2019 Suzuki Jimny - reader test team review

The only baby off-roader on sale has finally been renewed after 20 years. Has Suzuki done it right?...

Suzuki Jimny reader test

Gemma Viles Age 39 Job Project manager Drives Suzuki Jimny

Jimny reader test

“I love the old Jimny’s design, but the new one is more grown-up while still playful. It works as a fashion item as well as a 4x4.

“The interior is now a cleaner design, too, and I love the chunky bezels of the instrument dials.

“One of the biggest mechanical improvements is the addition of an electronically controlled limited-slip system [which applies the brakes on individual wheels so as to regain traction], because this will make the Jimny even more capable off road. The same goes for the much greater torsional rigidity of the chassis.

“And I’m pleased to see a stick to control the four-wheel drive return in place of buttons.

“It’s great that the new engine revs about 350rpm less when driving at motorway speeds, because that should make it a bit quieter and more fuel efficient. 

“The new Jimny is fractionally wider, and you really notice the extra 40mm between the front seats. Heated seats are also a very welcome addition. Plus, there’s more leg room in the back, and the rear seats can now recline.

“The one disappointment is that UK buyers can’t order the awesome accessories or exterior stickers that are offered in Japan."

Rated 4 out of 5

Rob Miller Age 48 Job Artist Drives Fiat Panda Cross

Jimny reader test

“My partner is a horticulturalist, so we go off-roading a lot and use our car as a van. Also, where we live is very hilly and gets icy. The Jimny is therefore perfect; it goes back to a different way of driving.

“All the other SUVs today are very dull – there’s a ubiquity that shows they’re designed for a generic audience – whereas the Jimny is specific and niche. Not only does that make it look fantastic, but it should also mean it retains its value for many years.

“The boot is practically non-existent, but we usually have the back seats down anyway, and the boxy rear end, flat extended boot floor and high boot aperture will make it easy to load and transport our sculptures and tall plants.

“I don’t mind the sea of black plastic. In fact, compared with my old Land Rover Defender it actually feels quite high-end. And I like that everything is simple. 

“I’m pleased that the Jimny now has LED headlights, because there are no streetlights around our home but plenty of wildlife. 

“Sadly, the car’s CO2 emissions are higher than I had expected, despite Suzuki having the tech to greatly improve efficiency. Even a simple sixth gear would help.”

Rated 5 out of 5

Anthony Partridge Age 38 Job IT manager Drives Volkswagen Eos

Jimny reader test

“We have a Volkswagen Touran as a family car and my convertible as a ‘fun’ car. However, I’d like to get back to a 4x4 for that role.

“I had been waiting for the new Land Rover Defender, but it seems that will be hugely expensive, whereas you’ll be able to buy a new Jimny for less than £16,000. For starters, that makes the difference between me worrying or not about taking it off road and letting my kids mess around inside.

“The introduction of hill hold and hill descent control systems is excellent, as are the traditional ladder chassis and low-range gearing for the four-wheel drive. 

“I’m also glad that Suzuki has retained the full-size spare wheel mounted on the tailgate.

“The Jimny looks fantastic – it reminds me of a 1990s Jeep Wrangler – and its tiny size is awesome. It’s just fun, unlike Nissan Juke-type small SUVs.

“The practically non-existent boot is an issue, because it means that I couldn’t use all four seats if I needed to bring any luggage.

“The Jimny’s three-star Euro NCAP safety rating also concerns me; it would make me think twice about going on the motorway with the kids inside.”

Rated 4 out of 5

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