Used Suzuki Jimny 4x4 1998 - 2018 review

Category: Small SUV

Section: Advice for buyers

1998 - 2018 review
Suzuki Jimny
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Suzuki Jimny
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Advice for buyers

What should I look for in a used Suzuki Jimny 4x4?


This is more of a problem on examples that regularly go off road. Mud that hasn’t been cleaned off can trap moisture, which then leads to corrosion.  


The earlier version of the 1.3-litre engine used a timing belt that needs to be replaced every 70,000 miles, so look for evidence of this in the service history. Watch out for coolant leaks on older examples from either perished hoses or the radiator.

Wheel wobble

If your Jimny has worn suspension components, wheel bearing issues, tired CV (constant velocity) joints or simply poor wheel balancing, then you’ll feel plenty of wobble in the steering wheel above 50mph.

Four-wheel-drive system

The Jimny doesn’t run in four-wheel-drive mode all the time, so you’ll need to make sure the system engages the front wheels, lest you might get stuck. The vacuum lines that go to the front wheel hubs could have perished, so get the system inspected.

Suzuki Jimny

What are the most common problems with a used Suzuki Jimny 4x4?

Leaky soft-top

Leaks on early soft-tops are a particular problem, not just because they’re quite old now and the seals have probably perished but because the clips can break, so it won’t fit properly. A replacement roof is often the only solution and can cost as much as £500, plus fitting.


There have been five recalls for the Jimny, which isn’t bad considering it has been on sale for 20 years.

The first was for a bolt that works itself loose on the gear selector of Jimnys made between 1 April 1998 and 31 October 1999.

A total of 5425 cars were affected by a recall launched on 26 July 2010 for an issue with the power steering pulley that may fail, reducing power steering assistance.

Examples built between 9 May 2012 and 24 March 2014 potentially had a problem with the lateral suspension rods to the front and rear axle becoming loose. This can lead to excessive vibration in the steering wheel.

A small number of vehicles produced between 15 December 2014 and 16 January 2015 had a problem with the stability control unit that could potentially delay the operation of the braking system in an emergency situation.

The brake booster of Suzuki Jimnys constructed between 18 January 2014 and 30 July 2014 may not have been up to specification and requires the driver to exert greater effort on the brake pedal in order for the brakes to work.

Check with your local Suzuki dealership if you think your car might be affected by any one of these recalls.

Is a used Suzuki Jimny 4x4 reliable?

The Jimny only sells in small numbers and therefore there wasn’t enough data to include it in our latest What Car? Reliability Survey. However, Suzuki as a brand came top in our list of vehicle manufacturers, which is an outstanding result.

If you would like to see the full reliability list, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.

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