Suzuki Jimny: Still ploughing a Jimny furrow

New Suzuki Jimny launched in Japan to arrive in other markets soon

With a turning circle of 4.9m, a ladder frame and a three-link rigid axle with coil springs at the front and the rear, the new Suzuki Jimny continues to be a proper off-roader.

The new Suzuki Jimny - arriving in the United Kingdom in 2019 - promises to be as able as the Jimny always has been, but with better dynamics and a new 1.5 litre petrol engine. As such, the 101bhp power output and 130Nm of torque are adequate rather than sparkling.

Suzuki has revealed more information on the upcoming Jimny 4x4 that is due to be released later this year. The new version is the first major update to the model since 1998, but despite this the Jimny has earned itself a solid reputation among off-road and city auto enthusiasts. This naturally aspirated four-cylinder K15B engine makes 75 kW and 130 N.m (up from the 63 kW and 110 N.m offered by the outgoing 1,3-litre), and will again be offered with the choice of a five-speed manual gearbox or four-speed automatic transmission. Just one you could nearly carry in your pocket.

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All the switchgear is big and chunky, specifically shaped for easy operation while wearing gloves - Suzuki obviously intends that you should take the new Jimny way outside your comfort zone, given that it boasts an approach angle of 37 degrees, a departure angle of 49 degrees and a ramp breakover angle of 28 degrees, thanks to 210mm of ground clearance, and a turning circle of less than 10 metres. This betters the old car's 34-degrees (A), 31-degrees (D), and 46-degrees (BO). The analogue dials are set in cubic housings and are always lit up for clear viewing on and off-road. The central console is centred around a seven-inch touchscreen at higher trim levels, which includes Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity. The boot floor and the backs of the rear seats are coated in plastic for protection against dirt and stains. The vehicle can be operated in 2H front-wheel-drive mode most of the time, maximising fuel economy. The new model features "Suzuki Safety Support" which comes with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and high beam assist.

The four-wheel drive system in the Jimny can be switched between two-wheel and four-wheel drive alongside the low range transfer gear that offers more torque to aid with traction on slopes.

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