Ntsako Mthethwa
5 minute read
5 Sep 2018
10:00 am

New Suzuki Jimny launches in SA

Ntsako Mthethwa

The company has made many improvements on its 1998-2018 offering.

Suzuki revealed its new “mighty mouse” at the 2018 Johannesburg Festival of Motoring in Johannesburg last week.

The new Jimny fills the very big shoes of its predecessors, which were responsible for creating a new market segment for compact, affordable, capable and – most importantly – fun, off roaders.


In fact, this ladder-framed, low-range vehicle made Suzuki so iconic and loved that this is only the fourth all-new model since the LJ10 was launched in 1970.

Styling elements include:

  • An overall angular design that is reminiscent of the first LJ and second generation SJ ranges;
  • The round headlamps and separate round orange indicators of the LJ10, the first generation;
  • Side bonnet slits and an angular front windscreen from the SJ series – the first to be called Giant Killer by the 4×4 community;
  • Steel wheels similar to the SJ series on the GA spec level;
  • A clamshell bonnet and upright grille like the SJ and previous generation Jimny;
  • A moulded rear bumper with lights in the furthermost corners, like the SJ series.

The new Jimny adds some unique features, which include a full drip rail around the roof, which is functional in rain and offroad conditions and which allows for the easy fitment of a number of roof rails and other accessories.

Inside the cabin, Suzuki’s designers have added hints of the new Jimny’s forebears, such as exposed painted metal window frames at shoulder height, a speedometer and tachometer in separate square binnacles and the fit-for-purpose dashboard with many storage binnacles and three-layer design.


The all-new Jimny improves on its predecessor, the 1998-2018 Jimny, in every respect.

It is built on a new ladder-frame chassis with a patented “X”-member between the two rigid axles for 1.5 times the torsional rigidity of its predecessor.

Both axles remain rigid, a boon in sand and mud driving. And with the addition of new coil springs and shock absorbers the Jimny now has a 210 mm ground clearance, 20 mm more than before.

The ladder frame benefits from Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) which uses modern design, high-tensile steel and an integrated cabin and chassis system to provide greater collision protection.

The ladder frame and TECT-enabled body has left the Jimny’s wheelbase unchanged at 2 250mm, but has increased the front and rear track by 40mm and the vehicle width by 45mm.

The overall vehicle length has been shortened by 50mm, thanks in part to the moulded bumpers. Under the clamshell bonnet, Suzuki has fitted its K15B petrol engine.

This 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit replaces the 1.3-litre M13A engine of the previous model and delivers 75kW at 6 000rpm and 130Nm at 4 000rpm.


The new K15B-engine is 15% lighter than the 1.3-litre unit it replaces.

The lighter weight, higher compression ratio and overall improvement in efficiency mean that this engine uses more than 14% less fuel than both the manual and automatic versions of its predecessor.

The engine is mated to a fivespeed manual gearbox and an optional four-speed automatic gearbox in GLX specification.

All new Jimny models are fitted with a 4×4 system called AllGrip Pro®, which allows the driver to comfortably switch between 4×2 (front-wheel drive), 4×4 high and 4×4 low range with a secondary gear lever.

This system is supported by both the vehicle stability control (ESP) and a new Brake-enabled Limited Slip Differential system.

The ESP-system is standard on all models and adjusts its functioning based on the number of wheels driven and the road conditions.

Similarly, the Brake LSD will adapt its support between 4×4 high and low modes and will detect slippage and distribute power (or brake a spinning wheel) between paired wheels on an axle and between the front and rear axles.

The Brake LSD and ESP-systems are further enhanced by the integrated Hill Hold Function and Hill Descent Control.


These systems will not only enhance the everyday ease of driving but will improve the vehicle’s capabilities off the beaten track.

Lastly, the design has enabled Suzuki’s engineers to improve on the Jimny’s already legendary off-road curriculum vitae.

The Jimny’s approach angle has improved from 35 degrees to 37 degrees, the breakover angle is up to 28 degrees from 27 degrees and the departure angle has improved significantly from 46 degrees to 49 degrees.

While Suzuki did not want to compromise the compact character of the Jimny lineage, it has improved driver and passenger comfort and added practical storage concepts in response to owner feedback.

The front seats are 55mm longer than before and have wider seat cushion frames.

Interestingly, Suzuki engineers have lowered the seat bolsters to allow comfortable shoulder movement when the driver and front passenger want to look around and behind them, for instance when they navigate a tricky obstacle in the bush.

The front seats also have an improved sliding range of 240mm to accommodate taller drivers.

Front occupants have 30mm more legroom than before and the rear passengers have a massive 40mm more space and a higher hip point, for greater comfort.

This is easily the roomiest Jimny. In South Africa, Suzuki has added its 7-inch SLDA – smartphone linkage display – to the new GLX-specification.

This large touch screen is fitted with Apple Carplay, Android Auto and Mirror Link to accommodate most smartphones’ in-car features and voice control functionality available in the market today.


To widen the appeal of the Jimny, Suzuki South Africa will introduce both a GA and GLX specification level.

Both will have a full-sized spare wheel, ABS brakes, brake assist (BAS), electronic stability control (ESP), ISOFIX anchors for child seats and dual SRS front airbags.

Both will also have the AllGrip Pro 4×4 system with low range transfer gear and the Brake LSD traction control system.

The GLX specification is available with the choice of manual and automatic gearboxes.

While not confirmed yet, the indicative pricing – which includes a service plan and mechanical warranty – is:

  • Suzuki Jimny 1.5 4×4 GA Manual ……………………R265 000 (estimated)
  • Suzuki Jimny 1.5 4×4 GLX Manual …………………R300 000 (estimated)
  • Suzuki Jimny 1.5 4×4 GLX Auto ………………………R320 000 (estimated)

The all-new Jimny will be available from 1 November.