Certainly one of the most – if not THE most – eagerly anticipated new vehicles of 2019, the fourth-generation Suzuki Jimny has officially gone on sale in Australia with an ultra-keen $23,990 starting price.
That represents a $3000 price rise relative to its predecessor, which notched up an incredible 20-year production run before the arrival of the all-new Jimny.
However, with the new three-door, four-seat 4x4 boasting huge increases in standard equipment, refinement and off-road capability, the value-for-money equation is still definitely tipped in the consumer’s favour.
All colours except grey attract a $500 upcharge
Technically, it really has no direct rivals in its small SUV category - perhaps the new SsangYong Tivoli comes closest, or the Subaru XV. But really, the Jimny - which is more like a miniaturised Jeep Wrangler - is in a class of one.
It might only be available in a single grade for now – only premium paint and a $2000 automatic transmission are optional – but Suzuki’s Australian operation reckons it’s the only specification you’ll need.
The cabin is still as compact as ever, but in addition to retro interior styling that’s a tasteful homage to Jimnys of old, there are now modern features like a 7-inch colour infotainment system, satellite navigation, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, cruise control, automatic headlights, single-zone climate control and a reversing camera. It's a dramatic step up from the bare-bones car it replaces.
Safety equipment has also seen a big boost, with side and curtain airbags introduced for the first time, along with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and auto high-beam.
Nevertheless, its crash safety has been assessed as sub-par by ANCAP, which assigned the Jimny a three-star rating this week.
Under the skin, Suzuki sticks to the Jimny’s established formula of mechanical simplicity. Dimensionally, it measures 30mm shorter than before, but it's 45mm wider and 20mm taller. There’s slightly more luggage space as a result, but with 85 litres of seats-up capacity and 377 litres with the back seats folded down, the Jimny isn’t built to carry lots of people and cargo at the same time.
Torsional rigidity is now 1.5 times higher than previously, thanks to a ladder frame chassis with more cross-bracing, and the 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine – the only powertrain on offer – produces a modest 75kW and 130Nm; an increase of 12.5kW and 20Nm on the 1.3-litre engine that powered the outgoing model.
A six-speed manual is standard, while a four-speed automatic can be optioned for $2000. Like its predecessor, the 2019 Jimny puts power to the ground via a selectable 4WD driveline, with RWD and 4WD high-range and a low-range 4WD mode for tricky offroading duty, all controlled via a traditional transfer case selector lever on the centre tunnel.
The suspension continues to be an ultra-rugged dual live axle arrangement, chosen for its ability to conquer trails and its durability. Coil springs feature at front and rear, with separate shock absorbers.
Fuel consumption drops to a claimed 6.4L/100km in the manual and 6.9L/100km in the automatic, reductions of 0.7L/100km and 0.5L/100km respectively on the combined fuel economy cycle.
Stay tuned for our full review!
- Suzuki Jimny manual - $23,990
- Suzuki Jimny automatic - $25,990
- Premium paint single-tone - $500
- Premium paint two-tone - $1250
Note: premium paint charge applies to all colours except Medium Gray