Cheap to buy and run, good off-road, robust build, well equipped, selectable four-wheel drive
Feels dated, noisy and uncomfortable on the move, unrefined, non-existent boot, sluggish performance
The Suzuki Jimny harks back to previous small Suzuki 4x4s - such as the SJ and Samurai ranges - with utilitarian styling and off-road practicality. But this model is more urbanite style statement than agricultural workhorse.
The 1.3-litre engine is a little unrefined, but willing enough and is capable around town, however it struggles at higher speeds and it's clear that the Jimny is not a car designed for long distance travel.
Noise is an issue and from behind the wheel it feels dated - hardly surprising since it was first launched in 1998. Small families will find the rear two seats a bit too cramped and the boot is pretty much pointless. But it is very affordable and comes well equipped as standard.
Thanks to its compact size, switchable four-wheel drive and low-ratio gearbox, the Suzuki Jimny is one of the most capable off-roaders money can buy. The only limiting factors are how far you dare to push the car and the standard road-biased tyres.
The small 1.3-litre petrol engine may not have the lug of some rivals’ larger diesel motors, but the Jimny will still pull its way through some incredibly tough terrain and tow a trailer on-road. It’s a shame these talents don’t translate into such a good on-road drive, but the Jimny is well suited to some people’s needs.
If you come to the Suzuki Jimny from an old Land Rover or other antiquated 4x4, it might seem reasonably modern and quiet.
However, the likes of the Fiat Panda 4x4 show that small and able off-road doesn’t have to mean noisy on the road. This is where the Jimny lets itself down, with an engine that whirrs away at anything above town speeds, too much wind and road noise, and a generally low standard of comfort and quiet. Throw in the bouncy ride and body roll and the Jimny is not a car for tackling long distance drives in. Read on for the full Suzuki Jimny review.