Suzuki Jimny - Used

Car Review

Suzuki Jimny, off-road, ruts
Suzuki Jimny
Suzuki Jimny, off-road, mud
Suzuki Jimny, off-road, front, static
Suzuki Jimny, off-road, rear
Suzuki Jimny, off-road, splash
Suzuki Jimny, interior

THElittle Suzuki Jimny looks a great vehicle for a bit of urban fun and like all Suzukis they are very reliable and long lasting.

But out on the open road, this one is hard to live with because of the tough 4x4 suspension needed to keep them going in the rough stuff - which, incidentally, they are more than capable of handling.

The shape is, as it's always been, that of an overgrown Tonka toy - but make no mistake - this is not a softie.

That tough, long travel suspension is built to soak up the lumps and ruts off-road without damage and they also have proper low ratio gears for getting up the steepest rough slopes, just like a Land Rover.

There is only one engine option, a little 84bhp, 1,328cc four cylinder petrol and it has more than enough power off-road, when combined with the low ratios.

I have taken Jimnys over some horrendous terrain, through deep mud, up and down impossible-looking slopes and fording rivers where I expected to get stuck at any moment with a dead engine.

This was with the Rhino Club for the owners of Jimny and earlier SJ's and, needless to say, the tough little cookie never let me down.

On the road the engine is still driving all four wheels and, what with the weight of that and a shape rather less aerodynamic than a small barn, performance is not up to much and neither is economy for such a small vehicle.

There is reasonable acceleration up to 50 miles an hour but above that it struggles and when cruising at 70 miles an hour on the motorway - almost its top speed - economy drops considerably. The official combined figure is 38.7mpg.

The hard suspension combined with short wheelbase makes for a very lumpy, choppy, uncomfortable ride and over distance, this becomes very wearing indeed.

And although the road holding is reasonable, it will not corner safely anywhere near as fast as an equivalent car.

Noise, from the engine, wind and road is also bad at speed but, if you're coming from an older 4x4, it would feel fine.

Likewise the dated interior - this is a vehicle that has been on the market since 1998 - so it's fairly utilitarian.

There are only four seats, with the rear two right above the rear wheels giving a very lumpy ride and still not leaving much in the way of legroom. The boot is tiny and hardly worth mentioning, unless you put the back seats down.

Base models have electric windows and mirrors and two front airbags, mid-range SZ3 adds remote locking, anti-lock brakes and a CD player. Top SZ4 has leather, alloys and air con.

Pay about £4,200 for an '11 11-reg JLX, or £7,400 for a '15 65-reg SZ3.


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