We are waiting for the successor. Why the “king” Suzuki Jimny all survived

Do you remember 1998? The crisis, the default, the collapse of the ruble, and Putin is not the president. But even then the world was the third Suzuki Jimny, who still sits on an off-road “throne” in anticipation of a successor. What’s the secret?

It’s simple. The old Jimny, no matter how old his age is by automobile standards, is simply unique. And it’s not just the type of bodywork – three-door true SUVs this afternoon with fire you will not find. In addition, according to some important parameters of patency, the 20-year-old “retired toddler” still does not have equal among all jeeps in general. Suzuki continues to retain several records, although no other car on the Russian market can boast such survivability without a change of generations. In the abilities of Jimny, we are once again convinced of the mountains of Karachay-Cherkessia.

Off-road records

Among the stones, giants and crazy slopes, he is the place. So every owner of “Jimni” thinks, who knows about the talents of his car. As, for example, the Chileans Gonzalo Bravo and Eduardo Canales. On April 21, 2007, two fans of extreme sports set a world record, climbing a Japanese SUV to an altitude of 6,688 meters. So high no other car did not climb! Neither the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado nor the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. For the sake of justice, it must be said that the adventurers of the Ojos del Salado volcano conquered Suzuki Samurai (SJ413), that is, the second generation of the model, and even seriously modified. Well, who sets the records on the factory car without tuning? Chileans replaced the engine with a more powerful 1.6-liter, installed a compressor and “toothy” tires. However, for the Guinness Book of Records is no longer so important – there flaunts the legendary name of Jimny.

On the way to the top, Bravo and Canales at the same time grabbed a sign with the inscription “Jeep parking only: all others do not make it up here anyway”. She presumptively left the previous record holder on Ojos del Salado. That’s the irony of Suzuki squeezed from the throne is not someone, and Jeep, gave the name to a whole class of cars.

I did not put any plates in the Elbrus, although here for Jimny the ideal conditions. According to the accumulations of boulders, the “baby” jumps easily and at ease. The glades, dips, ruts and other geometric wisdoms of the landscape, which sometimes are afraid to even watch, you pass on Jimny as an even field. The situation seems complicated and even critical, but with him you feel confident.

And this is all geometry. She and I-de-al-na! So, now there will be many numbers. The first thing Jimny distinguishes three most important for any SUV corners: entry, ramp and exit. 34, 31 and 46 degrees respectively – if you add them, it will be the best indicator among all production cars. Specifically, according to the angle of the congress, the Japanese is also the best in the world. That is, almost on the vertical wall back zaedet. And although the measurements are slightly different depending on the load, this does not affect the record. Neither deceased in the Boss Defender and Hummer, nor the current UAZ and the “Jeeps” are not able to beat “in the corners” of Jimny.

We measure further. Suzuki, which at one time grew out of a cue-car, today is the shortest in the Russian market SUV with a total length of 369.5 cm. If you count on the rear bumper, and not on the spare wheel on the door, then even “Niva” “makes” . The wheelbase Jimny is insignificant 225 cm, which is only 5 cm more than the Soviet SUV. Finally, with a width of 160 cm Suzuki is also the narrowest. All this means that he has more chances to find a loophole in the most difficult areas than anyone else. As well as unfold, if there is still a need. And in the mountains, you know, very often maneuverability plays a decisive role.

Are we demanding change?

By the way, “Niva”, with which the Japanese combat “kid” is often compared, lags behind all the geometric data. Although the “Lada” – I know, a flurry of curses will hit me – and not an SUV in the classical sense.

Unlike Jimny. Geometry is geometry, but it would not be so good off-road without technical special training. Even with oversized dimensions, Suzuki has a frame construction. In addition, a rigidly connected all-wheel drive, lowering the row and no center-to-center differential. Classics – not a single compromise!

He also rides on any asphalt on any irregularities, as if he is torn to the mountains and tries to say: “Master, released to freedom.” Each pothole makes itself felt to the driver and passengers. So in a long journey inside Jimny you feel like an attraction. You change into modern Suzuki SX4 or Vitara – as from a stool in a leather armchair.

Pleasant sensations do not add a weak 85-horsepower engine with a volume of 1.3 liters. Together with the dense four-speed automatic it disperses this Japanese ton to 100 km / h for so long that Elbrus will have time to dissipate in the “impenetrable” fog. With an asphalt serpentine, on which the power of Suzuki frankly is not enough, I want to move out at the first opportunity. And it’s okay that you can not see the road – we know that he does not have to!

I quickly forget about lack of strength in silos. Owners of Jimny vied with the installation of the lowering whale in the distribution, but also with the factory gear ratios, enough for the eyes. Just watch these two videos, and you’ll realize that it’s not the liters.

However, in terms of thrust-to-weight ratio and specific power, Jimny is still not the best SUV. And here he is far from the record.

But what exactly is he one of the best, so it’s for the price. With the exception of UAZs, today in Russia there is not a real one-off SUV for a million with a small one, which does not match the “plush” crossovers outside the roads.

But, whatever one may say, Jimny still needs to change in order to remain “in power” among SUVs. Especially it is felt in the salon, where, it seems, distinctly smells like the 20th century. Therefore, we are waiting for the new generation with special excitement. Most likely, we will see it in 2019. As we were repeatedly assured by the management of the Russian office, a three-door SUV on our market will remain.

So we are still waiting for the successor of the “king”. And not only Jimny.

Alexey Dmitriev,

photo of the author and Suzuki

Suzuki Jimny Technical Specifications

Dimensions (length / width / height), cm

369.5 / 160.0 / 170.5

Wheelbase, cm


The equipped weight, kg


Ground clearance, cm


Luggage space, l



4-cylinder, gasoline, 1328 cm³

Power, l. from. / rev / min.


Torque, Nm / rev / min.



4-st., Automatic.

Drive unit

Full plug-in

Acceleration from 0-100 km / h, from


Maximum speed, km / h


Combined fuel consumption, l / 100 km