The Suzuki Jimny brings to mind the SJ and Samurai vehicle ranges, particularly in their shared trait of off-road functionality and utilitarian design. But what distinguishes the Jimny is its primary function as a city car rather than one for farm or off road conditions. Given this role, the vehicle’s 1.3 engine is slightly unrefined but is strong enough to handle driving about town. But it does have difficulty going on the faster speeds, making it obvious that this vehicle is only designed for short term journeys. Other issues that you could ran into is noise plus the cramped boot and rear.
As an off-roader slash city car, the Jimny shines more as the former. The high ground clearance and low ratio gearbox lets you run through tricky situations like muddy roads. The separate chassis helps as well in this cause.
Standard equipment is complete in the Jimny SZ3 as it includes roof rails, front fog lights, a rear-mounted spare wheel with a hard cover, steel wheels, and a lockable glove box. Other default equipment include fabric seats, a passenger front grab handle, electric front windows, and power steering. The SZ4 changes it up a bit with rear privacy glass, two-tone black and silver rails, 15-inch alloy wheels, synthethic leather upholstery, and a body coloured hard spare wheel cover. Families can opt for the child seat that can fit babies that are newborn to 18 months old. This rear-facing seat keeps your child safe via a three-point seat belt harness. Your child is also kept comfortable with soft side padding, but the seat should not be placed in the front passenger seat.
The Jimny’s first engine was a 16-valve 1.3-litre petrol engine. Its top speed is just at 87mphh and its power only at 82bhp. The engine requires sudden revs to even reach this small number and to gain acceleration. The engine is also pretty noisy when going along motorways. A better choice would be the 2005 upgrade of a VVT or variable valve engine. It’s 3bhp more powerful and has a 62mph sprint time at 14.1 seconds. It also boasts of a fuel economy at 40mpg. Each engine is still a 1.3-litre engine, so for a better performance go for the five-speed manual gearbox over the four-speed automatic.
Handling isn’t too great either as you don’t get this vehicle for its smooth handling. It tends to roll and cause sickness when going along backroads. There are no reports of any feeling from the steering. Don’t expect an enjoyable ride even when you’re driving about town due to this lack of life from the wheel. Lumps and bumps aren’t absorbed either by the car, making passengers uncomfortable. We don’t recommend the Jimny for long rides.
The cabin doesn’t impress much either. The dull plastic materials give a utilitarian feel and make it look cheap next to the standards set by top brands. Engine, wind, and road noise is also heard when going along A-roads and the motorway, so conversations will be difficult. The driver can also get slightly distracted. Lumbar support isn’t felt either on the front passenger seat.
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