2020 Suzuki Jimny: The pros and cons

Suzuki New Jimny

The launch of the fourth-generation Jimny was easily the most anticipated car event of 2018, with reservations for the car lasting more than a year long for most of the vehicle’s early buyers. Two years in, is this retro-styled mini SUV worth all the hype? We take a look a the Suzuki Jimny’s pros and cons.

Pros

1. That boxy 80s exterior

suzuki jimny

It’s worth noting that the latest generation Jimny’s main selling point was not moving forward, but going backward in time. Indeed, the Jimny’s retro looks won many car buyers’ hearts and pockets over. A more utilitarian look is achieved by the blacked-out front and rear bumpers and overfenders. The matte black treatment also extends to the roof for those who opt for a two-tone aesthetic. All of these converge into an irresistible throwback package.

2. A retro modern cabin

suzuki jimny

Though the tvintagevibe of the exterior extends inside the Jimny, Suzuki made sure to keep things modern where it counts. There’s a new infotainment system complete with a color touchscreen interface, smartphone mirroring, and steering wheel-mounted remote controls. . Another digital display for the vehicle's settings can be found between the two orange-on-black gauges. As you can see for yourself below, the overall look is retro, but the Jimny successfully introduces some modern features into the mix.

3. Highly upgradeable

Suzuki Jimny Little G DAMD

The minimalist aesthetic is definitely to the Jimny’s benefit, as it presents pro builders with a beautiful canvas for customization. A quick visit to 4x4 forums will yield numerous personalized versions of the Jimny, from rooftop foglamps to massive bull bars and on to shock-enhanced off-road suspension systems—if you want to make a Jimny that’s truly your own, it would be extremely easy to do so.

4. The AllGrip Pro feature

suzuki jimny

Suzuki describes the AllGrip Pro system as a part-time four-wheel drive system with reduction gear that not only has the ability “to meet the driver’s spirit of adventure, and gives the driver strength to face and explore challenges,” but also “satisfy the driving performance required by professionals to instantly respond and manoeuver through difficult terrain.” AllGrip Pro boasts a ladder frame construction that’s more resistant to torsion and better suited for off-road excursions than a monocoque body. It is aided by a 3-link rigid axle suspension with coil spring and a low range transfer gear for a more robust and torque-y drive.

5. Peace-of-mind safety

Though quirky in design, the Jimny takes the safety of its occupants very seriously. A Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) body construction provides better safety during a crash, with impact-absorbing sections built all throughout. There’s also an electronic stability feature that detects wheel slippage to automatically adapt the engine torque to the conditions of the road. Other safety features include pedestrian injury mitigating body, dual front airbags, hill descent control, hill hold control, and a nifty brake limited slip differential (LSD) traction control system.

Cons

1. Engine lacks power

Under the hood of the new Jimny lies a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder naturally aspirated gas engine good for 101hp and 138Nm of torque. This represents a significant improvement over the 81hp and 110Nm numbers of the old 1.3-liter unit, but it still falls behind many of its rivals, like the slightly higher-priced Mazda CX-30 with its 2.0-SkyActiv-G engine pushing 153hp and 200Nm of torque.

2. Size may be too small for serious off-roading

suzuki jimny

For extreme type of off-roading adventures, a larger vehicle will be a necessity. Although the Jimny is a decent off-roader, the lack of cargo and fuel capacity, which totals 85 liters and 40 liters respectively, could hamper your ability to take on more gear or travel longer distances. Granted, there's enough room for a weekend on the trail, but going on a week-long journey will definitely pose a challenge.  

Verdict

Based on its looks and capabilities, the Suzuki Jimny is every bit the authentic off-roader it’s been advertised to be. Many buyers have been sold by its looks alone, fortunately, this Suzuki 4x4 has got the attitude and finesse to back it up. As long as your trail adventures don’t go the distance, there’s no reason the Suzuki Jimny can’t be the off-road vehicle you’re looking for.

Photos from Suzuki

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