The boxy new Jimny is a tiny bit shorter and a tiny bit wider than before, but that’s all down to the new bumpers and fenders. The body itself remains constrained by Japanese kei car regulations. That said, a wider and lower seat and thinner door panels—courtesy of relocated window switches—make for more comfortable seating.
Also of note is the new 100hp 1.5-liter K15B engine. Packing 13 more horses than the old M13A. The boxy shape limits top speed to around 145kph. There’s a more positive shift feel from the solidly-mounted five-speed gearbox, but the real improvement is in fuel economy.
The Jimny does 11-12km/L in mixed conditions and 8-10 in light traffic, gains of about 2km/L in both areas. On the plus side, the radiused leading edge of the hood punts air over the windshield at highway speeds, limiting wind and road noise to whatever bounces off of the big side mirrors.
In terms of handling, the Jimny acquits itself well. While retaining the same ladder frame and suspension geometry as the previous model, extra cross-bracing and side-bracing result in improved chassis rigidity.
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