Doors open to greater opportunity

The Suzuki Jimny 5-Door.

Who’d have thought that, with a name sounding like a sleeveless under garment, or fitness centre for tiny tots, the Jimny would have cornered the market in its segment as an all-round, on-road/off-road compact.

A matter of three doors has not held the small SUV back. In fact, it has become something of a cult car. Now a five-door version has shown up Down Under. In GLX premium spec, the newbie is not just a stretch version, sitting on a 340 mm longer wheelbase.

The ladder frame chassis has been beefed up with the addition of an extra cross-member; the transmission in automatic variants is stronger and adjoins a longer propeller shaft.

The front suspension has been upgraded with stronger springs, recalibrated shock absorbers and a larger stabiliser bar, while front brakes are ventilated discs to dissipate heat.

Paul Dillon, general manager of Suzuki importer/distributor, in Queensland and norther Rivers, says the Jimny three-door has captured the market thanks to its ability to tackle ocean beaches, tough mountain terrain and true outback going.

“Adding a five-door to the range, while keeping the distinctive, funky Jimny styling, makes it not only an extraordinary off-road machine but also a head turner in suburbia.”

The Jimny five-door, like its little brother, is covered by Suzuki’s five-year unlimited kilometre warranty.


Up front the Jimny five-door repeats the three-door layout with the hallmark Suzuki five-slot radiator taking centre spot, while a full-size ‘Prince Harry’ (think about it) with black cover and white rhino motif clings to the outside of a barn-style tailgate door, which has two open positions for ease of loading in restricted spaces.

In between the front and back is a wheelbase 340 mm longer than the three-door sibling, which with ground clearance of 210 mmm manages to maintain the pleasing proportions of little brother.

Two-and-single tone colours are on offer, the former teaming a new red metallic and chiffon ivory metallic with a bluish black pearl roof. Alternative monotones consist of a new grey metallic with the present jungle green, Arctic white pearl and bluish black pearl.


With the four-seater three-door a proven favourite suburban shuttle for one or two passengers, the five-door steps forward to carry more people over longer distances. Comfort levels in the rear have been lifted with the fabric seats having increased thickness, greater width and two incline positions.

The five-door also has three times more luggage space than the three-door with the seat-backs raised.


A nine-inch high definition display features wireless or USB smartphone connectivity, plus rear-view camera images. DAB digital radio includes four speakers – two in the front door and two in the back.

A new binocular camera system has taken over from the single monocular unit and laser radar of the tree-door. The new camera presents a wider range of features including adaptive cruise control and night-time pedestrian recognition.


Suzuki’s K15B 1.5 litre four-cylinder engine is the tried-and-tested version found in the three-door Jimny, peaking with 75 kW while spinning at a high 6000 rpm. This is backed up with 130 Nm of torque at 4000 revs. Transmissions are a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.


Rear parking sensors are fitted as standard for the first time on a Jimny. Before now they were an option. There are dual front, side front and curtain airbags, plus two ISOFIX child seat anchorages in the back.

Active safety is in the hands of anti-locking brakes, electronic stability program, dual sensor brake support, lane departure warning, weaving alert and emergency stop signal. Hill start control and hill descent control complete the list.


The Jimny five-door four-speed auto on test tended to run out of puff on steeper inclines, the four-cog tranny running out of steam before changing down. On the flat the powertrain pulled off the mark without hesitation.

Fuel consumption was on the high side – 9.8 litres per 100 kilometres in the suburbs and 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the open road.

The longer wheelbase made for less choppy running over blemishes on the road. Braking, taking advantage of ventilated discs up from had no trouble pulling up the fully loaded vehicle without fading, even with repeated use.

The All Grip Pro drive train is also carried over from the three-door, heading up three selectable driving modes – two-wheel high, four-wheel high and four-wheel low – while taking advantage of similar 210 mm ground clearance.

Leaving the bitumen behind, essential aid is on tap via a robust full ladder frame, long travel, three-link suspension, teamed with rigid full-width axles front and rear for maximum traction.


Jimny has made the jump from three-door compact to five-door compact-plus with ease. It’s now up to Suzuki to deliver on the inevitable clamour for the big brother to the three-door, which struggled under the demand for the genuine off-roader.