The baby off-roader is ready to rock our world

The fourth-generation Suzuki Jimny has arrived, and as usual with the small off-roader, it’s packing plenty of might and muscle in such a small frame. The baby off-road machine gets plenty of new features, a lot of which have been thrown in to get fans of the model new reasons to get excited about what it has to offer. And it has a lot to offer. It may not be as powerful as other off-roaders in the market, but there’s something to be said for a Suzuki that has lasted this long and has gained somewhat of a cult following of its own. The fourth-gen Jimny is here, and it couldn’t have arrived soon enough.

2019 Suzuki Jimny Exterior

The design was one of the biggest flaws of the previous-generation Suzuki Jimmy.

The design was one of the biggest flaws of the previous-generation Suzuki Jimmy. While it was as an affordable go-anywhere off-roader, the last Jimny did not look the part. It looked too cute for its own good. Fortunately, Suzuki wisened up to the flaw and went back to its roots. Alas, the fourth-generation Jimny now looks like it’s ready to roll up its sleeves and get down and dirty once again.

First things first, the new Suzuki Jimny will still be developed with a body-on-frame design with a ladder-frame chassis and beam axles in the front and rear. We talked about the advantages of having a body-on-frame design, particularly when it comes to SUVs, pickups, and off-road vehicles. This design is generally preferred for aggressive off-roading, in large part because it’s easier to modify a vehicle’s suspension qualities to make room for additional wheel travel or larger tires and wheels.

2019 Suzuki Jimny
- image 786043
At first glance, you’ll probably notice a few styling elements culled from other models.

At first glance, you’ll probably notice a few styling elements culled from other models. There’s a little bit of the Toyota FJ Cruiser in there. It has the profile of the G-Wagen, too, albeit wrapped in a miniaturized package. Squint long enough, and you might even confuse it for a Hummer. The truth is, the Jimny’s styling sits somewhere in the middle of all that off-road machismo. The round LED headlamps are nods to the first- and second-generation models. The same can be said for the front grille with the vertical slats and the clamshell hood with the horizontal slit-like openings. The upright profile suggests a no-nonsense approach to the outdoors, something that the previous-generation version lacked in spades. The new Jimny may look “cute” in terms of its overall size — it roughly has the same length and width as the Citroen C1 and weighs just 1,110 kilos (2,447 pounds) — but its appearance isn’t meant to elicit “oohs” and “ahhs.”

Suzuki’s new baby off-roader is all business, something you’ll greatly appreciate once you find yourselves off the beaten path.

2019 Suzuki Jimny Interior

2019 Suzuki Jimny
- image 786042
There’s a straightforward, no-frills quality to it that looks endearing

Given its size, the Suzuki Jimny’s interior is what you’d expect it to be. There’s a straightforward, no-frills quality to it that looks endearing. You’re not going to get world-class comfort from it, but that’s not the point here. The point here is that everything was designed to be functional, from the scratch and stain resistant dashboard and instrument panel to the toggles, buttons, and switches, and right down to the 7-inch infotainment display that’s available on higher trim models. The materials aren’t top-quality, but you can expect that from a vehicle that costs less than $20,000. Temper your expectations on what the interior of the Jimny has, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised, largely because there really is more to it than meets the eye.

In terms of interior space, the fourth-generation Jimny actually delivers on this front, at least relative to how much space was offered in the previous model. For the new off-roader, there are 13.3 cubic feet of space of space available when the rear seats are folded. It may not sound like much compared to bigger SUVs, but that figure actually represents an improvement of 1.9 cubic feet of space compared to its predecessor.

2019 Suzuki Jimny Interior
- image 784118

Take your battles where you know you can win them. That seems to be the theme of the fourth-generation Jimny’s interior. For what that’s worth, I’d say Suzuki did a great job in making the most of what it could do.

2019 Suzuki Jimny Drivetrain

2019 Suzuki Jimny Drivetrain
- image 784117
The Suzuki Jimny is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 100 horsepower and 96 pound-feet of torque

On the surface, the Suzuki Jimny is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 100 horsepower and 96 pound-feet of torque. The engine can either be mated to a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission and while Suzuki didn’t divulge any acceleration times — it probably won’t need to — the Jimny can hit a top speed of 90 mph with the five-speed manual and 87 mph with the four-speed auto box. Those are decent numbers, but it’s not anything to write home about.

That’s because, like most off-roaders, the Jimny is more than just its power and speed. Much, much more. Take, for example, its drive settings. There are options available here, specifically the choice between front-wheel-drive in normal operating circumstances or the four-wheel-drive “4H” setting with a high gear and the “4L” setting with the low gear. The latter can be particularly useful in times where you need better traction out of your ride. Perhaps when you’re venturing into roads less traveled?

