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REVIEW: Suzuki Jimny – A diamond in the rough

2018-02-08 12:00

Razeena Paleka

Image: Theo Gutter

Though he be but little, he be fierce. 

Cape Town - Weighing in at just over a ton and taking up very little space, the Suzuki Jimny does not appear to tick the boxes of modern 4x4 vehicles. Despite its unconventional demeanour however, the Jimny is designed to facilitate a staggering and adventurous off-road experience, which it manages to do quite easily.

With the rocky road in mind, the Jimny is built for durability yet maintains a smooth drive when on road thanks to its refined chassis. What the Jimny lacks in power, it boasts in practicality and comfort. It is a true 4-wheel-drive with a short wheel base capable of going over a variety of obstacles that several other larger, heavier 4x4’s may struggle with.

Less is more

Being small and light is a massive advantage considering that in the world of off-road driving, less is always more.  Getting stuck in something (which is a common off-road occurrence) is easy to resolve in a vehicle weighing just 1 070kg as opposed to other popular 4x4’s that weigh double that. That being said, it would take a lot to get the Jimny stuck, with its soft suspension allowing it to tackle the toughest terrains. It is an undeniably slow vehicle however, with a claimed top speed of just 140km/h.

Fuel efficiency is another talking point as the Jimny has economical levels of consumption in both manual and automatic transmission as well as on dirt trails and on-road. Official figures state an impressive consumption of just 11.0-litres/100km on off -road conditions.

It’s cheap too, without skimping on the essentials. Though it lacks the modernity of the Ranger Rovers and Jeeps of the day, the Jimny is a traditional 4x4 that fares well despite criticism of its basic interior and largely untouched look.

Older souls are more likely to appreciate the focus on delivering the essentials as the Jimny comes with almost no options and accessories save for the option of manual or automatic. Those who are eager to modify however are able to as the Jimny is well received in the aftermarket. Options are available to enhance gearing, lockers, suspension, as well as the inclusion a supercharger for the engine.

The featherweight Suzuki Jimny has the potential for great experiences. Though its size prevents it from being the ultimate touring vehicle, it has the capacity for adventure whether you’re tacking the dunes solo or in a pair. Most importantly, in a motoring universe filled with soulless machines, the unique little Suzuki Jimny has character, and a roaring one at that. 

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