New Jimny spied
Suzuki’s practical 4x4 shapes up
The next-generation Suzuki Jimny will retain the rugged character of its predecessor, rather than following the larger Vitara’s lead in becoming a more roadorientated small SUV.
The fourth-generation model, which has been spotted testing in Spain, is being developed with feedback from existing Jimny owners, who rank its effective off-road capabilities and rugged robustness more highly than its on-road performance.
The Jimny’s on-road handling will still be improved, but a Suzuki spokesman said the car’s unique selling point had been its hardy nature, so that will remain a key focus during development.
Due for reveal at the Tokyo motor show before arriving in 2019, the new car’s simple, box-shaped body reflects its off-road abilities and takes influence from earliergeneration Jimnys.
Much of the design appears similar to that of the Mercedesbenz G-class, including the squared-off wheel arches and tail-lights located low on the rear bumper.
Leaked official images have also revealed the look of the car’s interior. Although it gains modern features such as touchscreen infotainment, the overall design remains functional, most likely to enable users to operate the controls and buttons with gloves on.
Suzuki has been testing the Jimny in four countries, including the UK, in order to develop the car’s chassis set-up and refinement for launch on the global market. Its size is not expected to change drastically from that of the outgoing car, which, at 3675mm long, is just 120mm longer than a Smart Forfour.
The brand has remained tight-lipped as to which engines will power the new model, but sources expect Suzuki’s 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbo triple to be offered, with the brand’s naturally aspirated 1.2-litre engine acting as a potential entry-point unit.
Suzuki swapped the manual low-range gear selector in its latest Vitara for an electric rotary dial, but the Jimny could stick with the former set-up to maximise off-road adjustability.
The brand’s decision to ignore the temptation to build a more mainstream model should ensure that sales remain comparatively small compared with other compact SUVS. The Jimny sells around 1200 units per year in Britain, a figure it has achieved consistently since the outgoing version launched in 1998.
This compares with its larger Vitara sibling, which achieves about 11,000 units per year and is expected to grow further.
Suzuki’s Jimny will retain boxy styling and functional cabin
Leaked image shows final design