Once in a long while, a car comes along that scores so high on emotional quotient you’ll never have to waste any time scoring it on an Excel spreadsheet. Quantitative box-checking seems to keep certain quarters happy (and occupied), but regardless of segment, we like to think that car purchases should be emotional, and if you’re lucky, they can be.
The cute and chunky Jimny (Singapore gets the Jimny Sierra) shows that it’s possible to turn heads without fancy doors, a slippery Cd and an obnoxious exhaust. It’s not just the lurid Kinetic Yellow paint scheme or body-armour cladding either, because we’ve found that Jimnys of all shades tend to attract attention, and mostly of the good sort too!
(Click HERE to read our intro to the 2019 Cars of the Year)
The mini Brutalist lines of the latest Jimny could have been drawn with a set-square and is a polarising blast from the past with its Tonka Truck styling and mini-Gelandewagen looks – not quite what many were expecting from Suzuki.
And it’s certainly proving to be a smash hit; we loved it from the photos even before it arrived, and in the flesh, the Jimny’s personality is larger than life. It’s perfectly formed and brutally honest, not one of those pretentious crossovers that tries to be all things to everyone, because in the case of the Jimny, it certainly isn’t for everyone.
The cabin is rough and ready for plenty of use and abuse, with Duplo-sized rocker buttons for ease-of-operation and a decent level of amenities. One of the few concessions to vanity are the instrument surrounds, which do a passable impression of Bell&Ross’s iconic Instrument series of PVD watches.
The Japanese have always been creative when it comes to small car packaging and the Jimny is no exception. After all, they have plenty of experience with the kei-jidosha class of mini-cars – Singapore gets the Jimny Sierra through the official channel, but the ‘regular’ JDM Jimny model without the fender extensions qualifies as a kei-car.
Thus there’s a surprising array of cabin storage solutions even for this (slightly) larger Jimny, as well as the ability to create an uninterrupted through-load space for longer items with the rear seats folded and front passenger seat reclined flat.
The Jimny’s exterior 3480 x 1645 x 1725mm dimensions and 2250mm wheelbase may seem diminutive, but it will fit four average height adults in a pinch for quick deployments. However, we can see some owners leaving the rear-seats permanently folded flat for the dogs, camera gear or what-have-yous.
This tiny tyke doesn’t just look the part of a rugged off-road warrior, it’ll walk the talk too, because the little Suzuki isn’t a fair-weathered companion and is always game for some slap and tickle in the rough. There’s decent ground clearance and a separate Hi-Low gearbox for when you decide to take a trawl into the wild side.
The Jimny doesn’t only resemble a Defender in styling, but also in terms of on-road drive dynamics – folks who’ve actually driven a Defender (especially an older one) should know what we’re on about. The saucy Suzuki trundles along at a pace that is languid and leisurely, and if you consult the specs at the end, we don’t even have a 0-100km/h timing for her.
Not that it matters, because the Jimny is one of those cars that is about the journey, not the destination. If anything, it gives you time to slow the pace down and enjoy the unadulterated driving experience. There’s plenty of chassis articulation even on the straight and true, but this translates to ample feel on the occasions you put it through its muddy paces.
You never need to work the 1.4-litre engine hard, because you know it will reach cruising speed eventually.
NVH, 0-100km/h runs, cornering g and top speed aren’t even in the equation, simply because the Jimny is a delightful, delicious indulgence that puts a broad grin on the face of its lucky owner, as well as on the faces of those whose paths it crosses.
Some cars serve a single purpose as mere beasts of burden or mundane A-to-B transportation, but the Jimny defiantly transcends such characterisation.
We’re happy to move to its groove because the Jimny is a welcome blast of fresh air in an increasingly stodgy automotive landscape. However, it’s a ‘want’, not a ‘need’, and If you need to try to make sense of the cents, you’re probably not ready for a car like this. As far as we’re concerned though, this baby-G hits all the right spots for us...
SUZUKI JIMNY ALLGRIP
Engine 1462cc, inline4
Transmission 4spd auto
Top Speed 140km/h
Fuel Consumption 8.8l/100km