Cars we want to buy: Suzuki Jimny

Updated Apr 22, 2021 | Same topic: Best Advice for Car Buyers

Which cars in the Philippines are we willing to spend our money on? Read on.

Hello. I’m Jacob and some of you might have read some of my stories and reviews on this website already. I’m the Content Manager of Philkotse.com and this article marks the beginning of a very important and personal series that I’d like to call Cars we want to buy

Yes, the title’s not final, so we’re open to suggestions.

Anyway, as the unimaginative working title suggests, we would like to share our honest opinion about cars we’d like to buy. Be it an old classic or something new, each member of the Philkotse Content team has his target vehicle to purchase.

Because just like you, dear reader, we are car buyers as well. Despite having the privilege and honor to test as many vehicles per year (sometimes too many), we still have preferences and hopefully, this series of articles will give you an idea of our own car buying journey. Consider this an open letter so you’d know which car in the Philippines the Philkotse team is willing to spend our money on.

A picture of the Suzuki Jimny near some trees

The Suzuki Jimny

As the head of this team, I’d like to begin the series with my personal choice: the Suzuki Jimny.

A perfectly imperfect vehicle

The Suzuki Jimny is one of those vehicles that I’d classify to be wandering within a twilight zone. It’s a true SUV and yet it’s smaller than a Toyota Wigo. It supposed to conquer a multitude of terrains and yet it’s squarely touching the centenary-horsepower mark. Its price tag dances around seven-seat MPVs and yet it can barely seat four people comfortably.

And yet, the Jimny sells. So much so that Japan is having a hard time keeping up with its global demand. So much so that India has started the local production of the Jimny under Maruti Suzuki.

A picture of the rear of the Suzuki Jimny

A lot of people like the boxy body style of the Jimny

But beyond these things that make no sense, the Jimny is still an attractive vehicle to my eyes. Not because I'm a hardcore off-roader nor that I'm going through an identity crisis right now. I just really fell in love with this car. This isn’t the first time I’ve tested one, but I'm back to check whether that affection waned after a year.

The Suzuki Jimny has celebrated its 50th birthday. Let that sink in. If it were a male human being, most of you would think that it’s currently going through a so-called mid-life crisis, reminiscing through its youth and reliving the memories of yesteryears – and you’d be right. 

A picture focusing on the Jimny's round headlamps

The Jimny's round-shaped LED headlamps

On its fourth generation, the Jimny’s current design calls back to its design identity across the past three generations. The round headlights came from the first-gen Jimny, while the hood slats mimic the second-gen’s. Those five vertical slats on the grille were adopted from the model it replaced. The whole package is perfect, a modern retro even, banking on the nostalgia it evokes in people. Sold.

Inside, this mini off-roader’s squarish theme continues and complemented by hard plastics. These are executed nicely but it would be a blatant lie to say that they reek a luxurious vibe. The orange-on-black theme looks dated but I’d admit that it stays within this off-roader’s character. 

A picture of the Suzuki Jimny's interior

The Jimny's interior is far from spartan

Despite these, the cabin isn’t spartan – no, far from it. Locks are centralized, windows are powered, headlights are LEDs, and there’s even cruise control. But the biggest contrast is the massive 9-inch infotainment with a crisp display. It doesn’t have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto but at least it has a clinometer. Off-roaders would know.

A close-up picture of the Suzuki Jimny's touchscreen

The Jimny's touchscreen displaying data useful for off-roaders

The cabin space has increased from before; I now rarely hit the windows with my left elbow when making a wide turn, which was the main complaint on its predecessor. But then again, the size upgrade was sideways; the rear legroom is still disappointing, to the point that an average-sized human being would feel relegated if assigned here.

A picture of the Jimny's rear seats

The sizable transmission bulge robs the rear section of a flat floor space

On the road, the Jimny is perky and sprightly at times, you wouldn’t feel lacking in terms of pull. The steering felt heavy yet highway drives kind of felt like you’re babysitting a kid who’s high on sugar. It isn’t a comfortable highway cruiser, no, definitely not. The rigid suspension setup isn’t made to coddle our spoiled, privileged bodies. 

With its predecessor born in 1998, you’d think that twenty long years would be enough for Suzuki to turn the Jimny into a perfect vehicle that suits every age and interest, but it’s not. That’s not the point of the Jimny. It’s impractical, it’s pricey, and it’s certainly not for those looking for a tamed long-distance hauler.

A picture of the Jimny from the rear with the seats folded

You can fold the rear seats, but you might need a roof carrier if you want to carry more

And yet, those are the things that make the Suzuki Jimny a great vehicle. Its honesty is unprecedented; something that a normal car buyer wouldn’t understand. It isn’t going to please you like the way you want it to. It won’t suck up to meet your wants and needs. And that will make you want it even more.

Truth be told, the Jimny is far from being perfect, and yet, it’s still a car I’d want to buy.

Know more about Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki Jimny

<p>The <strong>Suzuki Jimny</strong> is one of Suzuki Motor Corporation&#39;s most sought-after models. Its demand was so high people started reservations as early as 2018. So much so, that shortage was felt as this car&rsquo;s presence excites anyone who saw a glimpse of it on the global stage. The Jimny brought different emotions to the Philippines from nostalgia to obsession as this fourth-generation is everything a car buyer wanted in a car &ndash; sophisticated, modern, rugged, and versatile. Completely redesigned from the ground up, the mini-SUV&nbsp;still lingers in the hearts of Filipino car buyers.</p>

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Jacob Oliva

Jacob Oliva

Author

Jacob is one of the premier motoring journalists in the Philippines. A former musician and a corporate slave, he took the leap of faith amid his twenties and started his writing career as a news and features writer for AutoDeal. It was there where he made his way up to become the chief editor and senior car reviewer before he left the company in 2020.

Right now, Jacob serves as the Content Manager of Philkotse. You may also read his insights about the local automotive industry in his column under Wheels, the motoring section of Philippine Star. A recipient of the Henry Ford Awards in 2019, Jacob is also the weekend editor for Motor1, a leading global automotive website.

Jacob has started his adoration for cars at an early age through his father’s Jeep Wrangler and his older brother’s Nissan Sentra. He currently has a soft spot in his heart for the latest version of the Suzuki Jimny, so don’t be surprised to see him one day driving a black or gray mini-SUV – bone-stock but with upgraded tires and rims.

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