The new Suzuki Jimny will also get a new cabin with all black interior and a well-equipped dashboard where the centre stage is taken by a larger SmartPlay touchscreen infotainment system.
The main engine option will be a 1.5-litre petrol for most markets; 660cc petrol to be Japan-only. While cars will arrive in Australia towards the end of this year they won't make it into dealerships until early next year (2019). Both engines come paired with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic transmission, and a part-time four-wheel drive. For instance, the round headlights are taken off the original Jimny, while the vertical grille, horizontal slits in the clamshell bonnet and "gathered" rear taillights are all from the second-generation vehicle. It measures 3,395 mm in length, 1,475 mm in width and up to 1,715 mm in height. The car's ground clearance is rated at 210 mm, while its boot space of 85 litres can be expanded to 377 litres with the rear seats folded.
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Suzuki has also squashed at least one of the rumours that have been buzzing around the cybergarage by specifying only one engine choice for the global market outside Japan - a 1462cc, naturally-aspirated DOHC 16-valve long-stroke petrol four rated for 75kW at 6000 revs and 130Nm at 4000rpm - an nearly 20 percent improvement on the 1.3-litre current model's 63kW and 110Nm. As measured on outgoing NEDC fuel economy and Carbon dioxide regulations, the new Jimny claims 41.5mpg with the manual box, dipping to 37.6mpg for the auto. The drivetrain can be configured three ways - 2H driving the Jimny's front wheels, 4H activating the four-wheel-drive system, and 4L activating the low range transfer gear for the harshest off-road conditions.
That all works well off-road, but Suzuki promise the new Jimny will be more forgiving on road with the more rigid ladder frame and steering damper.
Suzuki also fits safety systems such as the dual sensor brake support automatic braking system, lane departure warning, weaving alert and high beam assist, as well as traffic sign recognition and hill descent control. We anticipate a premium on the current car's £12,999 starting tag given the Jimny's new tech, though it should still remain a small, cheap off-roader.