Suzuki Jimny 5-Door makes SA debut ahead of late-2023 launch

Published Aug 25, 2023


The hotly anticipated Suzuki Jimny 5-Door has made its first appearance on African soil at the Festival of Motoring (FOM) at Kyalami.

The importer is aiming to have it in South African showrooms before the end of 2023, but the order books for the diminutive SUV are now open.

Pricing and final specifications will only be announced at launch, but the company did release a few of the details at its Kyalami presentation, where we also got to ride in the back of one on the facility’s 4x4 trail.

On many levels the 5-Door Suzuki Jimny seems to have success written all over it. Take a diminutive and much-loved 4x4 and give it two extra doors, as well as some extra cabin and luggage room, but without making it too big.

For the record, the 5-Door is 350mm longer than the 3-Door, stretching its overall length to 3,965mm, and that does result in a very tangible increase in cabin space.

Although there isn’t really room to stretch out in the back seat, I was able to sit comfortably in the back during our short trail excursion, but keep in mind that this is strictly a four-seater. See how much space it has in the video below:

@jason.woosey Suzuki #jimny 5-Door on show at #festivalofmotoring2023 #kyalami ♬ original sound - car stories

The Jimny also has something resembling a boot for the first time, and although it’s not exactly huge, with its 211 litre capacity, there is a lot of vertical packing space.

But there is one stumbling block that I feel will limit its success on the local market, and that’s the 1.5-litre normally aspirated engine that will be the only option for customers.

With the larger body adding 105kg to the Jimny’s kerb weight, performance will almost certainly be leisurely. And yes, I get it, the Jimny is not built for speed. Not by any means. But Jimny drivers like to explore our beautiful country and our rural roads are littered with slow trucks.

Will it be able to overtake safely? The jury is still out on that, and I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve actually tested one, but I suspect the model would really benefit from a detuned version of Suzuki’s 1.4-litre turbopetrol motor that’s offered in the Vitara. Not to make it fast, but just to give it that open road oomph that South Africans expect these days.

As mentioned, the full model range has yet to be announced, but we do know that there will be a GLX flagship model, which will be fitted with a larger 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

The 3-Door is currently only available with a 7.0-inch screen, which we suspect will be fitted to the lower-spec 5-Door variants.

The Suzuki Jimny 5-Door will also be offered with an exclusive colour called Celestial Blue. It’s also available with the 3-Door’s Jungle Green signature hue as well as three two-tone options that combine a black roof with Sizzling Red, Kinetic Yellow or Chiffon Grey.

Pricing, as mentioned, will be released upon launch, but expect it to command a premium over the 3-Door Jimny, which currently retails from R373 900 to R419 900.

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