Garry Fabian road tests and reviews the Suzuki Jimny.
Suzuki Jimny is a name that has been around for more than fifteen years and in that time has almost assumed cult status!
Naturally, sporting a design that’s a decade and a half old, the little Suzuki Jimny 4×4 is really starting to show its age, but it’s still a cheap and cheerful, and quite cable off-roader.
Its compact dimensions, durability and four-wheel drive combined with a special low-ratio gearbox specifically designed for off-roading make it surprisingly effective over rough or slippery surfaces.
Make no mistake, the 2015 Suzuki Jimny is small and that means legroom is limited, an issue for anyone above normal height. Rear seat legroom is even shorter on supply!
With the back seats folded down, there is reasonable cargo space, but when the rear seats are up for passengers, the cargo space is quite limited.
The cheap-feeling cabin also might leave you questioning its build quality, but the Jimny actually feels like quite a tough and well put together vehicle.
Standard features include air-conditioning, a two-speaker stereo with CD player, power windows and mirrors and key-less entry. Want sat-nav? A reverse camera? Bluetooth? Not available I’m afraid.
As for looks, it’s pretty much a box on wheels, and the majority of modern compact crossovers tend to have a bit more pizzazz when it comes to styling.
There’s only one engine available – a 1.3-litre petrol unit that delivers 62.5kW and 110Nm, fuel consumption is a claimed combined 7.1L/100kms and the Jimny boasts a 40 litre fuel tank.
Transmission choice is five-speed manual or, for an extra $2,000, a four-speed automatic.
As you might expect, out on the roads the little Suzuki 4×4 feels a bit underpowered and needs to be worked pretty hard to get any real performance out of it. That means the Jimny is really not a car for high-mileage drivers or anyone who spends a lot of time out on the freeway.
Although there are plenty of city cars and super minis that will do the job much better and for less money, the Jimny isn’t bad around town due to its compact footprint and small petrol engine, both of which suit urban areas.
The suspension tends to be a bit rough on suburban roads and does not take kindly to bumps and potholes. Where the Jimny is at home though is with dirt, sand and rock under its tyres where it is far more capable than a lot of more popular and more expensive SUVs.
There isn’t an ANCAP safety rating for the Suzuki Jimny, standard safety features are limited to dual air-bags, ABS brakes and Electronic Stability Control.
Summing it up; the Suzuki Jimny has been around since the late 1990’s and that’s really obvious. On-road comfort, engine performance and interior space lag far behind more modern rivals in this segment of the market.
But, the Jimny is tough, well-built, reasonably priced and capable in the rough and tough stuff that many of its competitors wouldn’t dare to tread.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Suzuki Jimny
Engine: 1.3 litre petrol producing 62.5kW and 110Nm
Transmission: Five speed manual or four-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Price: From $20,990