Firstly I'd like to show the reasons why I bought a Jimny in the first place because it will help to understand my review:
1. I wanted a 4x4 to use off roading, not just for appearance.
2. I have quite a small drive way and I needed a compact car.
3. I don't really car for out and out speed.
4. I love the looks!
I bought my Jimny in December 2010. The previous 2 years we'd had a decent amount of snow over the winter and also I had been out to do pay & play off road days in my friend's Suzuki SJ which were brilliant fun. For the reasons above the Jimny was my number one choice and so I went to test drive one.
What I loved was it feels remarkably big to drive despite it actually being no bigger than a Ford Ka! The car instantly put a smile on my face with the way it drove and so I didn't hesitate to buy one as they are great value too!
I got the SZ4 top of the range model so it has air con, full leather, alloy wheels, heated mirrors, the works. Yet add to this the fact that it's got a full 4x4 system and is amazingly well built is still miles cheaper than the equivalent small hatch backs out there!
There are some reviews which criticise the car for not having shoulder room in the front but seriously these people must be rugby players! That said, the boot is TINY. You can't fit anything in there without tipping the seats forward. Oh and be aware, it's only a 4 seater!
On the road it's nippy enough, certainly anything but fast, but it gets me around easily enough and the handling is not too bad for a car with live axle suspension front and rear (that's the same as on a Land Rover Defender). The visibility all round is excellent and that makes parking the easiest I've ever known!
Off road the car performs brilliantly with the only let-down being the Bridgestone Dueller tyres (but let's face it, most of these cars will be used on road only). I would recommend a replacement with something like General Grabber AT2 if you want to go off road regularly, especially in the wet or on grass.
The 4wd mode works really well and is switchable with freewheeling hubs to improve fuel economy on the tarmac.
Again being a fairly cheap off roader it has one or two minor limitations but once again if you want to go regularly off road there are some very cheap modifications that you can do (Off Road Armoury 'Mud Skipper' 2" lift kit and an ARB locking differential would make it a real workhorse).
Back on the road and the car looks good, the paint finish is good and the general build quality is excellent.
My only gripe has been an intermittent problem with cold/damp weather starting caused by a sensor malfunction and the Suzuki Dealer's complete lack of decency or caring regarding it.
My parents bought a Suzuki Jimny a few years ago now and I've had the pleasure of driving it on many occasions. It also seems to be the vehicle of choice for car rental companies on Tobago where I live so I have driven many Jimnys there too.
There's really nothing exciting about how a Jimny looks. A kind of 'short-wheelbase, 4x4 wannabe look' encompasses everything I feel about it! They do look distinctly better with body coloured bumpers and front fog lights make them look a little more expensive I think. Available with a soft-top (why, oh dear lord, why?) or standard hard-top the Jimny really is nothing to get excited about.
Driver and passengers sit quite high in this vehicle, giving everyone a good all round view of the road. Upholstery seems to vary wildly in quality and my parents' leather interior seems to be the best I've experienced albeit being a little dull and uninteresting. Seats in the front are comfortable for short and medium length journeys, they're slightly less comfortable for long-distance trips but not ridiculously so. We managed to drive to spain and back without any real discomfort, just a bit of a numb bum! The seats in the back are less well designed but I have only limited experience regarding their comfort. It must be noted that the Jimny has only 4 seatbelts and is therefore only a 4-seater despite their being more room in the back than some 5 seater I've driven. The steering wheel is nice to use, not really skinny like some of these little 4x4's, and all dials are easy to locate and read. Being Japanese the indicators are on the right, windscreen wipers on the left - good solid feeling controls though. Jimny's now come with cd players as standard (as you would expect). My parents' cd player plays mp3s also but I'm not sure if they paid extra for this. Either way, it's a standard cd player with few whistles and bells. Just does what it's supposed to! Boot space is almost none existant. Having said this the back seats fold down almost flat allowing you to fill the back like you might a van. If you've 2 passengers then the rear seats are split so one half can be folded down and luggage/shopping piled in at the side of the one passenger in the back. Not a lot of help if you have 3 passengers.
