New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 10, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
10 ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ Friday, March 10,1995WheelsGMC JimmyNew state-of-the-art sport utility vehicle is bigger and better than before
The 1995 GMC Jimmy is as much like last yearis version of the vehicle that bore the same name as a Model A is like a stealth fighter.
The new Jimmy is a state-of-the-art sport utility vehicle that, as our weeklong test time drew to a close, my wife fussed about having to let go. You'd kind of have to know Connie to fully appreciate that, but suffice it to say that she does not share my great enthusiasm for things automotive. For her to say anything about one of the vehicles that makes its way to our house for evaluation, let alone to express regret at its departure, is nothing short of phenomenal.
GMC Chief Engineer John Fitzpatrick probably would be pleased if he knew of Connieis reaction to the new Jimmy.
Of the Jimmy, Fitzpatnck recently said, "The goal was greatly enhanced customer satisfaction, so we added interior room, stiffened the frame, diminished road and powertrain noise with very effective acoustic packages, and improved ride and handling charactenstics. The net result is one vastly upgraded compact sport utility. We're sure that our customers will be quite impressed with this new model...."
The Jimmy's wheelbase — 107-inches on the four door model we tested and 105 inches on the two door version — is unchanged from that of last year's model. But the VS is longer, lower and wider to provide more interior space and utility.
Relocating the spare wheel and tire to a stowage position under the floor on four door models increased cargo capacity by 1.6 cubic feet and front seat shoulder room in all models is increased more than three inches.
Boxing the frame increased the Jimmy's torsional rigidity by 28 percent and bending stiffness by 50 percent, tremendously improving the possibility of eliminating squeaks and rattles over the life of the vehicle. The robust frame also provides a firm basis for suspension calt-
brations aimed at improving ride and handling.
There are specific suspension packages for the four Jimmy models (two- and four-wheel drive, two and four door body styles). Buyers have the option of a smooth ride, off-road, sporty touring, or luxury ride suspension characteristics. Tires, shock absorber valving, bushings, spring rates and stabilizer bar sizes all are to achieve for the charactenstics chosen.
GMC's enhanced 4.3-liter V6 is standard equipment for the Jimmy across the board. GMC engineers contend it is the most powerful and refined six-cylinder engine available in the compact sport utility field. For '95, lighter pistons contnbute to quieter engine operation and lower oil consumption.
A sophisticated four-speed electronic automatic transmission is standard in four-door Jimmys and optional in two door models. The standard transmission in the two door Jimmy is a five-speed manual.
Insta-Trac four-wheel drive can be engaged
on the fly by means of a floor-mounted shifter or a simple push button on the dash. The test vehicle was equipped with the latter arrangement and I found it very positive and quick reacting.
Full-time all-wheel drive also is available on the four door Jimmy.
The Jimmy has an encapsulated rear hatch glass that is a significant improvement over earlier units. Framework and attachment components are molded with the glass itself so there is no need for through-bolt buttons. Polyurethane is injected into the mold, and it bonds to the glass surface, creating a rigid, durable and aesthetically pleasing component.
The two door Jimmy is significantly different in styling from its four door sibling.
The two door's shorter wheelbase is complemented by a steeply sloped backlight and an aggressive number three roof pillar to give it a rakish coupe look. But the two door doesn't lose its utility to rakish styling. A Scars clothes
washing machine — in its box — can be loaded into the back of the two door Jimmy and the hatch can be closed.
"I know," said Jimmy Chief Designer Bill Davis, "because that was one real-world test we carried out."
I was particularly impressed with the Jim-myis interior.
It is extremely functional, but at the same time eminently comfortable.
As an example of that comfort, though the rear seat of the test vehicle was a split and fold design, it had plenty of lateral support and thigh length to be comfortable even for someone of my over-six-foot height.
Interior amenities include a new overhead console with four adjustable reading lamps, an outside thermometer and a compass, plus built-in stowage bins adjacent to the rear seat.
And the new Jimmy offers a host of safety-related features.
Four-wheel antilock brakes are standard across the line, and they work even when the transfer case is engaged on four-wheel drive models. A driver’s side airbag is standard and pressing its cover honks the horn — there’s no scrambling for tiny horn buttons.
Three-point seat belts are provided for all four outboard passengers and a self-ratcheting feature on all passenger seat belts makes them convenient for transporting child seats. Four-door Jimmys have special upper torso belt tethers in the back seat to help position the belts more comfortably on children and short passengers.
With power windows comes a rear window lock-out switch to prevent inadvertent operation
by children, and child safety locks are standard on rear doors. Also, all doors have side guard beams to resist intrusion in the event of side impact.
A new keyless entry system allows the dnver to lock or unlock the doors and turn on interior lights at the touch of a button. And even without this option, lifting the outside door handle will turn on the interior lights.
Every Jimmy has both deep-tint solar glass and air conditioning that uses environmentally friendly RI34A refrigerant.
One two-sided key now unlocks all doors, and there's a heating duct to keep rear seat passengers comfortable. Carpeted floor mats are included as standard equipment and Scotch-gard fabric protection is also standard on both upholstery and carpets.
Seats seemed to me to be far more comfortable than those of any previous Jimmy, and a power adjuster is available for the driver's seat, which also includes a power lumbar adjuster. Bucket seats or 60/40 bench front seats are offered, and the optional leather seating surfaces with which the test vehicle was equipped, turn the Jimmy into a truly luxurious machine.
The test truck's sound system incorporated the optional CD player and took full advantage of the impressive effort at scaling out exterior noise that has been put into the new Jimmy.
The base price of the test vehicle was $22,201 and a single $5,248 option package included: SLT touring decor package, power windows, power door locks, dual extenor power adjusted mirrors, tilt wheel, cruise control, roof mounted luggage earner, luxury nde suspension package, P235/70R15 tires, electronically tuned AM/FM stereo radio with seek and scan and CD player, leather bucket sea's, 5,300 pound GVW rating, 3.42 ratio rear axle, electronic shift transfer case, and conventional two-tone paint.
The bottom line on the test truck’s window sticker, including $485 in destination charges, was $26,738.
(David Sullens, editor and publisher of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, has w ritten an automotive column for the past ten wars.)
_f • X* i „ J 200 Help Wanted 200 Help Wanted 200_Help Wanted 9on M»ip Wanted 200 Help
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