VEHICLES

Okay, our resident Zook lover has flown the coop and that means the Jimny is here with a mountain to climb. See, while I get the cute-as-a-button looks, the retro nods to rough-road Suzukis past, this thing, when you boil it all down, is a bit of a toy. Yep, start sending the hate mail.

Now, as I write this, the Jimny has literally been here only a week and, in that time I’ve spent only two days with the thing. So, cut me some slack. But this is not my first time with a Jimny; having reviewed the manual version while working for another automotive outlet.

We’ve got just over three months with the Jimny and, in addition to these monthly updates in the magazine, we’ll have regular weekly updates online. To make things fair for the Jimny, it won’t just be me driving it. The keys will be handed around the office for others to pass judgement on the tiny-tot off-roader but, until then, here are my initial thoughts.

2019 Suzuki Jimny

The world has gone ga-ga for the Jimny but we wanted to see what it was like to live with and just how far off-road it can take us. It’s got three-months to prove itself.

Long-Term Review

What are we testing? 2019 Suzuki Jimny (automatic)

Who’s running it? The whole team

Why are we running it? To find out just how far we can go with a stock Jimny

What it needs to do? It needs to be able to handle the daily commute, weekend work, off-road trips from the mountains to the desert and just about everything in between.

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The Jimny and I didn’t get off to a great start with, ahem, someone in the office stealing the keys from my desk to go in search of every single puddle they could find. The thing was filthy. And running on fumes. Okay, so, not the Jimny’s fault…

With the tank brimmed and the shifter in D for Drive I went and collected my kids from school thinking they’d love this thing. I mean, their current favourite vehicle is a Defender Heritage edition which I tested years ago…so, surely the Jimny would be right up their alley. Nope.

Both kids laughed. But, secretly, I think they might actually love it. Because they didn’t stop smiling until we got home. And they asked me to drive them to school in it this morning, so… Me, I’m still not won-over by it. Not yet, anyway.

But that’s possibly because I’m judging it based on my lifestyle. See, I’ve got a wife, kids and a dog and the Jimny doesn’t allow all of us to travel in it at the same time. With just the human members of my family in the thing, there’s no room for anything else. No bags. Nothing. So, forget about using it for a grocery run on the weekend.

But, the Jimny isn’t intended for people like me. With a family. Who actually go places together in a vehicle. Nope, it’s made for singles or a couple. And, even then you’ll need to pack lightly. See, the Jimny automatic that we’ve got has a payload of just 345kg. And that’s without a driver, passenger or a tank of fuel, let alone gear for a weekend camping, or a bull bar, or roof racks, or…see where I’m going. Without a GVM upgrade you’ll need to be very careful how you pack the thing.

If you’re travelling solo then the Jimny feels quite roomy, well, you can’t ever call a vehicle where you can just about reach every corner from the driver’s seat roomy, but you know what I mean. The back seats fold down easily and are hard backed which means they won’t get damaged by stuff being stacked on them. But it does mean they’re slippery, so, make sure things are secured if you don’t want them flying through the cabin and using the back of your head as a stopper.

BELOW The front of the Jimny offers enough room for two adults and while the retro touches are cool, there’s next-to-no storage space.

ABOVE The Jimny is very capable but it’s not all that flexible… there are quite a few aftermarket kits now to help with that.

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Getting into the back is easy enough, you simply lever forward and slide the front seat which leaves a large opening for an adult to climb through. Just don’t try and use the seat you’ve just slid out of the way as a grab handle… there’s okay head and leg room for two adults in the back. The Jimny is only a four-seater.

So, what’s it like on the road? Briefly, because we’ll delve into more detail as we go along, the Jimny’s 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is for those who like the journey rather than the destination because you’ll never get anywhere very quickly in the thing. There’s 75kW and 130Nm of torque and you’ll use every single one of them when it comes time to tackle a hill with momentum being your friend. If you have to lift off the throttle for anything when you’re driving up a long hill at, say, 80-100km/h it’ll be as if you’ve thrown an anchor out the window.

