How to Get in on that Suzuki Jimny Action
The new Suzuki Jimny rocks, but the previous generation gives you all the Jimny action on a smaller budget.
So, you want a Suzuki Jimny? That’s no surprise because who wouldn’t want a retro styled mini-SUV with proper off-road capabilities?
The Jimny’s amazing capabilities and size have made it a victim of its own success, and trying to get your hands on the latest incarnation is a costly affair. Following a quick internet search, the cheapest used Fourth generation (JB64W/JB74W) Jimny I could find, a pretty basic 2018 GA model with 147,747km on the odometer, was retailing for R289,900. If you want to go new, then a brand new top of the range automatic Jimny GLX automatic will cost you R385,900, give or take a few Rands.
Those are still some hefty price tags, but if you want the Jimny experience, and you’re willing to forgo some of the retro looks, then a third generation (JB23/JB33/JB43/JB53) model is right up your alley, but what do you get when you choose this older model Jimny over the latest variation? That's what I'm here to tell you about.
In the interest of fair and balanced reporting, let's look at the not so nice parts of the older Jimny.
Styling: The third generation Jimny was unveiled to the public in 1997, so you don’t get all the cool retro inspired styling you get in the latest model. That’s not to say that it’s not a good-looking car and its still instantly recognisable as a Jimny with the Suzuki legacy shining through.
Interior: Like the styling, the same can be said about the interior. You don’t get all the old-school gauge pods or the retro switchgear, but you still get a decent solid dashboard with that typical 90s feel. The seats however are not much different compared to the latest model, so that’s not really something to write home about anyway.
Engine: The latest Jimny comes kitted out with a 1.5 litre engine that produces 75kW, whereas the 1.3 fitted to the third-generation model produces 63kW. This not a major concern when considering the price difference, and there are local companies offering very nice performance exhaust systems and branches to help you free up a few more kilowatts.
Now we get to the fun part, all the reasons why you should go hunting for a third generation Jimny.
Off-Road Capabilities: Like the latest Jimny and all the previous models, the third generation Jimny is no poser. It has proper off-road credentials. Those credentials include locking differentials, a ladder frame chassis and naturally, four-wheel drive, something that you won’t find on current Mini-SUVs like the Suzuki Ignis or Mahindra KUV 100.
Space: The third generation Jimny actually has a bigger (I use the term bigger very loosely) boot than the latest model, and trust me, that is a big deal in an adventure vehicle
Pricing: Now we get to the best part, the price. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the cheapest new Jimny I could find online was a 2018 model for going for R289,900. The most expensive third generation model was a 2018 registered (2017 model year) automatic with 21,500km on the odometer with a full franchise service going for R285,000, basically a new car in the older body. That is the extreme end of the scale when considering that the cheapest model I could find was a 2009 manual with 261,000km and a partial service history for a measly R129,950.
That price may seem a little high relative to other similar 2009 SUVs but you must remember, the Suzuki Jimny has never fallen out of favour with buyers regardless of how old they are (check out the prices on restored Samurais and SJ30 if you really want a surprise), and that popularity is evidence that the third generation Jimny still hits all the right buttons.
Get in on that Suzuki Jimny action by visiting the ClickaCar Virtual Showroom.