Little off roaders are cute, there is no doubt about it and riving the Jimny reminds you of that.
It’s definitely the underdog in terms of interior space and size. What it lacks in this, it makes up everywhere else. Face it, the Jimny would not be your first choice when it comes to looking for a family vehicle and yet you still find yourself wondering about it and if you could make it work. It’s essentially a two-seater; yes, mom and dad in the front and 2 kids in the back, and if you know of two double-jointed adults, they might be able to fit in the back too – replacing the kids, of course. For everything else, I would suggest alternative transport if you are thinking of a journey longer than 150km.
But this is not what it’s about. It’s about taking the roads less travelled and seeking out the adventure that our country has to offer you.
The 1.3 engine produces 63kw and 110nm of torque. While this may not sound like much, let me also remind you about things like power to weight ratios. The Jimny is no hot hatch off the line, but it gets up and going without any trouble whatsoever and will sit at 120kph all day long, happily.
The interior is pretty basic, but you did not expect anything more, did you? The small luxuries, such as a front-loading CD player, air-conditioning, central locking and electric windows are all standard. The 4 wheel drive modes are all engaged by a push of the button and will enable 4H on the fly. To engage low range, you have to be stationary.
And let me tell you about that low range!
This is what transforms the Jimny into a spider monkey – literally.
It just goes everywhere and over anything. The wheel articulation is excellent, traction is very good, and the approach angles of 37degrees and the departure angle of 46 degrees is right up there with some of the most competent off roaders out there. Think of this as a competitor to the Wrangler and at about half the price, too. At just over a ton in weight, the Jimny is extremely light and agile over any terrain. Most of the time you don’t even have to engage low range, but just use a little bit of momentum instead. Rest assured, by just pushing a button, your capabilities are almost endless.
The live axle front and rear set-up, with three link rear suspension and independent front shock absorbers, mean that you have class-leading articulation.
From a safety point of view the Jimny has a JNCAP rating of 5 for the driver seat and a 6 for the passenger seat. It also features dual front air bags and ABS brakes. The front 3 point safety belts are adjustable. There are also ISO-Fix rear child seat anchor points.
Alarm and immobiliser is also standard.
Service intervals are every 15 000km and every Jimny comes standard with a 3 year / 100 000km warranty and a 4 year / 60 000km service plan. Included, is also a 4 year AA roadside assistance plan. The Suzuki Jimny retails for R201 900.
The Jimny may not be a large SUV and might not be perfect for everybody, but what it lacks in space it makes up with enthusiasm and its eagerness to please. The Jimny is a real breath of fresh air in the small car segment.