Suzuki Auto South Africa has launched the five-door Jimny in South Africa after giving expectant fans a sneak peek at the Festival of Motoring in Johannesburg and later at the Jimny Gathering in Clarens in the Free State.
The model joins its three-door sibling on showroom floors and will be offered with the choice of GL and GLX specification and five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The reliable and much-loved K15B 1.5 litre petrol engine is fitted to all the models in the range.
“This is the first time in the 50-year history of the Suzuki Jimny that we offer a five-door model. We did this to meet the unprecedented demand for this hardy off-roader from customers who, owing to family size or overlanding requirements, asked for a larger Jimny model,” says Brendon Carpenter, Brand Marketing Manager of Suzuki Auto South Africa.
The demand aside, it was clear from the outset that the engineers and designers of the Jimny were not willing to compromise on five decades of legacy and evolutionary design.
Design and dimensions
“From the outset, the brief to engineers was that they had to keep the Jimny DNA intact. That included the short overhangs, ladder-frame chassis with solid axles and the ability to go anywhere and everywhere,” says Carpenter.
As a start, the engineers stretched the wheelbase of the three-door Jimny to 2 590 mm. This was enough to allow them to add two rear passenger doors and more room, but not so much as to compromise its off-road capabilities.
The overall length, measured from bumper to bumper, has therefore increased by 340 mm to 3 820 mm.
The other vital statistics remained very close to those of the three-door model. This includes a width of 1 645 mm and a height of 1 720 mm. Ground clearance remains an impressive 210 mm, while the approach, breakover and departure angles are measured at an impressive 36 degrees, 24 degrees and a very handy 47 degrees respectively.
Once the dimensions were decided upon, it was up to the Suzuki designers to make sure that the five-door Jimny has the same plucky exterior design that has made its shorter sibling a global hit.
To do this, the designers kept the same front and rear designs as the three-door model. This includes the upright grille, round headlamps fitted in an almost utilitarian manner on either side of the grille, the square edges and the fitment of the spare wheel to the side hinging rear door.
The side profile has invariably changed, thanks to the extra doors, but this was done with so much design finesse and care for the Jimny heritage that it is possible to mistake the five-door model for the three-door version at first glance.
The five-door model has the same square wheel arch extensions, large side mirrors (painted gloss black on the GLX version), large glass house with privacy glass on the rear windows and integrated drip rails that also allows for the fitment of heavy-duty roof racks and other outdoor equipment, including jerry cans and storage boxes.
All five-door models also have 195/80 on/off road tyres on 15″ alloy wheels. The spare wheel is also fitted with an alloy wheel.
What is obviously different is the addition of two rear doors and a small rectangular side window between the rear doors and the rear pillar. This additional window has allowed the designers to keep the same visual signature as on the three-door model, while also allowing for more light into the interior.
Interior – design and specifications
Any fan of the Jimny will immediately feel at home in the interior of the five-door model.
Suzuki has transferred the design of the dashboard, seats and controls directly into the five-door model, giving future owners the same fun and functional upright dashboard with controls close at hand and with the same commanding driving position that makes off-road driving (and manoeuvring in city traffic) such a treat.
All South African versions of the five-door Jimny will have a 50:50 split rear bench, an additional power socket in the luggage compartment and a multi-functional steering wheel that is height adjustable.
The five-door Jimny in GLX specification adds leather cladding to the steering wheel and complements the Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio controls with additional buttons for cruise control.
The GLX further adds two inches to the infotainment screen (from 7″ on the GL to 9″ on the GLX). All versions have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in full colour and will show images from the reverse camera on the infotainment screen.
All models have electric windows on all passenger doors, and the GLX models have automatic climate control as opposed to the GL’s standard air conditioning system.
When it comes to space and convenience, the five-door Jimny offers just the right amount of extra space and convenience.
The rear doors add ease of ingress and egress and there are additional assist grips for the two rear passengers.
For overlanders who simply want the extra space for equipment and not passengers, the five-door model will prove perfect.
The two rear seats can fold individually or together, increasing the rear loading space from 211 litres to 332 litres. The cabin has 1 113 litres of space in total.
All five-door models also have a unique design feature that allows the front seats to fold completely flat and integrate with the rear seats to offer two lay-flat beds. This will prove extremely useful for overlanders who often sleep in their vehicles in extreme conditions or short overnight stops.
As mentioned earlier, the Suzuki engineers made every effort to maintain the Jimny’s off-road credentials.
This means that the five-door model has the same 1.5 litre petrol engine multi-point injection, 16 valves with variable valve management a 10:1 compression ratio for more useable power at all engine speeds.
The engine delivers 75 kW at 6 000 rpm and 130 Nm at 4 000 rpm. The power is delivered through a five speed manual transmission (available on the GL and GLX models) or a four-speed automatic transmission (GLX only) to the rear wheels under normal circumstances or all-four wheels when the transfer gearbox is engaged.
It is important to note that the Suzuki Jimny is fitted with a complete off-road system, including a transfer gearbox with 2H, 4H and 4 Low Range modes.
The Jimny also has a new version of the well-known AllGrip system, called AllGrip Pro. This system amplifies the capabilities of the four-wheel drive system with electronic assistance, such as selective braking on wheels with no traction that emulates a traditional differential lock.
All five-door models further have Hill Descent Control, Hill Assist and Brake Assistance as standard.
Suzuki is not known to compromise on safety and this is also true for the five-door Jimny.
All models have Electronic Stability Program (ESP), ABS brakes, side-impact beams in all doors and three-point seatbelts for all four seats. Both rear seats are equipped with ISOFIX child-seat anchors.
The Jimny in GL-specification has two airbags and the GLX-models have six, including front-side airbags and curtain airbags that run the length of the cabin.
All models also have central locking, a digital immobiliser and rear parking sensors as standard.
Colours and choice
To welcome the five-door Jimny to the market and create its own positioning in the market, Suzuki will introduce an exclusive two-tone paint option for this model range.
The two-tone colour option matches Chiffon Ivory Metallic, Kinetic Yellow and Sizzling Red Metallic (new) with a roof painted with Pearlescent Bluish Black paint.
For buyers who opt for a single colour, the choices include Celestial Blue Pearl Metallic (new), Arctic White Pearl, Silky Silver Metallic, Bluish Black Pearl, Granite Grey Metallic (new) and Jungle Green.
Content and images supplied via MotorPress