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Admit it, you want one

Suzuki Jimny GLX A/T 2-Tone

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It’s a small vehicle, yet you can’t deny its machismo. Plus it appeals to both sexes. The vehicle usually only appreciated by off road enthusiasts is now drawing a lot of attention from a demographic that completely ignored its previous generations.

The all-new Suzuki Jimny’s price and availability was announced last March 8. We just recently got our hands on the Jimny GLX A/T 2-Tone for a week. Here’s what we think.

Tough exterior

It’s still unmistakably a Jimny due its boxy look which is a definite nod to the LJ and SJ of the past. Its retro feel is helped along by its round headlamps and separate round turn signal indicators. The head lights, though, are projector LEDs in round housings. The fog lamps are mounted on the black front bumper. Just like the rear bumper, they’re mounted high, giving you 28 degrees of approach angle of and 49 degrees departure angle.

On the side, you’ll notice slits on the lowermost part of the A-Pillar, reminiscent of the slits on the clamshell bonnet of the second generation Jimny.  The brake over angle is 28 degrees and ground clearance is 210 mm. It rolls on 195/80’s on 15-inch alloy wheels.

The rear cargo area has a carry over height of 755 mm. The width of the opening at its widest is 1030 mm and height is 850 mm.  The rear combination lamps are inset in the bumper, similar to the design of previous generation Jimny’s.

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Rugged interior

The doors are large and open wide, giving lots of room for passengers to get in or out of the rear seats.

There’s very good all-around visibility with the big square windows. The dashboard’s design is horizontal, to aid the driver in easily telling the Jimny’s orientation when off-road.  Surfaces are hard wearing, stain and scratch resistant.   The 9-inch touch screen entertainment system has navigation, aux, USB, and iPod support, allowing most video formats to be viewed. There’s the cool electronic Clinometer feature which shows the Jimny’s orientation and heading, with an altimeter and barometer.

The air conditioning is automatic in the GLX. Right below the AC controls are the driver and passenger door power window controls, traction control and Hill Descent Control. Underneath are the 12V power socket and the aux and USB port. There’s another 12V power socket in the left rear corner of the vehicle, behind the back seat.

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I’m not particularly tall so I was alright with the interior headroom and legroom. The front seats slide 240mm from its forward-most position to its rearmost. I still wish the steering wheel would tilt up just a few more degrees. For a smallish guy, I could have a used a few more mm’s width, as getting to the driver’s seat belt was a bit of a reach. I also kept hitting my left elbow on the door whenever I fidgeted about. But, since it is a very compact vehicle, everything else was within easy reach. I didn’t have to reach across too far to get anything from the front glovebox, the front passenger seat or even the rear seats.

Updated powerplant

All variants of the all-new Jimny are powered the K15B 1.5L gasoline engine. It puts out 100-Hp with 130-Nm of torque. In this GLX, it is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission and of course it has 4WD with low range (4L).  There’s more than enough power to cruise on the highway and to go off the beaten path.

Underchassis and amenities

The all-new Jimny has 3-link coil sprung rigid axles up front and rear, tougher than any independent suspension setup. Most serious off roaders are set up like this.  Despite the solid axle up front, the minimum turning radius is only 4.9 meters. It’s equipped with Hill Descent Control, Hill Hold Control, an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). It also has Brake LSD Traction Control which uses the brakes to slow down the wheels that lose traction.

Pedestrian and passenger safety

This Jimny has a “Pedestrian Injury Mitigating Body,” which is designed in such a way as to have the vehicle absorb impact forces in the event of a collision with a pedestrian. The structures/components up front which will give way are the wipers, cowl top, bonnet hinges, fenders, bonnet and front bumper.  It’s equipped with dual front airbags and seatbelts for all four occupants.

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The drive

This all-new Jimny is a fun vehicle to drive. With its short wheelbase, it will tend to bounce around a bit on our roads, but it’s so easy to get used to and ignore in a car that draws so many stares. It can handle winding country roads and even expressways without much fuss. It does, however, come into its own when you take it off-road, and that’s where it shines.

This Jimny is priced at P1,095,000 — a price tag comparable to higher variant B-segment sedans.  It can pretty much do everything sedans can do, but the Jimny can go places you won’t dare attempt in a sedan. The Jimny will be more than able to handle our poorly made roads daily, and still be able to take you somewhere far from the city on weekends.  It’s alright to want one. You’ll have to get in line though.

Text and Photos by Neil Pagulayan

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