the auto felt pretty close to the mark after clocking up over 2,000km of combined highway, town and offroad driving.
Even when we spent a full day driving all sorts of terrain offroad, we were only averaging a little over 7L/100km.
It’s got a 40L fuel tank, which sounds small, but considering the thing runs on the smell of an oily rag, is ample for most purposes.
If you were looking at doing some serious long-range remote touring, you’d want to consider loading up a jerry can or two.
While the Jimny’s three-star ANCAP crash score might not be its biggest selling point, it’s fitted with six airbags and features autonomous emergency braking that’s controlled by camera/laser inputs.
The Jimny is eminently affordable. A proper fourby for the everyman. It was launched last year at the astonishingly reasonable price of $23,990 before onroad costs (that’s for the manual, with the automatic variant costing another $2K).
New buyers score a five-year warranty and capped price servicing every six months for the first five years of ownership.
When you take all of that into account, as well as the very reasonable initial outlay, the Jimny starts to sound very, very appealing.
Not only does the Jimny’s slick retro design look objectively great, it’s a joy to drive and performed admirably both offroad and on the highway.
The new Jimny scores two thumbs up from us. Expect to see plenty more Jimny coverage around here in the future.
Check out our quick music video of the new Jimny in action…