Our Impressions Of 2019 Suzuki Jimny: True Hard-core Off-road Vehicle
The Suzuki Jimny is a unique model. First it was introduced in 1970. Only three generations were released until 2018, with the latest of them produced for 20 years!
Throughout its history, the Suzuki Jimny has been a true uncompromising off roader, a compact body-on-frame vehicle with solid axles and a transfer case. Recently the new fourth-generation model has arrived and is worth paying attention to.
Creating a new Jimny, Suzuki did not yield to the temptation to increase its size. The wheelbase remained unchanged (2,250 mm), but the new Jimny became even more compact.
The length decreased by 50 mm (3,645 mm) due to less deep bumpers and smaller body overhangs The Jimny is 45 mm wider (1,645 mm) and 50 mm higher (1,720 mm). These minimal modifications made the baby SUV a little more spacious in the cabin. The new vehicle is designed in the second-generation model style (known as the Suzuki Samurai in some markets).
Produced since 1998, the third-generation Jimny had no modern interior even after upgrades. It missed a climate control, a multimedia system with a color screen, a mirror in the sun visor. There were also unusual decisions, such as simultaneous heating of front chairs by means of a single button.
The interior of the new Suzuki Jimny is up-to-date: a handy climate control, a touchscreen multimedia, more comfortable front seats with better developed lateral support and removable covers. Seat heating is switched on separately now, and each sun visor received a mirror.
The trunk has become smaller – 85 liters. For comparison: the third-generation car had a 113-liters trunk. But it is 377 liters now with the rear seats folded (grew by 53 liters). With folded seat backs, a flat cargo area becomes available.
Suzuki Jimny off the road
The philosophy of the model remains unchanged: the Jimny has become more all-terrain!
It got a new reinforced frame, which is body-colored and painted with anti-corrosion paint. Axles and running gear elements are also reinforced.
This is still a body-on-frame vehicle, with rigid connection of the front axle without a central differential, like that of the predecessors. You can use all-wheel drive only off road and on a slippery surface. There is still no rear differential lock. The function of rear and front locks is performed by electronics which brakes the hanging wheel, thus the torque is transmitted to the wheel which is in contact with the road.
The fourth Jimny still has a transfer case, but with changed control. Now the downshift is switched by the lever like of the first Jimnies, that is more reliable.
One of the most important features for off-road vehicles is ground clearance. The previous generation model had the scarce 190-mm clearance. The clearance of the latest Jimny is increased to 210 mm, that is better for a standard off roader. The wheels are the same 15-inch ones, but instead of 205/70 tires they use 195/80 with the outer radius enlarged by 24 mm.
Suzuki engineers could preserve the model’s high geometric patency. The approach angle of the third-generation vehicle is 34 degrees, on the new Jimny it is 37 degrees. The departure angles are 46 and 49 degrees respectively. The track increased by 45 mm.
One of the major changes is a new engine. It remains petrol aspirated, but is more powerful and economical. It is the 1.5-liter 102-hp one (+17 hp) with 130 Nm of torque (110 Nm before). The SUV has become considerably faster, and still likes revolves. With a quiet ride in a mixed cycle, the fuel consumption is just 6 liters per 100 km. With an active drive the consumption is below 9 l/100 km.
The suspension has become softer, but with the active drive there are rolls when cornering. Thanks to the use of electric power steering and a steering damper, the new Jimny is much better controlled. It misses only the sharpness of the steering wheel.