Jim-jiminy Jimny is Suzuki’s perfectly accentuated 4x4
Analysing the current Jimny, it is a vehicle that has NO rivals. It used to have one, in the form of the Land Rover Defender. Okay. I know that the Landy is a much larger 4x4 but, as there are no other vehicles of similar off-road capabilities, other than Jimny, perhaps you can understand my generous statement. Besides, the Defender is no more, Land Rover having vaingloriously (and senselessly) ceased production of it three years ago, without a replacement in the wings.
Suzuki, on the other hand, has a replacement and what a fantastic looking vehicle it is. What a fantastic package it presents… dual-sensor brake support, hill descent control, lane departure warning, high beam assist, cruise control, air-con and a CD player (hooray!). You can also factor-in the 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine; 200cc greater than its forebear and now developing a modest 98bhp. That’s what is new for the Suzuki Jimny, the uniquely compact, lightweight and all-wheel-drive, traditional, multi-surface mode of transport.
It is 45mm wider, 20mm taller but 30mm shorter than the outgoing Jimny. However, it retains a body-on-ladder-frame construction, which serves its impressive on and off-road capabilities to perfection. It has black wheel-arch extensions, a black roof panel (with visible guttering) and a chunky five-bar grille. Yes. It has changed materially; not by much but changed all the same and significantly for the better. It is an ultimate example of more, more and a smidgen less being welcomed eagerly.
To those 4x4 fans that actually venture into off-road environments, which does not mean the flower-beds at Sainsbury’s supermarket, or the grassy verges outside their children’s schools, the Jimny has always been the consummate go-almost-anywhere vehicle. It is admired for its square-rigged design and elements of manoeuvrability that are enhanced vastly by being able to see all four corners of the car from the driver’s seat.
Decent ground clearance and a moderately short wheelbase, with minimal body overhangs front and rear, ensure that approach, departure and obstacle cross-over angles are optimised and uncompromised. The addition of the black cladding helps Jimny to avoid panel damage, when venturing off-road. If anything, the new Jimnny looks even more workmanlike and, thus, appeals to the agricultural and other professional communities that have been given the cold shoulder by Land Rover.
Interior surfaces are all wipe-clean and practical and visible posi-drive screws for the dashboard are given a prominent place. In SZ5 versions, the typical Suzuki touch-screen sits in the centre of the dashboard, introducing levels of connectivity unknown to previous Jimny owners. It is all very civilised and benefits from excellent space utilisation, which includes a boot capable of carrying a bale of hay to outlying fields, or stables, when the 50:50-split rear bench seat is folded forwards. It is utilitarian but comfortable.
Luscombe’s summary: Two versions, SZ4 and SZ5 will be available, with the well-equipped top version expected but unconfirmed to cost over £17,000 (the equivalent Landy was twice the price). Judging by the advance orders that we have taken, the new Jimny is going to be a rip-roaring success.
Next week, Iain introduces you to a couple of new staff members.
Keyless-go! Convenient and safe.
Available on top versions of most Suzuki models, a keyless-entry and pushbutton-start programme means that you may never need to remove your Suzuki’s key-fob from your jacket pocket, or purse, ever again.
The vast majority of us love our cars. We lavish huge sums of money on polishes, accessories and ticked options boxes. Yet, away from their daily services, of getting us to and from work, or social events, we all enjoy a little bit of coddling in return. Of course, Suzuki seats are exemplary, whether driving a Celerio, or an S-Cross, but we all appreciate some convenience features too.
Suzuki, as a brand, tends to work to a premise of providing each of its cars with sound engineering that promotes tremendous reliability (in fact, levels of dependability that have been acknowledged and rewarded substantially in recent months). Suzuki cars are very matter-of-fact; in other words, there are very few frills, or fripperies, like wood trim, or multi-adjustable, electric seats, because those items do not sit happily with Suzuki’s purposeful remit.
However, on all SZ5 trim models, one of the standard fitments is ‘keyless-go’. In essence, as long as the short-distance electronic transponder key-fob is in fairly close proximity with your car, as you approach the driver’s door and press the small rubber button, it will unlock obligingly and allow you access to the cabin. Once inside, all you need to do is depress the starter button (having depressed the clutch pedal first, to close the safety circuit) and you are ready to go.
Of course, you can use the key-fob normally by pointing it at the car and depressing the ‘unlock’ button. Interestingly, press it once and only the driver’s door will open; press it twice and all of the car’s doors will open. The logic for this action is known as ‘anti-hijack’. A lot of central-locking systems on cars will open all doors, which might allow a ‘waiting’ criminal to gain access to the passenger side of the car.
Naturally, the same applies to the boot area. As you approach the car, with key-fob in pocket, all you need to do is press the rubber ‘bar’, behind the trim line, to access the boot alone.
The other cabin doors will not open for added security. One depression on either the small rubber button alongside, or on the door handle, will re-lock the car and you can walk away knowing that it is safe and secure. Yes, there are some cars that will open their boot-lids electrically by waggling a foot beneath the rear bumper, but juggling bags, boxes and other items, while waiting for the lid to open is more problematic than it may seem.
Luscombe’s summary: If you have any difficulty in understanding Suzuki’s ‘keyless-go’ facility, just ask any of our staff and they will help you.
Next week: Iain contemplates the benefits of fitting low-temperature, or winter tyres, to your car.
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