Two doors up

By Dylan Afuang

A NEW VERSION of Suzuki’s famous off-road SUV recently made its local debut. Called simply the Jimny 5-Door, it’s the lengthened version of the current Jimny 3-Door, both of which will be retailed by Suzuki Philippines, Inc. (SPH).

The current Jimny, launched in 2018, boasts the squared appearance and off-road abilities of its predecessors that date back to 1970. For its distinctive styling and rough-and-ready reverence alone, throughout its four generations the Jimny has attracted a following here and abroad.

The SUV’s widespread appeal grew stronger still when it spawned two extra doors behind its two front ones last year.

The range starts with the Jimny 5-Door GL MT (P1.558 million), continues with the GLX AT (P1.698 million), and tops at the GLX AT Two-Tone whose color-combination options command a P10,000 premium over the standard GLX.

Over the 3-Door — and owing to its two rear passenger doors — the Jimny 5-Door is longer by 340mm for an overall length of 3,985mm. Between the two Jimnys, however, the total width (1,645mm) and height (1,720mm) remain the same.

The Jimny 5-Door retains the 3-Door’s styling cues, too, such as the upright and square body that features expansive windows to improve driver visibility. Similarities continue to the new model’s round headlamps and the chrome highlights on the grille that draw attention to its five-slot layout.

Supported by the existing body-on-frame construction and 15-inch alloy wheels, the new SUV keeps its counterpart’s 210mm of ground clearance.

While the standard model comes from Japan, the Jimny 5-Door is “manufactured in India, particularly by (Suzuki subsidiary) Maruti Suzuki,” SPH Managing Director Norminio C. Mojica confirmed to “Velocity” on the sidelines of the model’s press launch. “We chose India because of (Maruti’s) production capability to address the growing demand for this particular model,” the executive said, adding that Maruti’s production processes would enable the Jimny 5-Door to be “priced competitively” in the market.

Regarding demand, “We are expecting to sell 200 to 300 units per month this year,” Mr. Mojica said, noting that the target is taking into account the five-door model’s allocation for the Philippine market. “Depending on the market’s response, we’ll try to improve our allocation later this year… because, as you know, the Jimny is a ‘global phenomenon.’”

Behind the new doors that now feature power windows, the 5-Door’s rear seats accommodate two passengers, like the base SUV. The cargo hold (which now gets a power outlet and room lamp) has been bumped up in capacity to 211 liters, which can be accessed through the side-swinging tailgate.

Up front, new features such as a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic climate control, and cruise control on the Jimny 5-Door GLX, are introduced.

Similar to the original, the Jimny 5-Door is powered by Suzuki’s K15B 1.5-liter gasoline engine with 102hp and 134Nm of torque. The manual transfer case, the Suzuki AllGrip Pro 4WD part-time four-wheel drive system, and transmission choices of a five-speed manual and four-speed automatic are also retained.