The popularity of the Suzuki Jimny always baffled me. It isn’t until you drive one you begin to understand.
This FUN supermini alternative is a cult vehicle with a group of loyal repeat customers. Over 2.6 million sold worldwide. It is now the 43rd anniversary of Suzuki’s first compact SUV
The Jimny is the most compact SUV on the market in the UK. All you would expect comes with this car, but do not expect a comfortable long distance SUV softroader and bags of room. The Jimny fits very well with its owners, it does have its shortcomings but there is a special character to the Jimny, it may be slightly outdated but for what you would buy it for it does exceptionally well.
With it you get an abundance of what you bought it for solid reliability, chunky looks, a 4×4 style ride and suspension that can really cope on the rough stuff. It is not however very fast, top speed 87mph and a 0-62mph of 14.1 seconds, the Jimny really is one of the slowest accelerating cars on the road. Speed becomes regardless with the size and dizzy height of it. You do not really want to try fast cornering and any unnecessary stunts. However, the chunky utilitarian look with its push button selectable four wheel drive and high and low gear ratios, brings excellent proper off road performance.
The car is totally solid throughout all body panels are made from high tensile galvanised steel and with its separate body and chassis build all round coil suspension and the drive select 4×4 system it will leave many of the soft roaders in the dirt. The new car tested looked a lot cooler splashed in a bit of mud, but even new out of the box it did still draw attention.
The SZ4 model we tested comes at £13,795 on the road with the 5-speed manual transmission and and the added options of special paint finish £430. Prices for the Jimny start at £11995 for the slightly lower spec SZ3 model, there is also an automatic 4-speed available.
Watch the Drive 10 Second Car Video of the Suzuki Jimny in action
Climbing into the cabin of the small Jimny still gives the commanding, high-up SUV feeling and driving the car still brings lively performance from the 1.3 litre 16 valve. Maximum power is 85ps with maximum torque delivered from as low as 2500prm. The freewheeling front hubs are engaged automatically. This allows the four wheel drive to be selected easily by a dashboard mounted switch, while on the move and travelling in a straight line at any speed up to 62mph. I did a small amount of off-roading along the Ridgeway National Trail. However there was no real need to even engage 4wd, the two wheel drive was more than adequate for the rough trail although the ride got a little bouncy at times.
The easy to drive Jimny is not just a chunky SUV, in town the car features a tight turning circle and a commanding view with excellent all round visibility and large square door mirrors. The spare wheel is mounted low at the rear to further aid visibility. It really is one of the old school cars that you can really see out of properly when it comes to parking. Sadly for emissions they are slightly high for the Jimny at 162g/km with MPG of 39.8 combined.
Inside the car the seats were trimmed in a synthetic hard wearing leather featuring Jimny logos. Load space is not at all that big with just 113 litre capacity but I would imagine for many buyers that wouldn’t be of much concern. The Jimny is better, keeping both rear seats folded for the extra load space. All of the controls were well placed and it is a , light, easy car to drive. The interior is well put together but the seats are not the most comfortable for longer journeys but the car is still a lot of fun for local ones.
Suzuki offers a whole range of accessories including grill sets, rear spoilers, sports bars bicycle carriers, roof rack and roof boxes. Suzuki Jimnys are being used right now for the fundraising Heaven Can Wait I’m busy journey. The retired businessmen drivers are travelling around the globe for five months completing 28000 miles in two cars.
Drive Verdict of the Suzuki Jimny 4×4
Likeable and Fun
Low running costs
Well built capable off roader
Fun on shorter journeys
Slightly cramped cabin
Read More Suzuki articles at Drive.co.uk/SUZUKI
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