Suzuki Jimny Test Drive Review - The Kid With Big Ambitions
Probably the most recognized Suzuki cars ever made – the Jimny has been a go-to choice for people looking to buy a capable off-roader in a budget. Suzuki Motors recently organized a test drive of the legendary Suzuki Jimny’s new-generation in Ukraine. The test drive was organized as a raid format through the mountains with the rocky roads, elevations, mud traps – one of the best routes to explore a new SUV. Here’s our test drive review of the 4th-generation Suzuki Jimny 4x4 SUV from Ukraine.
When you see any generation Suzuki Jimny for the first time, you immediately want to ask: why did someone need to create a small SUV? The answer to this question is the whole essence and history of Jimny. The first Jeep mini (abbreviated as Jimny) was developed almost 50 years ago, as one of the most popular key cars in Japan – a small car that is much less taxed due to size. Suzuki was forced to make a car that still has no direct competitors.
The concept of the model is understandable - minimum size with maximum simplicity. With such restrictions, it was difficult to come up with an aggressive appearance synonymous with most SUVs. But, as it turned out, the clumsy design of the amusing Jimny did not scare off buyers around the world, because it excelled in its main task - off-road driving – which it managed 100%.
What has changed?
The new Jimny has become a little smaller compared to the third generation outside, but at the same time has become more spacious inside. It was possible to increase the internal volume of the interior due to more vertical sides and glasses. The wheelbase remained exactly the same as its predecessor.
The most important transformation is the engine. Now all versions of Jimny are equipped with one power unit - 1.5-litre gasoline aspirated with 102 hp power and 130 Nm of torque. In the previous Jimny, the engine power was only 85 hp. The difference is visible not only in numbers, but you will immediately notice it as soon as you drive.
Transmission options remains the same: 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission, however they are more refined now. You will not hear unnecessary noise and do not feel jolts when switching. But you must understand that the car is not designed for movement at high speeds. Its optimal maximum speed is up to 120 km/h.
Interior and exterior
Externally, Jimny has become much more attractive - It is a kind of mixture of Gelendvagen and classic Jeep, housed in 3.5 m long / 1.7 m high and wrapped in new catchy colors. Grey alloy wheels, a black matte body kit, a black roof and a toothy radiator grill, in which modern lenses are organically placed. Visually the car began to look much cooler than all its predecessors.
Like the outside, the SUV has been significantly transformed inside and in the place of clumsy and empty Jimny cabin made of rough plastic, we now get a much more civilized and attractive interior. The first thing that catches your eye is a simpatico three-spoke leather steering wheel with media control buttons and an on-board computer, which you definitely didn’t expected here.
Suzuki has added a relatively good multimedia system in the center of the dashboard, as well as climate control, customizable cruise control, a traffic sign tracking system and even automatic high beam.
Suzuki has managed to maintain the previous gen’s practicality and utility, but at the same time the car has been poured with modern gadgets. Everything looks quite elegant and tasteful, and you certainly won’t create the impression of a hermit huntsman driving a new Jimny.
How is it steered?
Despite a more powerful engine, the optimal limit of the fourth Jimny on the highway is 120, or even 100 km / h and with a long trip, of course, you have to compromise. The new Jimny feels at home on a country road and here this car will show you everything that it is capable of.
The numbers themselves speak for themselves - 21 cm of ground clearance, the angle of entry of the front bumper - 37 degrees, and the exit angle - 48 degrees. With these parameters, the driver’s nerves will definitely pass before the car body touches the surface.
Riding the new Jimny in the Carpathian mountains of Ukraine (I think the Himalayas also) is much more interesting than on a perfectly flat autobahn. The off-road vehicle confidently overcomes any climbs, and the power reserve of the suspension allows you to throw cars into real ravines.
Without a doubt, the Suzuki Jimny has kept an unusually frisky and fun off-road ride. The emotions from conquering almost any surface on a compact Jimny are wonderful.
What are its disadvantages?
Along with the character, the car also retained its ridiculous capacity: four people of medium height can still somehow fit inside, but if the “oversized” more than 185 cm get into the front seats, you have no space left behind.
If you fold the rear seat, the trunk can still be called the trunk. But, when the small sofa is in the working position - 15-20 cm remain from the back of the rear seat to the rear door. A small bag for a laptop or a few bottles of water will fit.
The 4th gen Suzuki Jimny is a wonderful car for a young couple or for a person who loves off-road adventures and for those who are willing to compromise with the compactness of the car. Especially, if it’s more important for you to drive on bad roads and your budget is limited, Jimny is the best choice. It is one of the best budget off-roaders you can buy anywhere in the world.
(Dima Yurchenko is a retired Russian Army Officer and is an Automobile Expert based out of Ukraine. Views expressed here are personal)