Next-gen SUV gets more rugged styling and upmarket interior; test car sighting follows leaked images

The next-generation Suzuki Jimny will be revealed near the end of 2018 before arriving on roads at the start of the following year.

The current Jimny has now gone out of production to make way for its successor, with a Suzuki spokesman telling Autocar that only existing stock of the model - fewer than 200 units - are available for purchase.

Although its still several months from reveal - it's predicted to land at the Tokyo motor show in October - the next Jimny has been seen testing several times, showing its new design. Unlike the Vitara, the future SUV will not be softened with a more road-biased look. It will actually be made to look significantly more rugged, with a retro design.

The fourth-generation model is being developed with the feedback of existing Jimny owners in mind, who rank its effective off-road capabilities and robustness more highly than on-road performance.

Road handling will still be improved, but a Suzuki spokesman explained that the car's unique selling point was its hardy nature, so this will remain the focus during development.

As such, the car's design reflects its 4x4 status, taking influence from earlier-generation Jimnys with a simple, box-shaped body. Much of the design appears similar to that applied to the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, such as the squared-off wheel arches and tail-lights located low on the bumper.

Images leaked onto the internet revealed the look of the car's interior late last year. Although it gains modern features such as touchscreen infotainment, the overall design remains clunky - likely due to a priority for function over form to enable users to operate controls and buttons with gloves on.

Suzuki has been testing the car in four countries - one of which is Britain - in order to develop the car's chassis set-up and refinement for launch onto the global market. Its scale is not expected to drastically change from the outgoing car, which is just 120mm longer than a Smart Forfour.

The brand has remained tight-lipped as to what will power the future SUV, but sources expect Suzuki’s turbocharged 1.0-litre Boosterjet three-pot to be offered, with the brand’s naturally aspirated 1.2-litre a potential entry-point engine. No diesel engine is expected - the brand just confirmed that it has pulled all diesel options from its current line-up.

Suzuki swapped the manual low-range gear selector in its latest Vitara for an electric rotary dial, but the new Jimny could stick with the former system to maximise its off-road adjustability.

The brand's decision to ignore the temptation to build a more mainstream model should ensure that sales remain comparatively small (versus other compact SUVs). Around 1200 Jimnys are sold per year in Britain - a figure that has remained consistent since the outgoing version launched in 1998. The new car is expected to comfortably beat this while leading a charge to grow Suzuki sales by 20%.

The larger Vitara is currently the brand's bestselling model. It achieves UK sales of about 12,000 units per year, with the expectation of further growth.

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Comments
26

24 August 2017
This lookind ok, this is one car though I hope is a little bigger though. Just make it a little more practical a proposition. Had a Jimny as a loan car whilst my Grand Vitara was getting a new clutch fitted. Loved it but it was just way way too small.
Pity there's no new Grand Vitara. The the salesman was telling me the caravan people are moving on to other brands as the vicarage can't tow a heavy van like the old GV could.
Think Suzuki could do with stretching the Vitara & say a 2.0 tdi like Nissan did with the X-trail, as they quickly found out. The new car couldn't tow a lot.

24 August 2017

This looks great! Love the rugged styling

24 August 2017

Looks like they photocopied a thirty year old Mercs G-Wagen.

Citroëniste.

24 August 2017

Good on Suzuki for staying true to the spirit of the Jimny,[.please don't make the interior too upmarket either,much as I admire the latest Ignis there was no way that it was up to replacing the Jimny,another great  offering from the masters of the small car.

24 August 2017
Just hired a knackered Jimny in Corfu for a couple of days. Utterly loved it and want one.

24 August 2017

Back in the day, BL decided there was no market for small ragtop sports cars, so it left it - then along came the MX5. Now JLR has abandonded the Defender and its market and along comes the new Jimny. 

24 August 2017

Good to see they are still making proper tough little utility vehicles. I have owned a few of these over the years and love them to bits.

Steam cars are due a revival.

24 August 2017

I know somweone with an sx4 diesel uses fiat engine and the cost of cambelt was over £1000 the garagebeing official dealer said just get rid before it is due had not fitted one due to cost

 

24 August 2017
Ski Kid wrote:

I know somweone with an sx4 diesel uses fiat engine and the cost of cambelt was over £1000 the garagebeing official dealer said just get rid before it is due had not fitted one due to cost

 

I don;t recall the Jimny ever having a diesel engine. The SX4 was also sold as a FIAT, so that is why they used their diesel engine

5 October 2017

The Fiat JTD engine is a standard diesel donkey.  Cam-belt and tensioner kit costs £100 (genuine parts) and the swap takes about 2.5 hours... so even a main dealer will only charge you £350 or thereabouts for a cam-belt service.

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