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Wednesday, 22 May 2019
THE new kid on the block in the world of 4x4s is a pocket rocket of a vehicle that first saw the light of day nearly half a century ago now.
As one might expect, this week’s drive — the 2019 all-new Suzuki Jimny — is a far more sophisticated version of the tough little customer first launched in 1970.
Yet in a triumph of design and engineering, the new Jimny retains all the character and charisma that made it a global bestseller.
This tiny 4x4 has literally sold in its millions — 2,854,000 worldwide since beginning production — so any new version naturally had a lot to live up to.
But I can report that though now kitted out with all the paraphernalia of any modern vehicle, the new Jimny is as feisty and fun to drive as it ever was.
It will not be everyone’s cup of tea but in a world of cars that is increasingly bland design-wise, the new Jimny demonstrates that individuality is still very much alive.
I enjoyed my time with the Jimny on country and major roads and hope to write a column at a later date on some off-roading in the 4x4.
In the meantime, a little history. The original Jimny made a huge impression on the four-wheel drive market, which in 1970 consisted of only large vehicles.
The idea of the Jimny series was to develop a four-wheel-drive
mini-car that could take on rough roads and go to places where regular cars could not.
The all-new Jimny, which has been on sale here since January, keeps its traditional ladder-frame chassis for the best off-road performance. So whichever way you look at it the Jimny is still a tough cookie. The new version is 30mm shorter in overall length, 45mm wider and 20mm higher than the previous model.
This technically advanced Jimny for 21st century driving — it comes in SZ4 or SZ5 model grades — is available with features you would expect in 2019.
Suzuki’s Allgrip Pro selectable four-wheel drive is fitted as standard.
Dual sensor brake support, hill descent control, lane departure warning, six airbags, and high beam assist are all fitted as standard and the SZ5 grade features LED headlights as standard.
You do not miss out on features you would expect to find in any new car today. For the SZ4, these include air conditioning, cruise control, dual sensor brake support, a CD player (three cheers!) with DAB radio, plus Bluetooth connectivity and front fog lights.
The SZ5 adds 15in alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, climate control, navigation system with Smartphone Link, and heated front seats.
Six body colours are available including a new colour developed exclusively for the new Jimny — a high-visibility “Kinetic Yellow” designed to stand out in bad weather or when in use on rough ground work sites.
Despite the shorter overall length, there is more space inside for the driver and passengers.
A Bluetooth-compatible Smartphone Linkage Display Audio unit with a seven-inch infrared touchscreen is fitted on the SZ5 model.
The front seats have greater adjustment and folding the rear seats can expand the rear luggage space.
So, a great looking little vehicle and so different from anything on the road today. I can see no reason why this new 2019 version of the Jimny should not go on to become a bestseller like its predecessors.
All-new Suzuki Jimny
Prices (on-the-road) from £15,499 to £18,999
• Most technically advanced Jimny model yet
• SZ5 grade has LED headlights as standard
• Two model grades: SZ4 and SZ5.
• SZ4 includes air conditioning, cruise control, CD player with DAB Radio, Bluetooth connectivity
• SZ5 includes 15in alloys, rear privacy glass, Climate Control, Navigation system with Smartphone Link, heated front seats.
• Powered by new 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine
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