The all-new Jimny has been one of Suzuki’s most highly anticipated models so far, not just locally but all throughout the globe. Now that the rugged SUV has officially been launched in the Philippines, let’s take a look at how it stacks up against its competitors…or ‘closest competitors’ for that matter.
Why ‘closest competitors’? Because if we’re going to be technical about it, the Jimny’s closest direct competitors locally would be off-road, recreational vehicles such as the Toyota FJ Cruiser and the Jeep Wrangler. When you consider the price of these models compared to the Jimny however, it is a completely different story. That said, the Jimny doesn’t appear to have any direct competitor at all considering its unique target market.
Hence, with this spec check, we will be comparing both variants of the Jimny with other models which are relatively the same price and size as Suzuki’s new small 4x4.
Going up against the all-new Jimny will be four different models from four different manufacturers. Starting alphabetically, we have the Ford Ecosport, followed by Hyundai’s recently introduced Kona crossover, the Chinese-built MG ZS, and lastly, the ever popular Nissan Juke. All these models play around the Jimny’s price tag which starts at Php 975,000 and have a size similar or close to the Suzuki’s 4x4.
The Jimny comes only in two variants – GL and GLX – with the latter being the top-of-the-line model. Nissan’s fighter, the Juke is being offered in only one variant; the same goes for the Hyundai Kona. Meanwhile, the MG ZS is available in three variants. Ford currently offers the most choices for the Ecosport, which is available in five different variants.
Putting the power down
Out of the five vehicles, the Jimny is the least powerful of the bunch. Suzuki’s 1.5-liter K15B inline-four engine produces only 102 PS and 130 Nm of torque and is available with either a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual. MG follows suit with the ZS having with its 1.5-liter DVVT inline-four producing 114 PS and 150 Nm torque with a similar 4-speed auto or 5-speed manual option.
Getting an additional 100cc more displacement is the Juke’s 1.6-liter Twin CVTC inline-four. Despite the increased displacement, however, it only produces 116 PS and 154 Nm torque and is offered only with a CVT.
The Ecosport may only have an inline-three, but the 1.5-liter DOHC Ti-VCT engine still manages to push out 123 PS and 150 Nm torque. Those who will opt for the range-topping Ecoboost model, the turbocharged 1.0-liter Ecoboost inline-four engine gets an additional 2 PS and 20 Nm torque over the standard mill, putting out 125 PS and 170 Nm torque. These figures make it seem as if the Ecosport has the same number of cylinders as its competitors.
The most powerful of the bunch, however, would be the Hyundai Kona, which also has the largest engine size. Equipped with a 2.0-liter DOHC 16V inline-four, the Kona has 149 PS and 179 Nm torque and is only available with a 6-speed automatic.
Bigger is better?
When it comes to vehicles of all kinds, size really does matter. One of the reasons why people buy crossovers is to be able to carry people and cargo around. A larger vehicle often equates to better legroom for passengers and more space for ferrying cargo around.
When it comes to size the Ford Ecosport is the longest of the bunch. It measures in 4,325mm long, 1,765mm wide, and 1,656mm tall, giving it great interior space for hauling people or cargo around having 346 liters of boot space with the second row up. The second largest vehicle in the mix is the MG ZS which measures in at 4,314mm long, 1,809mm wide, and 1,648mm tall. Despite being a bit shorter than the Ecosport, it does offer more cargo space at 448 liters.
Around 200mm shorter than the Chinese crossover is the rugged-looking Hyundai Kona. It measures at 4,165mm, 1,800mm, and 1,550mm, and offers 361 liters of cargo space with the rear seats up. Just 30mm shorter than the Kona is the Nissan Juke which measures in at 4,135mm long, 1,765mm wide, and 1,580mm tall with 251 liters of luggage space.
The smallest out of the bunch would be the Jimny, measuring at 3,650mm long, 1,645mm wide, and 1,725mm tall. It also has the smallest luggage capacity, having only 85 liters of luggage space with the second row of seats up. In fact, because of its size, it is the only model to have a maximum seating capacity of 4 people compared to the rest which can seat 5. Do remember, however, that the Jimny was intended to be a recreational vehicle, not really for carrying cargo or people.
The Jimny stands out among the rest as it is the only one available with 4WD featuring Suzuki’s new All Grip Pro all-wheel-drive system. Furthermore, the cabin is also loaded with a host of features even in the base GL variant which includes a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Meanwhile, the top-spec GLX variant comes with a digital clinometer, compass, and altimeter as well.
When it comes to infotainment systems however, Ford probably has the best out of the bunch as it features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and even navigation on the base model. It is also loaded with a host of safety features as standard such as stability control, traction control and even Hill-start assist on the Titanium variants. The MG ZS is also packed to the brim with in-car entertainment features and safety systems and even gets front curtain airbags and vehicle dynamic control on the top-of-the-line models. Lastly, the Juke’s design itself is truly unique with its funky exterior styling.
When it comes to price, there's no doubt that MG is the most affordable model. The base 1.5 MT Style starts at Php 818,888 with the range-topping 1.5 AT Alpha barely breaking the Php 1 million mark at Php 998,888. The Ecosport, on the other hand, starts at only Php 918,000 for the 1.5L Ambiente M/T. However, the top-of-the-line 1.0L Ecoboost Titanium is already priced beyond the Php 1 million at Php 1,188,000. Suzuki’s small 4x4 begins at Php 975,000 for the 1.5 GL M/T Monotone. If you want the GLX with its digital off-road display, the 1.5 GLX A/T goes for Php 1,085,000.
The pricier models are the Nissan Juke and the Kona, both being sold at more than Php 1 million. Interestingly, they are also offered in one variant only. For Php 1,021,000, you can get the Juke 1.6L Upper CVT. But for just Php 27,000 more, you could get the Hyundai Kona 2.0 GLS A/T for Php 1,048,000.
Looking at the figures, the Jimny does seem to lose out when directly compared to the other four models. However, do remember that it is not intended to be one of those usual city crossovers as the Vitara does that job in Suzuki’s model line up. Instead, the Jimny is more of a fun off-road recreational vehicle featuring 4WD and a tall ride height, but is still enjoyable for city use. If you are considering buying one, don’t expect it to have the same cargo and passenger capabilities as other crossovers in the market. Other than that, the Jimny is already loaded with a host of features even for the base GL model, making it a promising choice for interested customers.