It is cheap and rugged, but expect anything beyond that and the Suzuki Jimny falls to pieces. Off road is the only place where this small SUV is any good, and even there it has to overcome the obstacle of a gutless 1.3-litre petrol engine. At least low-range gearing means you’re unlikely to get bogged down.
The Jimny is built like a workhorse – chunky and clunky – and the ride isn’t much different, either. Head out on the road and it’s bouncy and uncomfortable, plus the Suzuki’s body sways about alarmingly in bends. Getting up to speed requires hard revving of the noisy engine, and the din is joined by road and wind noise to assault your ears from all angles. What’s more, the interior is basic and lacks the luxury items and quality you get in other small SUVs. Space is tight, too, and safety provisions are meagre by modern standards.
So, if you need decent off-road ability for a bargain price, we’d suggest you consider a Dacia Duster or a Fiat Panda 4x4.