Jimny owners are nice people.
And they’re passionate too (and I mean really enthusiastically) about their Jimnys.
RNews now knows this after last weekend Suzuki made us part of this community of adventurers and took us in a kinetic yellow five-door Jimny to the very first Jimny Gathering outside Clarens.
And thank goodness for that yellow (or is it lime green?) hazard, as anyone who visited this picturesque town in the Eastern Free State in any other vehicle this past weekend must have probably felt like the fifth wheel on the Jimny wagon .
Almost 800 Jimnys and their owners have been flashing their way from across the country to the farm Langkranz outside Clarens since Friday, where they set a Guinness World Record on Sunday for the most vehicles to switch on their lights at the same time.
A total of 787 of the 796 Jimnys switched on their lights to a loud honking.
Camping in Suzuki’s tent town, 4×4 drives in the Golden Gate‑Highland‑ National Park and a music festival in the town square preceded the world record.
But what’s all the fuss about a Suzuki Jimny?
“Why (Jim) not?” was Fred Martin, the owner of a third and fourth generation Jimny’s answer to RNews. “Once you have one, you want another,” explained Martin, who traveled all the way from Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape to Clarens.
Martin says it’s loads of fun to be part of the Jimny community.
“The drivers of Jimnys are just such nice people. It is a lifestyle vehicle.”
Brendon Carpenter, brand manager of Suzuki Auto South Africa, says most Jimny owners come from Gauteng and it was finally decided after much deliberation to host the first Jimny Gathering in the tourist town of Clarens. It is not too far from Gauteng, but also an attraction for owners from elsewhere in the country.
Suzuki already wanted to host the event in 2020 in celebration of the Jimny’s 50th anniversary. And then the Covid-19 pandemic hit. It was then decided on this year and the past year was thoroughly planned for the weekend that would bring together hundreds of Jimny owners and even Hisanori Matsushima, manager of Suzuki Motor Corporation’s design department.
Matsushima-san’s Jimny design has become a global best-seller and was named City Car of the Year at the World Car of the Year Awards in 2019. It is also from Matsushima-san’s proverbial brush that the new five-door came into being.
Five-door soon to be officially launched
The five-door has this past weekend for very attracted attention among Jimny fans as a taster as the model will only be officially launched in November.
RNews test drove the newcomer from Durban and can testify that this compact 4×4 (which can hold a candle to the biggest and best) surprisingly does not pull more than the three-door on the long road. This is thanks to the same 1.5 l‑ naturally aspirated engine that offers 75 kW and 130 Nm, and Suzuki’s All-Grip Pro 4×4 system with the usual 4-speed‑ automatic transmission which, in my opinion, is nice and easy to drive and definitely easier can face an obstacle as the manual gear in untrained hands.
However, it is clear that, like any other generation, he prefers the dirt road to the highway and after a conversation with seasoned car people, everyone reassures me that the Jimny feels at its best at 110 km/h. However, the longer wheelbase of the five-door version drives better over rough roads. We will know more about how the 1.5‑engine behaves in terms of fuel consumption after the official launch.
At 3.9m, the five-door off-road machine is 360mm longer than the three-door and also stands 50mm higher, with a wheelbase that stretches by 340mm to make room for an extra set of doors and slightly larger boot.
About the five-door, Carpenter says: “It feels the same to me as the three-door. He feels like home. But now I can bring my wife, mother-in-law and children in.”
The five-door Jimny is expected to be launched in November.