2024 5-door XL Suzuki Jimny problems
- Cheap, but it’s still a big chunk of change to buy
- Would love more grunt, the 1.5L is adequate
- 4-speed auto isn’t much fun
Is the 5-door Jimny any good?
- So much fun to drive, so much fun!
- The 5-door opens up so many possibilities to small families
- Very capable off-road still, which is the main point of the Jimny
What’s the story?
Anyone who has been around the old-school Suzuki 4x4s knows that the LWB versions are far superior. In pretty much every way. More stable, have better climbing ability, more room for gear and are generally just a more practical 4X4. While still being one of the physically smallest options on the market. And guess what? That hasn’t changed.
The new Jimny XL is all of those things when compared to the SWB two-door. That’s not to say the two-doors are by any stretch a bad thing, it’s just that the LWB version does it all a touch nicer. It’s still compact and nippy enough for an inner-city commute, it still has the off-road prowess, it still gets a bunch of attention from admirers and it’s still an economical and fun-factor-a-million daily driver or weekend warrior.
Unsealed 4X4 was recently invited to the press launch at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Motorsport Park and given most of the staff either have owned and modified in the past or currently do own and modify Zooks, we didn’t have any trouble finding anyone keen to get behind the wheel of the latest iteration of the mighty Zook.
Here’s our first impressions of what will no doubt become one of the most sought after new 4X4s in the coming years.
2024 Suzuki Jimny XL Specs
Price: $36,490 RRP for 4-speed auto excluding onroads
Warranty: 5 years, unlimited km
Engine: 1.5L 4-cyl VVT 16V
Fuel Consumption: 6.9L/100km claimed (AT)
Fuel Capacity: 40L
Driveline: 5sp manual or 4sp auto; part time transfer case; solid axles front and rear
Suspension: Front and rear coil springs, monotube shocks, radius arms
Brakes: Disc front; drum rear
Kerb Weight: 1200kg (AT)
GVM: 1545kg (100kg more than the SWB)
Does the 5-door Jimny look good?
There will be a small segment of the Suzuki cognoscenti who don’t like the stretched appearance of the Jimny XL, but I reckon they’re looking at it all wrong. You have to squint a little and imagine it with some barwork, lift and tyres and they start looking amazing.
Even as stock, they’re by no means a large vehicle. Width and height remain unchanged, it’s really only the increased length and extra pair of doors that set it apart. Suzuki have gone to a fair whack of effort to keep the proportions as close to the two-door as possible, and it really does retain the compact look, but the extra space and doors just scream increased practicality to me. But I love Zooks. Come at me, bro.
Does the 2024 Jimny drive okay?
The ergonomics and powerplant remain the same as the SWB Jimny, and that’s not a bad thing. The seats are comfortable and offer a commanding position for driver visibility. Given that it’s a narrow rig and relatively tall, the front and rear solid axles actually had little negative effect on the handling. It remained predictable and, dare I say, planted on the road-drive section of the launch.
The 4-speed auto is way too old to be put into a vehicle in this decade and performance suffers. The manual, in comparison, feels like it has an extra 30kw available, such is the drag of the slushbox (not a term I’d use with a modern auto, but this one warrants the insult). I can’t see a viable reason to spend the three extra grand for one less pedal to be honest. The 5-speed manual is a great gearbox, shifting smoothly and crisply.
It should be pointed out that this is not a hot hatch, so don’t be expecting Golf Type R-spec handling. It’s a 4X4, through and through, and when driven as such provides a relaxing and stress-free commute or run up the freeway.
As always, the 4-banger is begging for a few more killer-wasps, or even better, a turbo, but you can definitely daily drive the 2024 XL Jimny.
The radius arm front and rear suspension is retained, which is to be expected but also kind of annoying. It’s a big old compromise of a set-up and the stock XL ran out of travel quickly. Not a huge deal if you’re buying one of these for serious wheeling and are willing to modify around it, but worth noting. Mind you, with a pair of lockers it’ll go pretty much anywhere without too many worries. Not that the traction control is terrible – more that we were waiting for it to kick in on a couple of climbs which robbed us of momentum.
As is Zook tradition, the transfer case is geared way too high for anywhere near sizeable tyres. A set of gears would remedy this, and make it way more capable to boot, but it’s something for prospective owners to be aware of. If the plan is to leave it stock and just take it for runs up the beach on the weekend, then you’d be hard pressed to find a better option out of the box.
To be fair, it really is an extremely viable two-person tourer, even with a kiddo or doggo (or two) along for the journey. Cheap to run, enough room for swags and a fridge and with a few tweaks tremendously capable.
Who should buy the 5-door Jimny?
As mentioned, it’s for single folks or a couple of explorers. A young family maybe. If you’ve got the in-laws, the kids’ partners and the menagerie along for the ride you’re going to run out of space quick. With that said, if fuel prices are a concern (when aren’t they?) and you don’t need a LandCruiser or Ranger for your day to day, then the Zook would be ideal.
If you’re commuting in an urban centre then running up the coast to chase Mulloway at the change of tide after work on a Friday, I’m not sure there’s a better vehicle for your needs, Governor.
The Jimny really does straddle the line between cheap-to-run commuter and weekend playtoy for someone who doesn’t need a heap of room or carrying capacity.
Would I take one to Cape York? You betcha. And I’d be highly suspicious of anyone who says they wouldn’t.
Towing with a Jimny
Lol. If you’re towing anything more than a sub-4M tinny or a small box trailer, this is not the droid you’re looking for. Move along. Though we are sure many of you will prove us wrong, and we like that about you… as long as it’s all kept legal. Okay.
5-door Jimny best modifications
The usual suspects really. If I was modifying one for myself, I’d look at gearing and lockers first, followed by suspension (I’d yeet the radius arms for a better link system, but I’m almost certainly in the minority there) and tyres. After that it’s a bar, sliders and maybe a low-profile roof rack for swag storage when I’m carrying a passenger or two.
The great thing about getting into the Jimny platform after it’s already been on the market for a few years is that all of this stuff is already available off the shelf. For $10K on top of the RRP, you’d have a tidy commuter and run-to-the-shops rig during the week and a full-on track eater for weekend playtime and extended trips and still be tens of thousands ahead over pretty much any larger new fourby.
Is the Jimny for everyone, no. Not even close. Is it fun to drive and nothing short of excellent at what it’s designed for? Yes, yes it is.
Keep an eye out in the near future as Unsealed 4X4 brings you a full review on the latest Jimny XL.