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Cute and compact cult car moves up to five doors

Your Life

Cute and compact cult car moves up to five doors

Suzuki’s cute and compact Jimny now has a five-door big brother and BRUCE McMAHON concludes that Suzuki appears to be on another winner.

Already a cult car, the three-door Jimny has been stretched out by 340mm in the wheelbase – and in the body – to offer a more versatile five-door wagon.

Along with an extra set of doors and an extra cross member for the chassis, the Jimny wagon scores an upgraded central touch screen for better connectivity and such, stronger springs up front, and re-worked shock absorbers. Plus, there are now rear parking sensors.

Otherwise, the recipe remains much the same – a full chassis, two and four-wheel drive with high and low ratios, a 1.5 litre petrol engine and the choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

And there’s no compromise to the Jimny’s cheerful, and ever-competent character. This is a smart-looking, fit-for-purpose machine.

Both these Suzukis deliver what is promised and that’s light and easy, economical transport with the ability to tackle all types of off-road terrain.

Both are styled with chunky-funk; loads of straight lines and Hot Wheels appeal.

Here the addition of extra body metal for the five-door doesn’t harm the charms of the original while adding to usability. No need to half-clamber over a front seat to get to the rear.

The cargo area has more room too.

There’s just the one issue up front – limited storage space for the likes of mobile phones, but otherwise it’s a tidy dashboard, workmanlike yet welcoming.

The upgraded back seat will cater for two full-sized adults, maybe not for a lap of the country but it is comfortable  enough for a bush picnic or beach outing.

This extra space, extra doors and versatility, along with a better ride, means the five-door should also prove comfortable and big enough for a pair of adults heading out on decent adventures and loaded up with gear.

Where the shorter wheelbase three-door can bump-jump at the rear and bring on a little tail-to-nose pitch, the five-door’s ride is a tad more composed. And it’s a bit quieter too.

With just 75kW of power at 6000rpm and 130Nm of torque, neither of these Jimnys are speed-racers yet the five-door sits comfortably on highway speeds (allowing for some extra space for overtaking) and at around 1200kg the new wagon is a little champion off the road.

This is a fun, very capable machine for Queensland’s back tracks and beaches.

Lower the tyre pressure and the Jimny wagon is a trooper through the soft stuff, an easy ride down hard-packed sand and a warrior on slow and steady obstacle work.

Both transmissions work well off road but some will prefer the manual, a more engaging proposition.

There’s 210mm of ground clearance and, with those 15-inch wheels pushed out to the four corners, good approach and departure angles in a compact body measuring under 4m long, even with the rear-mounted spare wheel taken into account.

All this goodness starts at $34,990 for the five-door, five-speed manual Jimny, around $3000 over the three-door.  The auto starts at $36,490.

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