Suzuki Jimny 5-Door: Is it worth your money?

If you know me personally, you know that I am fond of the Suzuki Jimny. In fact, I almost bought one myself when Suzuki Philippines brought in the boxy off-roader a few years back. But truth be told, the 5-door version, which arrived earlier this year after its introduction in India in 2023, isn’t something I was fond of.

Good thing Suzuki Philippines gave the members of the motoring media, myself included, a chance to get to know the Jimny 5-door better in an experiential drive to Zambales. The article below gives you a rundown of my take on the newest Jimny variant but to cut the long story short, the 5-door version exceeds expectations and I was wrong to judge it even before getting to drive or experience one myself.

Awkward design?

When the 5-door Jimny was announced for India a year ago, I was among those who reacted with vile, just because I believed the regular 3-door’s body has the right proportion. Even when the official photos came out, I was still convinced about this notion.

In the metal, however, the 5-door Jimny doesn’t actually look awkward. While I still am a fan of the 3-door, the 5-door doesn’t look half bad, considering the elongated body.

Improved interior space

The elongated body of the Suzuki Jimny naturally translates to more interior space. However, contrary to what most of you might think, the added space does more wonders to cargo than the rear passengers. Sure, it’s now easier for rear passengers to get in and out, but the added legroom is marginal and the rear seats are still for two (only two seatbelts).

The cargo hold, on the other hand, has improved greatly from the previous almost nonexistent trunk of the 3-door. It has become more practical than before, but still an off-road toy not meant to be a family vehicle.

Longer means heavier?

True, the Jimny 5-door is heavier than the 3-door because of the elongated body, but only by a hundred kilos or 95 kg, to be exact. This amounts to one extra passenger in the 3-door.

During our long drive test, the naturally aspirated engine didn’t have a hard time pulling its weight at nearly full capacity. In fact, I believe the Jimny’s on-road driving dynamics weren’t affected by the longer body. If it is, it might have been too marginal for me to notice. But just like the 3-door, the 5-door isn’t the most comfortable vehicle to bring on long drives – and that’s totally expected.

Is it fuel efficient?

Part of the drive activity was a fuel eco run from Suzuki Caloocan to Unioil in Subic, with prizes waiting for the winners. 

Our team didn’t win this contest but we learned here that the Jimny can achieve nearly 20 km/L even at full capacity and A/C at a normal comfortable blast – provided you’ll keep the vehicle at 60 km/h on the highway and under 2,000 rpm all the way.

Lake Mapanuepe escapade

Lake Mapanuepe is a sanctuary-like portion of Zambales that only off-road-capable vehicles (and some ballsy non-off-roaders) can reach due to loose lahar sands and precarious obstacles on the route.

Despite being bone stock without any modifications (yes, it came with road tires), the Jimny 5-Door did perform exceptionally well on the way to Lake Mapanuepe, conquering whichever terrain the unfamiliar route threw at us. I love how the Jimny proved it’s capable of being not cute; doing non-city things in the very environment it was developed for.

ULTIMATE QUESTION: Is it worth the money?

At P1.6 million starting price, the Jimny 5-door is a steep ask, and the majority of Filipino internet users believe so, too.

But that’s the thing about the Jimny – you won’t buy it because you need a practical vehicle or it has the best value in the market. It’s not the vehicle to turn to if you want to fetch your auntie and cousins at the airport. It is a toy and singular in its class – something you shouldn’t compare against regular crossovers and SUVs. It’s like asking why hiking apparel are so pricey.

That said, I honestly think the 5-door version, given what it can do and the improvement it brings, is definitely worth the money, as long as you’re looking at it as a Jimny enthusiast. But otherwise, if you find the Jimny too expensive for what it is, the you’re not its target market. And that’s totally fine.

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