Parkers overall rating: 3.3 out of 5 3.3
  • Simple, robust plastics and good controls
  • Not lacking in style, either – clever details abound
  • Not luxurious but completely appropriate

The Jimny’s interior serves up a wonderful sense of retro charm – and it’s made from durable, albeit shiny and scratchy, materials that are befitting of a tough little 4x4. For this vehicle’s design, purpose and cost, it’s a five-star effort. If it were in a typical crossover, though, the lack of soft-touch materials, storage and prettiness would push it down to two stars. A Dacia feels sumptuous by comparison.

There’s a greater feel of solidity and quality to the Jimny’s cabin than in the Ignis, on the plus side, but equally there’s less colour in there to appeal to the aesthetes among you. But we think it chimes with the demands of those looking to buy a Jimny, and doubt a lack of slush-moulded plastics are really going to be an issue.

We found the 7.0-inch touchscreen in top-spec models responsive enough but the built-in sat-nav is far too slow and unintuitive. The lack of physical buttons is also an annoyance, in a car that demands touchscreen input, given that the ride is so bouncy. Android Auto or Apple CarPlay can be used, which both trump Suzuki's standard user interface; the compact steering wheel includes additional voice control buttons.

  • Comfortable seats and simple controls
  • A busy ride and noisy cabin
  • Crosswinds will keep you on edge

As long as you can cope with the overall lack of refinement, the cabin is otherwise comfortable – thanks to decent seats, good ventilation and a height-adjustable steering wheel. You’ll have to work the stereo hard to drown out the noise on the motorway, though; the Jimny’s interior volume is like that of a 1990s supermini at speed, and significantly behind the standards of comparably-priced SUVs or crossovers.

The front seats, though simple, are sufficiently sculpted and padded for comfort on longer journeys; on the SZ5, they’re also heated. All of the main controls are well weighted and can be operated with gloves on and the slow-travel steering, though requiring plenty of input at speed and on bends, isn’t too tiring to correct. Given the tiny dimensions, there’s plenty of footwell space and legroom for front occupants, too.

It’s okay, though. You’re unlikely to hear their complaints over the noise levels at speed; the stereo helps but the Jimny is not a relaxing car to drive unless it’s a snap blizzard and you’ve got the ability to calmly pass far more expensive, powerful machines that are stranded in the snow.

Like a really good, practical pushchair – side note: it won’t fit one if you’ve got both the back seats up – or solidly designed public transport, the Jimny is cut from a different cloth than modern-day pampering palaces on wheels. Given a chance, and a few winters, there’s a good chance that as an urban runabout the Suzuki Jimny will win your heart, your family’s affections, and still be on the drive with an undamaged interior long after the PCP is paid off.