Really nothing thrilling to report in this category as far as on-road running around is concerned. It gets you from A to B, the suspension isn't awful and it doesn't wallow in corners which is good news. I was however, mightily impressed by this little things off-road ability. Now I'm used to Landrovers, my Dad collects them and I was driving off-road in a Landie well before I ever took an on-road driving lesson. The Jimny isn't a half bad substitute! I was pretty scathing at first thinking it was just something for mums to take the kids to school in when the roads were wet, but it really can perform. There are 3 buttons to control the 4wd modes, '4wd,' '2wd,' and '4wd-L.' Pretty self explanatory (4WD-L is low diff - the vehicle must be stopped to engage low diff). No diff-lock which I thought was a bit odd to begin with but despite this I've had a lot of fun getting a Jimny into (and out of) sticky situations! Being lighter than the Landrovers I'm used to it also allows me to explore some of the places I was a bit wary of before. Being lighter it's also a lot easier to winch out/drag out as necessary.
Fuel consumption isn't terrible for newer models although road tax isn't cheap (nearly £200 this year for my parents 56 plate 1.3)
If you want to dabble in a little light hearted off roading of a weekend then this might just be for you. Decent enough on road to be tolerable, this little '4x4 wannabe' really is suprisingly good fun off road and can get itself out of many a tight spot. Would never replace a Landrover but a fun, cheapish alternative. The only real negative is that the whole world will call it a Jimmy - which really, really hacks me off!!
Okay, before you go on reading I will assume you have read many other reviews, written by people with very differing opinions. The Suzuki Jimny is a "Love it" or "Loathe it" kind of car. The first thing you need to remember is that a Suzuki Jimny is unlike any other car and therefore needs to be driven with a certain amount of respect. It's handling characteristics are very different to conventional road going vehicles, as the Jimny is a vehicle designed to go "off road".
Becuase of its body style visabilty is fantastic and it is one of the easiest vehicles to park. Large door mirrors also give good visibility to the rear. Unlike earlier Suzuki 4x4 models the Jimny has been refined somewhat, with the addition of leather interior, AC, CD player, electric heated door mirrors, alloy wheels etc. but essentially it has still retained its character and off road ability.
Yes it's not the most comfortable car (especially for the rear passengers). Yes it's road handling isn't as good as a vehicle designed "for the road". But that's not why Jimny owners buy them. These little 4x4's have so much character and can be easily customised to reflect the owners personality. They are a "go anywhere" vehicle and when it snows, the little Jimny comes into its own as the whole country suddenly becomes a playground.
Take the Jimny off road and you then start to realise what a fun vehicle it is to drive. With many local Rhino clubs across the country there is a sense of community among Jimny owners, and these offer a great way to experience the vehicles full capabilities off road.
As you can probably tell by my review I am a Jimny owner and have been for many years. You can read as many reviews as you like but my advice would be to take one for a test drive and see if you fall in love with it! It's cheap, very reliable, and loads of fun!
My best friend had a Suzuki Jimny 56 plate since December 08 and him and his wife,daughter and son in law were out for the day and they were on their way home and a Vauxhall Astra ran into the back of his Jimny. His Jimny has been written off,the spare wheel got whacked and pushed the rear door and the left hand corner of the bumper snapped in two and split the wiring loom to the lights and a dent below the rear window and the rear seats were twisted out of shape and the towbar was bent downwards and the chassis was also bent down and forced the rear floor area to bent upwards. These Jimny's in my opinion are unsafe and are poorly built and flimsy,Suzuki should stick to building motorbikes and not cars! Get these off the road. I wouldnt class these as a 4x4.
The Suzuki Jimny I'm going to review is the 1.3 JLX
What a fantastic little vehicle the suzuki jimni is.
My family have had a few 4x4s all of different makes but there isn't one that compares to this little wonder on wheels.
As we live in a remote area with a steep hill to climb in winter this is the only vehicle to get us home and dry.Others we have had to abandon and walk home on more than one ocasion.
During a day out to a sheepdog trials on a wet summers evening where the ground was extremely muddy. 4 x 4s were getting stuck one after the other.The only one which was sailing by was my dad in his suzuki.
Some of the owners of the great big expensive 4 x 4s used to snigger at this little box - they soon stopped laughing when they were the one's walking up the field.
A compact little vehicle in a two metalic paint either in black grey or red.
A choice of a soft top or hard top.
Brand new the suzuki jimney costs approx £9000.
The suzuki jimni has two doors and the Boot opens like a door.It Has air conditioning and a cd player and radio but Does not have a cassette player.The suzuki carries up to four people.It has Large windows which gives you great view of the road. it has comfortable leather seats and a leather steering wheel. Air bags for the driver and passenger.This jimny also has side impact protection beams. It has ABS beams.In the front there are electric windows.You have windows in the back but they are fitted so you can't open them.The jimny has alloy wheels.ours is unleaded petrol.It has remote central door locking and a giggarette lighter and front ashtray. when 4wd (4 wheel drive) is on the indicator will tell you. Full tank capacity is 40 litres.The jimny has a lockable glovebox.There are approx. 4 drinks holders in the vehicle which is handy and front door pockets.
The suzuki jimni is Solid on the road with power steering quite econominal on petrol. It's great on snow and in muddy fields (from experience) .Good off road.
* Likes *
It's so easy to park and easy to drive about in. The best feature is the push button to change the vehicle from two wheel drive to four wheel drive.
One thing i dislike about the jimni is the fact that it's boot is really small so when shopping you have to remember not to load the trolley too much.
Hope this review helps
Hi All I bought a Jimny Soft Top in April 2002. I can safely say that it is the biggest mistake of my life. Upon delivery the indicators wouldn't work. The interior trim falls apart very quickly, especially the door kick plates and glove box The car has leaked oil since I got it. The dealer has had 12 goes at this at the last count. The cam belt screeches like a scolded cat above 2k revs. 8 goes at that. The windscreen leaks water into the footwell. I've had a new windscreen and that ones fixed. I noticed another one being done as well when I was on one of my many visits to the dealer. The Soft top is held on with clips made out of cream cheese. Every 5th time you lower the hood they need replacing. Every Soft Top I've seen on the road has the rear of the Soft Top unattached which gives the interior a smell of exhaust Suzuki Customer service is woeful. They don't like dealing with you at all and they never return your calls. In all, the car has spent 6 weeks of the last year at the dealer. Do not buy one of these cars. July 2003 Update. Well 3 months later. The oil leak is holding out after the 13th go. The screeching from the cam belt is quieter in the warmer months. I suspect that the cheapo rubber they use is more suited to the summer. Good job really as I've been waiting for the dealer to return my call about this since March. Apparantly they need to consult Suzuki
. It would seem that Suzuki don't return the dealers calls as well as the customers, lets hope they can find an expert for next Winter. The car is currently in the dealer again for a failed speedo. The speedo and the odo have failed three times now. Twice before the dealer has assured me they have sorted it by removing faulty connections and replacing with crimps, however, today they tell me that they only wiggled the connections behind the dash to get it working ( for a week) and now , God forbid, they need to consult Suzuki for a lasting solution. I won't hold my breath. The biggest shame to me about this car is the residual value is so poor. A 40% depreciation in 1 year and 63% depreciation after 3 years. In fact the Jimny shows the biggest depreciation of all 4x4's as opposed to the best, the Honda CRV. I couldn't afford to eat into that loss and have sold my beloved Honda Motorcycle, 4 years old, bought new £4000, sold £2500. (Now that's what I call residual value) Have I learnt a lesson? Yep. Suzuki sucks. Honda rocks! The Honda Jazz 1.4 DSI S 5 door has just been delivered, but thats another review!
I've had a Jimny for a while after owning a hot hatch, and it's been quite a change. Good points : Comfortable, nice driving position and bags of headroom. High above the road - great view of traffic. Reasonably capable off-road, with selectable 2/4WD Small size compared with most 4WD's - good for town parking Easy to drive Central locking Bad points : A bit "bouncy" both on and off-road. Not quick - not really for motorway use, but fine around town and on rural roads No real boot space - small area struggles with a couple of bags, though rear seats are foldable. Fittings are a big too fragile for off-road - rattles and bumps when under pressure. Otherwise, a nice car for a townie/rural single who wants to do some light off-roading, but no serious mileage.