Suzuki was the first on four wheels right back in 1982, when Suzuki importer of the day Rod Coleman developed the successful LT125.
Based around the fourth generation JX version, the Safari is distinguished by a black ARB base roof rack with side trade rails and wind deflector.
A special heritage grille, front window weather-shields, mudflaps front and rear, a large rear cargo tray and Safari decals on the rear wheel disc cover are also included.
In place of the standard tyres, Maxxis Bravo 980 all-terrain 215/75R15 tyres are fitted to the black steel rims, matched with the Bluish Black Pearl ‘hero’ body colour. As an alternative, the Safari variant is also offered in Jungle Green, Silky Silver, White and Medium Grey.
Standard specifications include six airbags, cruise control, air conditioning, automatic light sensing headlamps, high beam assist, daytime running lights, guide me light function, hill descent and hill hold control, dual sensor braking support system, weaving alert and lane departure warning.
Among the safety systems are two sensors comprising a monocular camera and a laser sensor, which determine if there is a risk of collision with a forward vehicle or pedestrian. On detection of a potential collision, the Jimny alerts the driver with an audible and visual warning, deploys brake assistance or alternatively applies strong automatic braking. Using the same 1.5 litre, double overhead camshaft 4-cylinder engine with variable inlet camshaft timing, the drive is taken through a 5-speed manual gearbox. This is mated to the ALLGRIP ‘Pro’ selectable fourwheel- drive system that incorporates 2H for twowheel-drive high gearing, 4H for four-wheel-drive high gearing and 4L for four-wheel-drive low gearing.
For off-road use, with an overall length of 3,645mm and 210mm ground clearance, the Jimny offers a maximum departure angle of 49 degrees, a ramp breakover angle of 28 degrees, and an approach angle of 37 degrees. If two diagonal wheels lose grip while on slippery surfaces, the electronic limited-slip differential and traction control automatically brakes the sliding wheels and redistributes torque to the other two wheels, allowing the Jimny to continue safely.
Sales of the current model in New Zealand have already topped 1,500 and there are still waiting lists for all Jimny versions, with the longest being for the top-spec Sierra models.