Picking up the new Jimny press car, I asked the Suzuki man when a prospective
buyer would be able to take delivery of the test car variant, a GLX three-door
automatic. “Try next year,” he replied.

It gets worse. Suzuki Australia says unprecedented demand and the global computer
chip issue, have stalled the MY23 Jimny three-door automatic until production
catches up. Customers with an order already inked, can keep waiting or switch to the
bigger five-door, due Down Under later this year. The three-door Lite manual is still
available to order.

So, here I am talking about a new car the wheels have already fallen off, so to
speak. The Jimny should have six variants, from the Jimny Lite manual, at $30,490,
plus on-road costs, through to the Jimny GLX auto (Qld), $33,490. (NB: the latter,
like all Suzukis, is distributed in Queensland separate from those in the rest of

Like all present-day Suzuki cars, the Jimny is covered by a five-year, unlimited
kilometre warranty and five-year capped-price service scheme, the latter at 12
months or 10,000-kilometre intervals.

There’s a nod to Jimny’s heritage with hallmark round headlamps, while washers
now are standard for the LED headlights.

These, plus angled bumper edges that boost clearance at the wheels, make for
confident driving in mud, dirt or sand and assured climbing over obstacles such as
rocks or fallen trees. Their moulded black material safeguards the body from stone
chips and scratches.

A nifty drip rail keeps occupants’ heads sheltered when getting in or out of the Jimny
by helping to prevent water from dripping off the roof. What next, a bull-nose

The Jimny cabin is welcoming, especially to the driver, with instruments and controls
all within easy access and designed to enable he or she to focus on maintaining
control with quick and easy operation.

Instruments are designed to be easily legible in bright sunlight or shadow, being lit at
all times. A touch of luxury is added with a leather dressed steering wheel, which
again benefits the driver with vertical adjustment up to 35 mm.
Access to the rear seats is not so accommodating, with only two doors up front,
although the front seats slide for easy operation. Space is at a premium, with room
only for a couple of compact occupants in anything approaching comfort.

Boot volume is 85 litres with the rear seats set up. The two 50:50 rear seat backs,
headrests removed, can be folded flat leaving 377 litres for cargo.

Instrumentation is basic, with a 9-inch system allowing access to an AM / FM tuner,
Bluetooth, USB audio and reverse camera. Satellite navigation is left to Apple
CarPlay or Android Auto phone connectivity.

The new 1.5-litre engine, mated with its four-speed automatic transmission, stumps
up more power and torque than the motor it replaces, while maintaining fuel

The stronger torque levels are delivered across the rev range with plenty on tap low
down; handy for serious off-road situations. Towing is rated at 1300 kg with braked

The Jimny carries only a three-star ANCAP rating. However, some advanced
features do earn special mention. These include dual sensor brake support, in which
a camera and laser sensor, attached to the windscreen, provide visual and audio
alerts to the driver, warning of risks of collision as well as an emergency braking

Total effective control technology consists of a body structured to absorb and
disperse the force of impact in the event of a collision, while an electronic stability
program monitors wheels, which when detected automatically adjusts engine torque
and applies braking force to limit wheel slippage and assist the driver to stay in
control of steering.

The new 1.5-litre engine with its refined four-speed auto gearbox, featuring linear
shift selection, is claimed to have combined fuel economy of 6.9 litres per 100

The Jimny GLX auto on test recorded 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres around town and
5.8 litres per 100 kilometres on the motorway.

Like any short wheel-base vehicle, the Jimny, with its off-road suspension setting,
tended to produce a choppy ride on even the most unblemished on-road bitumen
and concrete. It’s not a smooth cruiser.

Off road is all about keeping in touch with the terrain, which in this case a sturdy ball-
screw steering system provides ample feedback with minimum chance of kickback.
If any wheel loses grip the limited-slip differential traction control automatically
applies braking to the culprit, torque being shifted to the other side, enabling the
vehicle to regain traction.

Harking back to the cargo carrying capability, the test car came with an added
accessory of a wire mesh divider which bolted on between the front and second-row
seats, converting the vehicle into a van, alternatively maybe acting as a kennel on
wheels for Fido. Sadly, the wire wall was heavy and awkward to fit via the side doors
– a two-handed job, really.

Over the years, the mini-SUV has become something of a cult figure with its retro
looks, while claiming to be a genuine 4×4. Followers need not fret, there’s plenty
here to carry on the Jimny tradition. If only there was one to spare.

Looks: 7/10
Performance: 5/10
Safety: 6/10
Thirst: 7/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 5/10
Tech: 7/10
Value: 6/10


Jimny Lite manual: $30,490
Jimny GL Lite manual (Qld): $30,490
Jimny GLX manual: $31,990
Jimny GLX auto: $33,490
Jimny GLX manual (Qld): $31,990
Jimny GLX auto (Qld): $33,490
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact
your local Suzuki dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Suzuki Jimny GLX 1.5L 4-cylinder petrol, 4sp automatic, 4×4

Capacity: 1.462 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline
Maximum Power: 75 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 130 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Fuel Type: Unleaded petrol 91RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.9 L/100km

DRIVELINE: Four-speed automatic, part-time 4×4

Length: 3480 mm
Wheelbase: 2250 mm
Width: 1645 mm
Height: 1720 mm
Turning Circle: 9.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 1110 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 40 litres

Front: Disc
Rear: Drum

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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