The steering is pretty slow but then with solid axles front and rear and a traditional ladder frame, the Jimny is not intended as a road rocket. But nor is it that much better on fast dirt where, in 2WD, at least, it’ll try and fling you into the scenery at every corner.

But, slow down and engage low-range and point the Jimny at something gnarly and the thing starts to make sense. What you can drive it up or around is impressive, and over the next few months we’ll show you just far you can take a stock Jimny. But gon’t go thinking it’s a baby Wrangler Rubicon because it isn’t but there are now plenty of modifications hitting the market to transform the Jimny. Need proof, then check out our video comparison of a stock Jimny with two flavours of modified ones.

Want to stay in the loop with our long-term Jimny, then follow its journey by clicking here.

ABOVE The Jimny is narrow enough to squeeze down tight tracks, and the approach and departure angles are amazing. // BELOW The back seat is roomy enough for two adults. 

2019 Suzuki Jimny Specifications
Price: $25,490 (auto – as tested)
Warranty: three-years, 100,000 kilometres
Safety: 3-star ANCAP rating
Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol
Power: 75kW at 6000rpm
Torque: 130Nm at 4000rpm
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Drive: Part-time 4WD with low range
Dimensions: 3645mm long (inc spare), 3480mm (exc spare) 1645mm high; 1720mm wide (mirrors included); 2250mm wheelbase
Turning Circle: 9.8m
Ground Clearance: 210mm claimed; 200mm (measured to bottom off diff pumpkin but control arms are lower at a measured 190mm)
Angles: 37-degrees approach, 28-degrees rampover, 49 degrees departure
Wading depth: 300mm
Max braked towing: 1300kg Max towball mass 75kg
Fuel Tank: 40 litres
Thirst: 6.9L/100km claimed combined (automatic)

ABOVE With the back seat in use the boot is tiny.

ABOVE Watch our video comparing a stock Suzuki Jimny with two modified examples.

VEHICLES

2019 Suzuki Jimny

The world has gone ga-ga for the Jimny but we wanted to see what it was like to live with and just how far off-road it can take us. It’s got three-months to prove itself.

What are we testing? 2019 Suzuki Jimny (automatic)

Who’s running it? The whole team

Why are we running it? To find out just how far we can go with a stock Jimny

What it needs to do? It needs to be able to handle the daily commute, weekend work, off-road trips from the mountains to the desert and just about everything in between.

Okay, our resident Zook lover has flown the coop and that means the Jimny is here with a mountain to climb. See, while I get the cute-as-a-button looks, the retro nods to rough-road Suzukis past, this thing, when you boil it all down, is a bit of a toy. Yep, start sending the hate mail.

Now, as I write this, the Jimny has literally been here only a week and, in that time I’ve spent only two days with the thing. So, cut me some slack. But this is not my first time with a Jimny; having reviewed the manual version while working for another automotive outlet.

We’ve got just over three months with the Jimny and, in addition to these monthly updates in the magazine, we’ll have regular weekly updates online. To make things fair for the Jimny, it won’t just be me driving it. The keys will be handed around the office for others to pass judgement on the tiny-tot off-roader but, until then, here are my initial thoughts.

Long-Term Review
SCROLL TO CONTINUE
ADVERTISEMENT

The Jimny and I didn’t get off to a great start with, ahem, someone in the office stealing the keys from my desk to go in search of every single puddle they could find. The thing was filthy. And running on fumes. Okay, so, not the Jimny’s fault…

With the tank brimmed and the shifter in D for Drive I went and collected my kids from school thinking they’d love this thing. I mean, their current favourite vehicle is a Defender Heritage edition which I tested years ago…so, surely the Jimny would be right up their alley. Nope.

Both kids laughed. But, secretly, I think they might actually love it. Because they didn’t stop smiling until we got home. And they asked me to drive them to school in it this morning, so… Me, I’m still not won-over by it. Not yet, anyway.

