Published on December 8th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Suzuki Jimny 4×4 Klang Valley Test Drive Review
This new Jimny surprised us, but not in the best possible way.
Yes, the all new Suzuki Jimny is finally in Malaysia and we were lucky enough to be handed the keys to this iconic name plate for a test drive.
So, this Jimny model was first shown and launched in Japan in 2018 and at the time there was no brand guardian in Malaysia. There were a couple of interested parties ‘pitching’ to Suzuki Motors Japan and then in 2021 Naza Eastern launched the Swift hot hatch and the came this Jimny 4×4.
Two decades have passed since the third generation model made its debut in 1998, this current Jimny has now evolved to its fourth generation in its 50 plus years of history.
The first version of the Jimny arrived in Malaysia in the 1970’s and this Suzuki Jeep was without a doubt, the most iconic Japanese vehicle of our era. Many off-road enthusiasts even describe it as the ‘Japanese (Land Rover) Defender’. It was the 4×4 that every estate manager had, every contractor bought and every wealthy person wanted as a spare vehicle.
Having gained massive popularity in many parts of the world due to its affordability and ability as an off-roader it is still seen in service around the world and also Malaysia.
In our opinion, the Jimny’s design can best be described as “timeless”. It is still the cute little thing that spells fun no matter from which angle you look at it.
We went back to the 20th century upon opening the doors of the Jimny as this Jimny cabin is simple in its execution like it was years ago but with quality moving up the ladder right to the top.
It is a classic execution with better quality and feel and within seconds we were comfortable behind the wheel and found the view all around to be great.
There are four seats and YES the rear seats come with adjustable headrests and there is decent legroom for adults in the rear with the all important ISOFIX points for small children.
Another good thing is that they could be folded flat into the floor, adding a lot of cargo space. In the front seats, two six-footers could sit comfortably in the driver’s seat and also in the co-driver’s seat. The front passenger gets an easy reach up to the seat and rear seat passengers will need to ‘duck’ a little to get in and out.
On the road, the Jimny’s all new 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine produces a decent 101bhp and 130Nm of torque at 4,000. This engine is not designed to be a tarmac stormer and instead it is more of an off-road workhorse and a city quick and easy commuter.
From ignition it is quiet and smooth. Pickup is smooth and with no noise entering the cabin. The sound insulation in this Jimny is acceptable up to 110km/h on the highway where only tire noise enters the cabin.
Then we tried some light off road driving. Finding a palm oil estate track, we could feel how the short wheelbase and the long-travel suspension enabled this Jimny to cope with huge bumps and even some steep surfaces very well.
In addition, the low-ratio gearbox delivered torque efficiently, making it a very punchy off-roader. Although it is no match to a classic Defender or Land Cruiser, it is still more capable than most SUVs that are twice its size. This is really where the Jimny shines now and since before.
Without a doubt, this all new Jimny is an excellent vehicle to be taken off-road, especially if more time is spent driving in construction sites, plantations and estates. For the urban only buyer, I can see single adults having a great time with the Jimny as it has diminutive dimensions to allow very easy parking, very easy tight city driving and great turning radius needed for older parts of Klang Valley city visits.
However, after 3 days with the Jimny and having a few retired relatives take it for a short drive, it was clear to me that the older generation (retirees) love the ride height, getting in and out and the easy city maneuverability.
However, with its price tag at RM168,000, which falls higher than many high end pickup trucks that are more powerful and larger, this Jimny will be more for drivers looking to own something iconic and easy to own with low operating costs.
So, the new Suzuki Jimny has entered a new segment. The premium 4×4 segment as its asking price puts it out of reach for the middle class car buyer. This is a 4×4 for the wealthy who want a ‘fun’ and iconic car to ‘play’ with.
It’s a 4th or 5th car for their garage. This is no longer a ‘working’ class 4×4 and with the current rising sales, we do not think any Malaysian owner will even climb a pavement with this Jimny.
The last generation (3rd) Jimny can still be seen on our roads and owners are quite happy as the current new selling price is keeping their Jimny’s values up and in demand. The selling price of the previous 3rd generation Jimny when new in 2014 was just RM81,000 and even then Malaysians said it was too expensive.
Suzuki Jimny 1.5L Specifications
Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder 16-valve VVT DOHC
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Max power:101hp at 6,000rpm
Max torque: 130Nm at 4,000rpm
Top speed: 145km/h