Retro-Inspired Off-Roader: A Detailed Look At The 2018 Suzuki Jimny

2022-06-07 07:32:25 By : Ms. Alice Huigan

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Style-wise, the 2018 Suzuki Jimny is reminiscent of the earlier LJ and SJ Jimny generations.

The Suzuki Jimny first debuted on the scene in 1970, and because of its diminutive stature and giant-killing skill off the beaten track, it became an immediate legend among off-road fans. This fourth-generation Jimny aspires to follow in the footsteps of its forebears while also nurturing a new love affair with the next generation of 4x4 enthusiasts.

Suzuki eventually unveiled a fourth-generation Jimny in 2018, after what seemed like an eternity. It generally follows the pattern of the other three in terms of being uber-capable off-road, relatively cheap to buy and maintain, and, most importantly, given its pocket-small kei-car beginnings in Japan, where automobiles are taxed based on their size.

To that purpose, the Jimny has only one engine option: a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 101 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission sends power to all four wheels, with a four-speed automatic transmission offered as an option from the start. It has configurable low-range gearing that can transition between 2WD-high, 4WD-low, and 4WD-high modes mechanically.

Related: Here's What We Know About The 2021 Suzuki Jimny

On the inside, the 2018 Suzuki Jimny looks and feels just as tough as it does on the exterior. The upright dashboard is simple and rationally put out, with hefty, easy-to-hit controls, and a passenger-side grab bar for when the terrain starts to toss you around in your seat. The touch-screen infotainment system in the top-spec SZ5 model is the same one seen in other Suzuki models, and while it's not the slickest or most intuitive system you'll find, it's rather easy to get to grips with and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The materials used in the automobile are harsh rather than tactile, with a hard, wipe-clean finish, but they do give it a substantial, robust feel.

The steering wheel adjusts only for height, not reach, and the interior is sparse. The driving position is tall and upright, and tall drivers will find that the seat does not recline far enough. Nonetheless, visibility is good. With plenty of harsh plastics on display, everything in the cabin feels very light and basic, if durable. There's also a lack of space. Although there is enough headroom, the two rear passengers will be crammed in. With those two rear passengers in place, there's also not much in the way of a boot, though the seats can be pushed down to create a carrying area for a few grocery bags.

Even though the boot-mounted spare wheel partially cuts into your rearview, the huge windows and slim pillars provide lots of natural light and excellent visibility in all directions. The compact cabin, on the other hand, makes it easy to bang your elbow on the window sill while flinging the steering wheel about, and the steering wheel only adjusts for height (not reach). Furthermore, because the seats aren't height adjustable, finding a comfortable driving position may be much more difficult.

Related: Why We Love The Suzuki Jimny And Its Many Faces

The 2018 Jimny is significantly different from your normal passenger car when it comes to off-roading ability. Not only does it have four-wheel drive and low-range gears to aid grip in slick conditions, but it also boasts an old-school ladder-frame chassis and rigid-axle front and rear suspension. On uneven ground, this pays off handsomely, but it makes for a fairly uncivilized life on the road. On any less-than-perfect surface, there's a continual shaking through the floor, so it's not as comfy as more typical small SUVs.

However, the tremor isn't as strong as it was on the last Jimny, and larger bumps and potholes don't give you quite the same whack in the backside (though it's close). The handling is as roly-poly as you'd expect from a car with soft suspension, high sides, and a small footprint, so anticipate plenty of body lean in corners. The steering is also pretty slow. The tires, on the other hand, provide plenty of grip and traction to keep things safe, and you don't purchase a car like the Jimny for its sharpness.

Some would argue that the Suzuki designers are paid minimum wage based at a glance at the 2018 Jimny. However, the fact that the image is easily remembered indicates that they did an excellent job. The modest size of the vehicle emphasizes the boxy appearance. It has a more inviting appearance than a G-Class. The hood is small, the headlights are circular, and the windshield is straight.

The ladder chassis is the vehicle's backbone. Coil springs are used on the 3-link axles. Suzuki added more X-cross members to reinforce the ladder. True, the Jimny's comfort ride was never a selling point. But no one seemed to mind. The 37-degree approach angle, the 28-degree ramp breakover angle, and the rear-facing 49-degree departure angle were more important to the buyers. In off-roading, these are valuable assets. When the terrain becomes slick, the new LSD rear differential is a terrific feature.

A part-time 4WD system and a low-range transfer case are standard on the real off-road Jimny. The engine, on the other hand, remains tiny. However, the light 2502 pound car only requires 101 horsepower from the 1.5-liter gasoline engine.

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