2019 Suzuki Jimny
- image 786041
The Jimny’s approach angle is 37 degrees while the departure angle is 49 degrees

If you are in that mood, you’ll be pleased to know that the Jimny’s approach angle is 37 degrees while the departure angle is 49 degrees. Ground clearance is at 210 mm (8.2 inches), a pretty good number considering the roads the SUV is going to venture into. The last thing you want is to have rocks and whatever obstacles scraping the bumpers and underbody of your Jimny.

Traction control is also a useful feature in the Jimny, courtesy of the brake LSD traction control. This useful feature is designed to automatically brake the slipping wheels in the event two wheels diagonal from each other lose grip over slippery surfaces. In case this happens, the system redistributes torque to the two other wheels, ensuring that the off-roader has enough of it to get out of the slippery situation.

On the safety front, the Jimny comes with a slate of high-tech features like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning combined with "Weaving Alert," and traffic sign detection. It’s a little surprising for the vehicle to have these safety features on hand, but that’s what the fourth-generation Jimny is turning out to be. It’s a box full of surprises.

2019 Suzuki Jimny Prices

2019 Suzuki Jimny
- image 786039

There’s no word on how much the new Jimny is going to cost, but the third-gen version started at around £13,000. That converts to about $17,200 based on current exchange rates. I don’t know about you, but if thinking that if you’re looking for a small and affordable SUV that can hit the trails with the best of ‘em, the Jimny is as good a choice as any.

Unfortunately, none of it matters for us here in the U.S. Suzuki doesn’t sell its cars in this land of ours. But hey, there’s no stopping us from admiring this little-off-roader-that-could from a distance, right?

2019 Suzuki Jimny Competition

Jeep Wrangler

2018 Jeep Wrangler Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 748541

On the safety front, the Jimny comes with a slate of high-tech features like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning combined with "Weaving Alert," and traffic sign detection. It’s a little surprising for the vehicle to have these safety features on hand, but that’s what the fourth-generation Jimny is turning out to be. It’s a box full of surprises.

There’s no word on how much the new Jimny is going to cost, but the third-gen version started at around £13,000. That converts to about $17,200 based on current exchange rates. I don’t know about you, but if thinking that if you’re looking for a small and affordable SUV that can hit the trails with the best of ‘em, the Jimny is as good a choice as any.

Ok, so the new Suzuki Jimny isn’t headed to the U.S. Bummer, right? Well, there is good news. If you think about it, we don’t need the Jimny because we have one of our own in the form of the Jeep Wrangler. Everything that makes the Suzuki Jimny appealing, the Jeep Wrangler has, too. More importantly, the Wrangler sits in a class above the Jimny. It’s not fair to the latter, but that’s how the game works here in America. Take the powertrain, for example. The Wrangler JL comes with three different engine options, beginning with a base 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit that puts out 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can opt for the upper tier version, which comes with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that’s good for at least 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The Wrangler also boasts of the same drive variety, packaged in a way that allows four rear-wheel drive, neutral, 4WD high-range, and 4WD low-range. Everything about the new Jeep Wrangler is better than Suzuki Jimny. Unfortunately, that also translates to having a higher price tag. The base Wrangler JL starts at around $24,000. Opt for more potent versions, and you could be looking at a price tag approaching $50,000.

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

Ford Bronco

2020 Ford Bronco Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 705392

The resurrected Ford Bronco isn’t back because of nostalgia. It’s back because it wants to take names. The Bronco returns with the purest of intentions, including a real, no-compromise, body-on-frame 4x4 built that will allow it to take on some of the toughest terrains it can find. It will also get features like solid front and rear axles, and an "Air Roof." More importantly, the returning Bronco is returning with a lot of power on its hands. There are no exact details yet on what engine it’s going to have, but don’t be surprised if it gets an EcoBoost mill with somewhere around 325 horsepower on tap, to go with torque levels approaching 400 pound-feet. The Bronco will also come with its own sophisticated 4WD system and an independent suspension system, ensuring that it can live up to the off-roading standards that are attached to its name.

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Ford Bronco

Conclusion

2019 Suzuki Jimny
- image 786031

I’m not going to pretend that the Suzuki Jimny is a ho-hum ride because it’s not. The fourth-generation model looks awesome, but more importantly, it was developed with a purpose in mind. Suzuki tried to get too cute with the previous iteration, and while it did have its share of fans, it didn’t exude the kind of go-getter vibe you normally want out of a go-anywhere ride. The new model already does that more than its predecessor ever did. And if its performance lives up to its looks, then this SUV could really go places, both literally and figuratively.

  • Leave it
    • * Not the most powerful off-roader in the market
    • * Not available in the U.S.
    • * Plenty of pre-conceived hang-ups on the brand

Further reading

no article
- image 778553

Read more Suzuki news.

no article
- image 780601

Read more Paris Auto Show news.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: