The 2022 Suzuki Jimny, specifically the much-hyped 4th-generation version first brought out in 2018, is finally making its way into Malaysian showrooms.
There’s really no misinterpreting the teaser Suzuki Cars Malaysia dropped via their social media channels a couple of days ago.
Of course, the rugged but pocket-sized 4x4 will be distributed by the Japanese automaker’s official distributor here, Naza Eastern Motors, where it will be sharing floor space with the Swift Sport that was launched locally earlier this year.
The caption within the teaser image reads “the one and only….returns” is slightly over dramatic but we’ll grant them license this time as the Jimny is one of the most highly anticipated new cars that wasn’t sold officially in Malaysia.
Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, it has been pretty widely available having made its regional launch debut in Indonesia at the 27th Gaikindo Indonesia International Motor Show in July 2019, followed soon after by Thailand and the Philippines.
Respectively, in our neighbouring countries, the Jimny range carries a starting price of 1,095,000 Philippine Pesos (roughly RM91,500) and 395,500 Rupiah (roughly RM116k). Strangely, despite being offered in Thailand since March 2019 for THB 1.55 million (roughly RM190k), Suzuki only ever allocated 90 units to the country, which was depleted earlier this year.
Up until now, due to consistent demand, grey market importers have been happily charging Malaysian buyers rather ludicrous prices for the few overseas-spec examples that do make it onto our shores. Due to their relative rarity, even seeing one on our streets is more of an occasion than a supercar sighting.
Naturally, the off-roading 3-door will arrive fully imported (CBU), but we’re hoping that the Jimny’s asking price will be much more reasonable once Naza Eastern takes charge of its allotment, but seeing as how they began their career as Suzuki’s exclusive distributors with the B-segment hot-ish hatch that cost over RM140k, we’re not going to be holding our breaths.
In terms of its mainline specifications, the Jimny sits on a short wheelbase ladder-frame chassis and we’re expecting the upcoming Malaysian launch models to be powered by a 1.5-litre K15B naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. Power stands at a modest 102PS and 138Nm, but that should be more than adequate to power a Kei-sized SUV that weighs just a hair over 1,000kg.
Power will be sent to either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic and distributed via Suzuki’s AllGrip Pro part-time four-wheel-drive system with low range transfer gear.
With the Jimny being conceived as a function-first compact off-roader, it will not arrive particularly well equipped nor will it offer much by way of creature comforts and tech features, but basic conveniences such as a decent infotainment head unit, LED headlights, air conditioning, airbags, passive cruise control, and others should be available.
That’s all part of the appeal, though, and so far that hasn’t really put much of a damper on sales. So far Suzuki remains uncontested in whatever niche they have managed to tap into, and can’t seem to keep up with the order books.
Perhaps it’s the over-saturation of soft-roader SUVs and crossovers that has pushed a segment of buyers to actively seek out something that can actually walk the walk when the going gets tough. However, it’s clear that Naza Eastern probably should have kicked off their range of Suzukis with the Jimny.