For the last 40 years, Suzuki has been punting the idea of going “anywhere, anytime” in rugged – yet lightweight – 4×4-enabled vehicles. The Jimny is one such vehicle, launched in the 90’s for the off-road market, and now in its third generation. Having massive success globally (more than 3 million Jimny’s sold worldwide), Suzuki Centurion proudly showcases this little package of dynamite, and I was eager to see what the Jimny was all about by taking it through its paces at an off-roading site last month.
Although the Jimny isn’t much changed from its original appearance, some aspects of it have been refreshed and modernised (the grille most noticeably), and its current shape is still relevant and pleasing to the eye. The Jimny has a great, tall stance with a ground clearance of 190 mm, and a compact size that makes it ideal to run around town, navigate the traffic and – here’s the kicker – take your adventures off-road.
Off-roading is what the Jimny is famous for, and as I settle in the vehicle, I note the stark lack of techno-overload which is so prevalent in other vehicles these days: there is no infotainment system, and there are definitely not a hundred different knobs and buttons to decipher or distract. The dash is logically and solidly laid out with the necessities, a well-designed cluster which is large and easy to read at a glance, and the basic luxuries which are all in place: this includes electric windows, mirrors and power door locks, as well as power steering, aircon and high-power ABS braking. The cockpit, and cabin as a whole, it neat, ergonomically designed (with great little space-saving nooks and crannies for storage) and pleasant to be in, thanks to high-quality materials used.
Due to it’s high-stance, sitting in the driver’s seat gives a great sense of visibility all-round – the windows also feel large and make the interior feel and spacious. Despite the compact size, I am not squashed or uncomfortable, and have more than enough head and leg room. As I head out into the rough terrain, I crank up the 1.3 litre, 16-valve V/IT engine and set off. Pushing out 110 Nm torque, the Jimny is quick to heed my urging to accelerate. One thing truly stands out for me with the Jimny; the return to the original idea of off-roading and roughing-it, and really just tackling the great outdoors is what this vehicle is built for. It doesn’t soft-soap or sugar-coat the rougher terrain – it tackles it head on with remarkable agility and confidence, seeing me through patches of mud, grit and gravel, rocky patches and even the more slippery slopes in between. Switching to 4×4 mode at the touch of a button, I was able to choose 4×4 with high gear-ratios, or 4×4 with low gear-ratios depending on terrain. Throughout this entire experience, one thing remained constant: as the driver, I felt in total and complete control of the Jimny. Great feedback, great responsiveness and great agility really blew me away with this spritely little off-roader, and when I returned it, could honestly testify to being thoroughly impressed.
I was delighted to return to the basics of solid, reliable motoring with the Jimny. I find that sometimes the overwhelming amount of technological features can blind-side the buyer to the genuine quality of the vehicle. The Jimny provided me with a true sense of off-raod, leaving me feeling connected to the landscape I traversed, as well as the little vehicle that faced it. Suzuki’s famous quality, reliability and affordability is all rolled into one amazing little Jimny-package. The link to the superb Suzuki Centurion dealership
By Desh Bechan