But that’s possibly because I’m judging it based on my lifestyle. See, I’ve got a wife, kids and a dog and the Jimny doesn’t allow all of us to travel in it at the same time. With just the human members of my family in the thing, there’s no room for anything else. No bags. Nothing. So, forget about using it for a grocery run on the weekend.

But, the Jimny isn’t intended for people like me. With a family. Who actually go places together in a vehicle. Nope, it’s made for singles or a couple. And, even then you’ll need to pack lightly. See, the Jimny automatic that we’ve got has a payload of just 345kg. And that’s without a driver, passenger or a tank of fuel, let alone gear for a weekend camping, or a bull bar, or roof racks, or…see where I’m going. Without a GVM upgrade you’ll need to be very careful how you pack the thing.

If you’re travelling solo then the Jimny feels quite roomy, well, you can’t ever call a vehicle where you can just about reach every corner from the driver’s seat roomy, but you know what I mean. The back seats fold down easily and are hard backed which means they won’t get damaged by stuff being stacked on them. But it does mean they’re slippery, so, make sure things are secured if you don’t want them flying through the cabin and using the back of your head as a stopper.

ABOVE The Jimny is very capable but it’s not all that flexible… there are quite a few aftermarket kits now to help with that.

BELOW The front of the Jimny offers enough room for two adults and while the retro touches are cool, there’s next-to-no storage space.

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

Getting into the back is easy enough, you simply lever forward and slide the front seat which leaves a large opening for an adult to climb through. Just don’t try and use the seat you’ve just slid out of the way as a grab handle… there’s okay head and leg room for two adults in the back. The Jimny is only a four-seater.

So, what’s it like on the road? Briefly, because we’ll delve into more detail as we go along, the Jimny’s 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is for those who like the journey rather than the destination because you’ll never get anywhere very quickly in the thing. There’s 75kW and 130Nm of torque and you’ll use every single one of them when it comes time to tackle a hill with momentum being your friend. If you have to lift off the throttle for anything when you’re driving up a long hill at, say, 80-100km/h it’ll be as if you’ve thrown an anchor out the window.

The steering is pretty slow but then with solid axles front and rear and a traditional ladder frame, the Jimny is not intended as a road rocket. But nor is it that much better on fast dirt where, in 2WD, at least, it’ll try and fling you into the scenery at every corner.

But, slow down and engage low-range and point the Jimny at something gnarly and the thing starts to make sense. What you can drive it up or around is impressive, and over the next few months we’ll show you just far you can take a stock Jimny. But gon’t go thinking it’s a baby Wrangler Rubicon because it isn’t but there are now plenty of modifications hitting the market to transform the Jimny. Need proof, then check out our video comparison of a stock Jimny with two flavours of modified ones.

Want to stay in the loop with our long-term Jimny, then follow its journey by clicking here.

ABOVE The Jimny is narrow enough to squeeze down tight tracks, and the approach and departure angles are amazing. // BELOW The back seat is roomy enough for two adults. 

2019 Suzuki Jimny Specifications
Price: $25,490 (auto – as tested)
Warranty: three-years, 100,000 kilometres
Safety: 3-star ANCAP rating
Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol
Power: 75kW at 6000rpm
Torque: 130Nm at 4000rpm
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Drive: Part-time 4WD with low range
Dimensions: 3645mm long (inc spare), 3480mm (exc spare) 1645mm high; 1720mm wide (mirrors included); 2250mm wheelbase
Turning Circle: 9.8m
Ground Clearance: 210mm claimed; 200mm (measured to bottom off diff pumpkin but control arms are lower at a measured 190mm)
Angles: 37-degrees approach, 28-degrees rampover, 49 degrees departure
Wading depth: 300mm
Max braked towing: 1300kg Max towball mass 75kg
Fuel Tank: 40 litres
Thirst: 6.9L/100km claimed combined (automatic)

ABOVE With the back seat in use the boot is tiny.

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