By Khulekani Dumisa
Recently we had the Suzuki Jimny GLX Auto on test with us. The Jimny has been a hit in South Africa and abroad since launch late last year. It has also bagged the Urban Vehicle of the year award. Is it worth the hype? The answer may well lie in what you buy the Jimny for.
The new exterior design looks good. The boxy shape pays tribute to previous generations but also looks modern with standard LED lights in the GLX. The car also appears bigger and taller thanks to some growth in size. Owners can also go ‘crazy’ in personalizing their cars with the accessories that are available for them. The new expressive colours also add some flair to the party.
The interior of the new Jimny has been greatly improved from the previous generation. The layout and quality are pleasing to observe and touch. The GLX model we were in has a decently sized infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay. The windows for both doors are automatically operated making life more convenient.
The interior space has been improved but the Jimny still best suits the lifestyle of an individual or couple looking for an adventure. A family just wouldn’t be able to use it as a daily drive without compromise. The Jimny can sit two adults upfront but you struggle to fit adults at the back and if you do, you completely loose boot space. This is not a problem if the car is for an individual or a couple as you can always fold down the seats if you need the boot space.
The Jimny is a pleasure to drive in the city. This is both from a drive and a practical point of view. Its size means you can exploit all sorts of gaps in traffic. Parking at malls is not an issue as the Jimny can slot into the smallest of parking bays and still leave you with plenty of space for exiting your car. Driving on the highway is alright but the Jimny’s off-road bias is noticeable as the ride can feel bouncy at times. The 4 speed auto is adequate but the transmission shift down to the third gear on high speeds can induce a loud drone noise and make you think that things would be much neater if the car shifted from the fifth to the fourth gear instead. Consumption does tend to climb up as the car engages into the third gear at high speeds. It’s not alarming though as we averaged a decent 7.6l/100 km in our recent drive to Northern KwaZulu-Natal. The Jimny does come alive off-road. We didn’t take it to a hectic off-road course. The Jimny has nothing to prove in this arena after all. We did a mild off-road course and what stood out was the improvements to the selection of the low range or high range with the two gear option in the car. This will help buyers who are novice off-roaders to get the best out of their cars without needing to do much. It goes without saying that the Jimny ‘killed’ the mild off-roading we had in store for it and had us begging for more.
Is the Jimny worth the hype? Ask a family buyer and they may not agree 100% as they may struggle with the practicality of the car that can barely accommodate adults at the back, and if it does, it completely loses the boot space. Pose the same question to an individual buyer or a couple with no children, the answer would be yes, the Jimny is worth all the hype. It will do well as a city drive and be completely rewarding as an adventure companion.
The Suzuki Jimny is priced Jimny GLX 4Auto is priced from R325,900. The price includes 4 year/60,000 service plan, and a 200,000 kilometre warranty.
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