When the Suzuki Jimny was launched in Indonesia in mid 2019, we were shocked at how affordable the little 4×4 was there.

Priced from Rp 315.5 juta from the manual to Rp 330 juta for the top-spec two-tone automatic (RM93,340 to RM97,605 then), the CBU Japan import was priced way lower in Indonesia than in Thailand, where the Jimny was launched in early 2019 for 1.55 million baht to 1.65 million baht (RM199,019 to RM211,852 then).

Suzuki no longer has a presence in Malaysia, but some grey importers have brought in the Jimny from Japan, and quoted prices for the used cars aren’t much cheaper than the official Thai price. Let’s not mention Singapore, where the off-road capable Suzuki was launched for S$114,100 with COE (RM346,328 then) in April 2019.

The Jimny has been a hit for Suzuki Indomobil Sales, and they have zero problems in selling whatever they’re allocated. With demand high, SIS has slowly raised prices. According to Autonetmagz, the 2021 price for the Jimny has breached the 400 million rupiah mark. To be exact, the Jimny now starts at Rp 395.5 juta for the manual and goes up to Rp 411 juta for the dual-tone automatic. That’s RM113,408 to RM117,857.

The car site says that this is not the first quiet price increase. Just last month, the Jimny was priced from Rp 382.5 juta to Rp 398 juta (RM109,666 to RM114,105), so the new year jump is around Rp 13 juta, or RM3,727. Now if the Jimny – in-demand worldwide, and even with tuners in Japan – was available in Malaysia at this price, it would surely fly off the showroom floor.

The fourth-generation Jimny for overseas markets is by default the “Sierra” version with chunkier bumpers, wide over-fenders and 1.5 litre engine, mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed auto. In Japan, the main seller is the kei car version with a slightly smaller footprint and a 660cc three-pot engine.

Elsewhere, the Jimny’s engine is a K15B 1.5L naturally-aspirated four-cylinder unit with 102 PS and 130 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. Suzuki’s AllGrip Pro part-time four-wheel drive system features selectable high and low range (2H, 4H, 4L, this ain’t no soft-roader).

Before G-Wagen conversions became a thing, the Jimny was famous for its robustness and off-road ability, like the big Merc. Built on a ladder frame with additional cross members, it uses a three-link rigid axle with coil springs at the front and rear. A 210 mm ground clearance, 4.9 metre turning radius, 37-degree approach angle, 28-degree ramp breakover and 49-degree departure angle contribute to off-road performance.

The Jimny isn’t as well equipped as mainstream SUVs, but it is after all a basic off-road specialist. The ID-spec car gets auto LED headlamps with washers, leather steering wheel with audio/call buttons, cruise control, auto air con, and an aftermarket JVC 2-DIN touchscreen head unit.

The front seats are fabric manual chairs and the rear ones split fold 50:50. It rolls on 15-inch rims and skinny 195/80 AT tyres. Safety kit consists of ESP, hill hold control, hill descent control and two airbags.

Before Covid-19 disrupted life, there was news coming out from India saying that Jimny production would start in May 2020 at Maruti Suzuki’s factory in Gujarat, with the bulk of it for exports. There was also talk of a five-door version. Officially, there’s no Defender-style pick-up truck bodystyle, but Suzuki New Zealand offers a conversion. Two and a half years on, the Jimny is still cool.

GALLERY: Suzuki Jimny at GIIAS 2019