Parkers overall rating: 2 out of 5 2.0

There’s just the one engine on offer, a 16-valve 1.3-litre petrol, which was new when it was introduced in 1998. It only boasts 82bhp but Suzuki Jimny performance feels quite sprightly at low speeds around town. However, the top speed is only 87mph (which certainly feels more than fast enough) and the engine needs harsh revs to pick up speed and is noisy on motorways.

This unit was upgraded for 2005 to a variable valve timing (VVT) engine. It’s marginally more powerful (up 3bhp), a little quicker with a 0-62mph time of 14.1 seconds and more economical too – it will average a useful 40mpg.

The standard gearbox is a five-speed manual although a four-speed automatic is available as an option.

Parkers recommends

You’re limited to the single choice of 1.3-litre petrol engine in the Jimny. We’d stick to the manual gearbox for some semblance of decent performance.

You don’t buy the Jimny for its slick and nimble handling. Just as well. Even in this class, the Jimny is outperformed by other off roaders.

It rolls a lot, making it nausea-inducing on back roads, while the steering is dull and lifeless. When it comes to town driving, the Jimny isn’t much fun at all.

Then there’s the ride: crashy, uncomfortable and unable to absorb everyday lumps and bumps.

Where the Jimny is good is off-road. There’s a separate chassis, low ratio gearbox and high ground clearance, which means that it can do all the usual mud-plugging tricks and is only restricted by its low power engine.