Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara

Jimny 5-door – Bang for you buck?

The top spec Jimny five-door GLX Auto is listed at R479 900 and in today’s market that seems to be a reasonable price for what you get. But is it really?

The extra R41 000 in price compared to the three-door variant buys you an extra 340mm of length, and although it doesn’t sound like much it gives you two extra doors – with decent leg room for the rear bench. The rear cargo space is considerably larger than that of the -three-door and there is enough space for four carry-on suitcases. The extra money also gets you added safety features, a larger infotainment unit and a couple of other extras.

But the question remains: is this vehicle overpriced? So, let’s see what you get at the price. This is an extremely capable five-door 4×4. The little 1.5-litre engine is proven and is used in a variety of vehicles in the Suzuki and Toyota stables. Some say that this is also a negative and that the little Jimny needs something with a bit more oomph, but I don’t believe that.

This search for more speed and power in purpose-built 4×4 vehicles is a worldwide trend, which I feel is unnecessary. After all, 4×4 vehicles are not supposed to be speed demons, these are supposed to be tourers and time spent behind the wheel should be relaxed. Besides, the maximum speed in South Africa is 120km/h, so why would you want to go faster?

The Suzuki Jimny is a proper 4×4 vehicle. I would have loved for it to have a rear diff lock, but the brake-assisted limited-slip differential offers very similar functionality, and it is pretty quick to react when needed. The approach, departure and breakover angles are decent at 36-, 47- and 24-degrees respectively. The ground clearance is a reasonable 210mm, which can easily be increased if you fit a
set of 215/75/R15 tyres. The transfer case is decent and multiplies the torque and power of the engine enough to tackle most obstacles with comfort.

The Jimny is not that frugal when it comes to fuel consumption and a strong headwind can easily see it rocket to 10 litres/100km. However, on the launch – which saw us do about 550km over two days in varied conditions – we averaged about 8.4 litres/100km whilst averaging around 90 to100km/h on the black stuff and tackling the 4×4 sections in 4L. At 40 litres, the fuel tank is a bit tiny, and a larger 50-litre tank would have been a better option. You could get between 400 to 450km out of the tank, though.

Space is an issue in any small vehicle, but can the Jimny overland? Yes, it can! Chuck out the rear seats and there is ample room for a good-sized drawer system. Hook up dual battery system and couple that to a 40-litre fridge and you have plenty of space left inside for the rest of your luggage without exceeding the Jimny’s load capacity.

Now add a roof rack and there is extra space for an ammo box or two, a jerry can with extra fuel and space to strap down your bow tent. Or ditch the bow tent and hook up a small teardrop and you are set to go on your next adventure! Pricing-wise, the next true 4×4 SUV with a transfer case will cost you almost R100 000 more than the Jimny fivedoor.

So, is the Jimny overpriced?

Not at all! You get a lot of bang for your buck. Apart from all the things already mentioned, you get an iconic vehicle with a history of over 50 years. This is a vehicle with which you can explore, get to work and back, and go on vacation. It is also a purpose-built 4×4, with the ability to take you places that are usually only accessible to vehicle that starts from almost double the price of a Jimny.

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