2024 Suzuki Jimny XL 4X4 (launch drive)

The miniature menace of genuine off-roaders has grown two extra doors, more rear passenger room and finally, some useable boot space. We attended Sydney Motorsport Park to check out the grown up version of the iconic Jimny.

With the added bonus of some interior upgrades (more on those shortly), the 2024 Suzuki Jimny XL comes at a competitive price too, from $34,990 (manual) and $36,490 (auto), both plus on-roads.

It’s fair to say the Jimny has icon status among 4WD enthusiasts, and most have a Suzuki 4×4 story to tell. Whether you’ve driven or owned one, or always dreamed of it, you know, like us, that it’s hard to forget the “Suzuki all-wheel jive” ads of the 80s and 90s.

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Every cool radio station, surf shop and soft drink promo vehicle was a Suzuki 4×4 back then, whether it was a Sierra, Vitara or Jimny. They stood for fun, sun and good times, and the stench of coconut sunscreen.

2024 Suzuki Jimny XL
2024 Suzuki Jimny XL

This writer’s own story is no different. As a Gen-X’er, yours truly wanted one. I remember the TV ads. My dad even took me to the dealership to sit in them as a kid. We had a Suzuki 800 pocket rocket at the time, and we would take it camping.

The topic of discussion was always what it would be like with off-road tyres and ground clearance. In 2001, my wife and I bought our first new car, a 2.0-litre 5-speed three door Grand Vitara Sport.

We had 250,000km of trouble-free motoring in that car, and it even featured in Overlander 4×4 magazine. Despite growing to a family of six since then, there’s a Swift in our driveway (next to the people mover).

It may find itself on the market though, now there’s a larger version of the Jimny. Although the XL is a four seater, there is a lot more space in the back, easier access, and plenty of boot storage.

2024 Suzuki Jimny XL
2024 Suzuki Jimny XL

Joining the Jimny and Jimny Lite, the XL has 15-inch alloys and is powered by a long stroke 1.5-litre VVT four-cylinder 16-valve DOHC engine (the same as its siblings), producing 75kW and 130Nm. That’s paired to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed auto.

The fuel tank capacity is 40-litres, with Suzuki claiming 6.4-litres and 6.9-litres/100km for the manual and auto; the same as the three-door and Lite. That’s despite an extra 110kg gross weight for the XL to lug around.

In on-road testing, the manual is zippier than the auto. The latter could do with an extra ratio or two. It’s a little too widely spaced to complement the engine on the blacktop. At 80km/h, the Jimny XL travels comfortably with two large adults inside.

As long as you don’t rush, the 1.5-litre will get you there, with the meatiest performance coming between 4000rpm and 5500rpm, where it is reasonably revvy and brisk. It works well at low speeds too, where the engine and accelerator present a smooth combo.

2024 Suzuki Jimny XL.
2024 Suzuki Jimny XL.

Off road, at Sydney Motorsport Park’s 4WD proving ground, both transmissions are impressive. In L or even D on the auto, there’s plenty of drive and torque transfer. It is after all a true off-roader.

Regardless of the transmission choice, shifting is easy and old-school, with a proper gearstick in the manual and auto, and a smaller stick for Low, High 4WD, and 2WD. There are no diff locks. In Low range, the Jimny XL wasn’t even trying, such is its capability.

There’s lots of torque and traction on hand, even on the highway-biased Bridgestone Dueller H/L rubber. It climbed some steep dusty ascents and the hill descent assist worked perfectly in the auto we tested it in. The ABS with EBD is great down hill too.

The ESC/traction control was put to the test as well, and helped find drive in the muddier sections, while hill hold control also works as intended. With 210mm of ground clearance, we experienced some bottoming out, but the 24-degree breakover angle was okay.

dash
Inside the 2024 Suzuki Jimny XL

The XL has impressive approach and departure angles at 36-degrees front and 47-degrees rear, both improved over the 3-door, while the wheelbase and length are both 340mm longer. Width and wheel track remain the same.

Storage is way up, with an extra 126-litres with the seats up, and 283-litres with them folded. The turning circle is increased, but only by 800mm to 5.7m, the upside to which is a more stable drive on the open road.

The Jimny XL still requires constant steering input, and bump steers on the 3-link rigid axle coil suspension, but it is an improvement. Stopping power off-road is ample but leave time and space on the open road for the ventilated front discs and drum rears to pull it up.

The pedal is soft, but with a suspension set-up like this you really don’t want super aggressive brakes. In the cabin are comfy fabric seats and ample space for my 187cm frame and size 12 feet.

front seats
Inside the 2024 Suzuki Jimny XL

The driving position is natural, with my time as front passenger equally nice. Out back is just as impressive. It was 40-degrees Celsius and the A/C coped well up front, while the back was warm.

The retro styled dash looks nice, is easy to read and has all the basic info you need. The 3-spoke leather wheel is more road car but has a nice feel, while audio, phone and climate controls are all at your fingertips. Window controls are central, the rest is pretty standard.

There are only two cup holders, and they are in an awkward position, almost behind the seats. Aside from a small phone holder and glovebox, storage is pretty much non-existent. The door bins are paper thin, and there is very little for the back passengers.

The XL features a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and decent audio system with BT connectivity, wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto. There’s one USB port, two 12V outlets, front and rear cabin lights, and a rear view camera.

rear seats
Inside the 2024 Suzuki Jimny XL

Assists include autonomous emergency braking, active cruise control (auto only), multiple airbags, rear parking sensors, two ISOFIX and two child tether points, 3-point pretensioner seatbelts, lane departure and weave alert.

The Jimny XL comes in six colours, and is backed by a 5-Year warranty and a similar roadside assist period. You can find out more on the Suzuki Australia website or by talking to your local dealership. If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

We drove the Jimny XL as part of Suzuki Australia media launch event.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
7.5
Exterior styling
10
Interior look and feel
8
Technology and connectivity
8.5
Family friendliness
7
Value for money
8.5

SUMMARY

Pros - styling; off road capability; interior space; updated infotainment.
Cons - mismatched auto; spongy brake pedal; feels underpowered; no rear A/C vents.
Jeff Ware
Jeff Warehttp://www.bikereview.com.au
Jeff Ware has been an Australian motorcycle journalist and publisher since 2001. He was the founder of Rapid Bikes Magazine, Knee Down Magazine, and Retrobike Magazine and currently heads up the team over at BikeReview. He's not a bad car journo either.

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<strong>Pros -</strong> styling; off road capability; interior space; updated infotainment.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> mismatched auto; spongy brake pedal; feels underpowered; no rear A/C vents.2024 Suzuki Jimny XL 4X4 (launch drive)