Marcus De Guzman / Marcus De Guzman, Kelvin Christian Go | 16 November 2018 17:00
What is driving Suzuki Jimny in 2019?
Now it's no secret that Suzuki is making a serious buzz with Jimmy in the automotive industry in 2019. It was a recent closed international car show in 2018 (PIMS). The Suzuki mini 4×4 proved to be an umbrella show and immediately attracted fans, 4×4 fans and new car buyers.
To further enhance the taste of the motoring public, Suzuki Philippine has decided to have a new mini 4×4 for a test drive at this year's autofocus in front of the car showroom.
Given the opportunity to actually test one before officially arriving for some time next year, I jumped to see Jimny as close as possible to trying to drive.
Let's start with the most obvious (and most obvious) feature of Jimny, which is an exclusive exterior. It says cute or retromodern, Suzuki clearly knew what they are doing when they reprocess their iconic 4×4. Soon they are vague and rounded shapes of old, because in 2019 Jimny presents sharp angles and a clear profile.
The signature five-speed grill and circular headlights remain and are accompanied by a stylish front bumper. Meanwhile, the fender mudguards together with the rear-mounted spare wheel support provide a robust spell. Vertical rear lights are no longer available because they have been replaced by horizontal rear lights mounted on the rear bumper itself. Also worth mentioning are 15-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in 195/80 / R15 tires.
Overall, Jimny's new look is much younger and is pleasing to his eyes. It fits with the 4x4s, while still incorporating modern design touches of the present. We will not be surprised if this particular Jimny's proposal will become an instant classic in the near future.
Say to Jimny and you seem to have been transported back in time – not that it was a bad thing. In fact, the new cab is a significant improvement over the old design. Just like its exterior, the interior is a mix of old and new.
If the previous generation had a fairly dull dashboard, the new generation 4×4 has more features. Immediate greetings to the driver are retro-style gauges, which are perhaps one of my favorite parts of the cabin. Sitting in the dashboard is a state-of-the-art information system with a touch screen, which can be accompanied by either automatic climate control or a manual air conditioning system. Then there is the old grip handle for the front passenger, which not only looks on the part but also safer to ride through roads that are not loaded.
As we are already in Jimny's interior, let's talk about Jimny's cabin space or his lack of talking about it. Yes, it is not exactly the innermost interior, but what did you expect in such a small vehicle? Surprisingly, however, I was able to fit my 5th frame back in my comfort. For short city trips, I would not mind sitting in the back.
As far as the luggage compartment is concerned, Jimny is practical only for carrying cargo if you have rear seats folded. With rear seats you can just put so many things on the back. But again, what did you expect in 4×4, measuring less than 3.7 meters in length?
Greater, better heart
Pop bonnet and out is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine called K15B. It is 0.2 liter larger than the old 1.3-liter M13A engine and delivers more power; 102 PS (+19) at 6000 rpm and 130 Nm (+20) torque at 4000 rpm. The power is then sent to a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual gearbox. The new 4WD system, called AllGrip Pro, serves as Jimny's means of turning the lost path. It can be set to 2WD High, 4WD High and 4WD Low for this terrain.
We are sorry we could not test Jimny's off-road capability on a trial ride (under the circumstances). But at least we were able to test both the automatic and manual version of Jimmy's 2019 (which I will get later).
Now, the moment you all waited … What is it to do? Surprisingly, it's as easy as driving a small hatchback or sedan. But unlike the small four-door and five-door doors, Jimny sits high, giving the driver a magnificent view of the road. Short position drivers will have no trouble seeing Jimny count.
But what about its driving quality? Because he has a body frame structure (along with a short wheelbase), Jimny still felt a little jump when he walked along rough roads or streets called the pock. However, by 2019 Jimny drove better than his predecessor thanks to the new chassis along with the improvement of suspension.
Speaking of his suspension Jimny admired the breathtaking narrow corners. It has a high ride height and a high center of gravity, but if you do not treat it as a canyon carver at high speeds, take quite good strokes.
The steering was also better than the old model thanks to the addition of an electronic power steering (EPS). While some might prefer a good ratio of the hydraulic power steering, EPS allowed for easier driving when driving in an urban or parking city. Did I mention that Jimny also has one of the hardest radii in his class? Combined with its compact dimensions, Jimny can make its way through the narrowest way without any problems.
Boat ride or line own
So Jimny is getting better off and is easy to handle rounds. But what about its drive unit? The first step is a four-level automatic top-level variant. It is clear from the line that the 1.5-liter engine is considerably better than the old 1.3. With larger power on the cock, I did not have to slam the throttle to get the speed.
The automatic gearbox changed gears smoothly and was in operation. Place the foot on the accelerator pedal and the gearbox immediately starts to give you more wheel power. Overtaking slower vehicles must be timed correctly (due to the small engine capacity), but thanks to a few horses and better transmission, the new Jimny is a bit faster than his old one.
The next step is the five-step manual version. With free reign over all gears, the manual effort felt livelier. The clutch was light to work, while the speed changes were neat if it shaken a bit. Despite the fact that I'm a bit of a rusty manufactor, I had no problems putting the car into the right gear. In fact, I've had more fun with the manual than the car. 4×4 enthusiasts who plan Jimny to opt for off-road will have fun (and easy) time going through the speeds of the new Jimny.
Is he a clear winner?
Despite our short time with the new Jimny, it's safe to say that Suzuki has greatly improved what has already been a good design, even better. While I would like more time on the seat inside Jimna, the initial impressions of the new 4×4 model by Suzuki is that she managed to drive better, manage better and fly more mildly.
But the new Jimny lost the pedigree 4×4? Because we were not able to bring them to the proper field course, I will reserve my judgment. But thanks to everyday city grinding or long motorways, Jimny is much better than the previous generation in 2019.
It's quite sad that we have to wait for a while before Suzuki Philippines officially launches Jimny. But after I felt it, I suppose it would be worth it.
The Suzuki mini 4×4 has an official debut in Q3 of 2019. The final specifications and variants of the models will be announced next year at the start.