First shown as a teaser at The Festival of Motoring, the five-door Suzuki Jimny is now a reality and in dealerships around the country in GL and GLX specification with the option of a five-speed manual transmission orfour-speed auto – all with the same K15B 1,5-litre petrol engine up front.

"This is the first time in the 50-year history of the Suzuki Jimny we offer a five-door model. We did this to meet the unprecedented demand for this hardy off-roader from customers who, owing to family size or overlanding requirements, asked for a larger Jimny model," says Brendon Carpenter, Brand Marketing Manager of Suzuki Auto South Africa.

"From the outset, the brief to engineers was they had to keep the Jimny DNA intact. That included the short overhangs, ladder-frame chassis with solid axles and the ability to go anywhere and everywhere."

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So, the engineers stretched the wheelbase of the three-door Jimny to 2 590 mm, allowing space for rear passenger doors and more room, but not so much as to compromise its off-road capabilities.

The overall length, measured from bumper to bumper, has increased by 340 mm to 3 820 mm, width is 1 645 mm and height 1 720 mm. Ground clearance remains 210 mm, while the approach, breakover and departure angles are 36 degrees, 24 degrees and 47 degrees respectively.

The ‘fiver’ gets the same upright grille, round headlamps, square edges and the fitment of the spare wheel to the side hinging rear door.

All five-door models also have 195/80 on/off road tyres on 15-inch alloy wheels. The spare wheel is also fitted with an alloy wheel.

Suzuki has transferred the design of the dashboard, seats and controls directly into the five-door model, and all South African versions have a 50:50 split rear bench, an additional power socket in the luggage compartment and a multi-functional steering wheel that is height adjustable.

The GLX specification adds leather cladding to the steering wheel and complements the Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio controls with additional buttons for cruise control.

The GLX also gets a bigger infotainment screen (from 7-inch on the GL to 9-inch on the GLX). All versions have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in full colour and will show images from the reverse camera on the infotainment screen.

Power windows are standard on all passenger doors and the GLX models have automatic climate control as opposed to the GL's standard air-conditioning system.

For travellers, the two rear seats can fold individually or together, increasing the rear loading space from 211 litres to 332 litres. The cabin has 1 113 litres of space in total.

Anf, for the truly adventurous, all five-door models also have a design feature that allows the front seats to fold completely flat and integrate with the rear seats to offer two lay-flat beds.

The 1,5-litre engine delivers 75 kW at 6 000 r/min  and 130 Nm at 4 000 r/min. The power is delivered through a five speed manual transmission (available on the GL and GLX models) or a four-speed automatic transmission (GLX only) to the rear wheels under normal circumstances or all-four wheels when the transfer gearbox is engaged.

The Suzuki Jimny is fitted with a complete off-road system, including a transfer gearbox with 2H, 4H and 4 Low Range modes and has a new version of the AllGrip system, called AllGrip Pro. This system amplifies the capabilities of the four-wheel drive system with electronic assistance, such as selective braking on wheels with no traction that emulates a traditional differential lock. All five-door models further have Hill Descent Control, Hill Assist and Brake Assistance as standard.  

All models have Electronic Stability Program (ESP), anti-lock brakes, side-impact beams in all doors and three-point seatbelts for all four seats. Both rear seats are equipped with ISOFIX child-seat anchors.

The Jimny in GL-specification has two crash bags and the GLX-models have six, including front-side bags and curtain bags that run the length of the cabin.

Colin Windell - proudly CHANGECARS