After more than a decade in production, Suzuki finally launched its new Jimny. The South African launch followed hot on the heels of the international one.
In November 2018 the Jimny came to market and has been a hot seller for the Japanese automaker’s local arm. Every month, the Jimny sells around 100 units, making it one of the more popular 4x4s in SA.
Over the last year and a bit, Wheels24 has put the Jimny through its paces on numerous occasions. Ranging from road trips to off-road expeditions, to taking on a modified Jeep Wrangler, we’ve come to know the Jimny on a very intimate basis.
So popular is the Jimny, in fact, that there is a waiting list for it. Suzuki SA imports the Jimny, but demand overshadows what the automaker can deliver on. It’s a nice conundrum to be in, because it only shows head office in Japan that South Africa is a key market for the big-hearted 4x4.
A new model?
At the recently concluded Auto Expo held in India, Suzuki revealed a Jimny model carrying the 'Sierra' badge. At first glance this may look like a new, special-edition model and one would be excited to see it launch in SA, given how well the Jimny is selling on our shores.
But delve a bit deeper into the matter and it becomes clear that this is the first time the Sierra model debuts in India, which suggests that the automaker is looking to launch a Sierra version in that market.
Wheels24 reached out to Suzuki SA to inquire whether or not this model would be coming to SA, to which the automaker replied: "The SA Jimny spec is the Sierra spec. They (India) have the 660cc model known as Jimny, and the 1500cc export model called Jimny Sierra (which we get)."
This means that while markets such as India are only getting the 'Sierra' specification now, other markets, like South Africa, have been getting the top-spec versions of the Jimny from the off. Difference is, we do not have the Sierra badges to show it.
The Suzuki Jimny range is powered by a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated engine. Codenamed K15B, the motor delivers 75kW and 138Nm. It sends power to all four wheels via either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic transmission.
Suzuki’s products are indeed a favourite among local buyers. Just last month, Suzuki SA sold the seventh most cars of all manufacturers in SA, while its Swift was the sixth best-selling passenger car.
Image: Warren Wilson