Little Green Monster

Posted: March 5, 2020 in 4x4, All, New Car Reviews, Suzuki
Tags: , , ,

Remaining largely unchanged for the last twenty or so years Suzuki finally upgraded the Jimny (very easy to pronounce this Jiminy, as I do many times, even the Suzuki sales guys sometimes take to calling it Jiminy Cricket!), and let’s face it, why would you change something that has been extremely successful for the last two plus decades. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, the Jimny certainly wasn’t broke, and new model isn’t trying to fix something that doesn’t need fixing, instead, they are pretty much perfecting perfection.

With the 1500cc engine producing a mere 75kW of power and 130Nm of torque the figures certainly don’t sound like much especially compared to most other off-road ready showroom models available. But don’t let that fool you! Take the little Jimny off the beaten track and you will have zero apprehension about pushing the tiny two door to it’s limits. Large wheel ruts, steep hills, mud and loose gravel are no match thanks to excellent ground clearance and all the bells and whistles to help make this more stable that it looks bouncing around on an unmaintained road or farm track. Traction control, electronic stability programme (ESP), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), hill descent control and hill hold control all help to keep the cute little cricket right way up in even the most rugged terrain. Testing the mean green machine through wheel ruts made by much larger modified off-road beasts the Jimny never once showed any sign of falling over, getting stuck or losing grip in the lose drought-stricken dirt. Sadly, given the drought conditions I was unable to preform a mud bath test, but I have absolutely no doubt it wouldn’t struggle there either, even with the factory fitted 195/80r15 road tires. As one of the front wheels began to slip in the lose dirt climbing a hill the opposite rear wheel took over to help push it’s 1435 gross weight forward without hesitation.

Looks wise, it does look like it could easy fall over if you sneezed too hard while sitting in the drivers seat, after all it is nearly 100mm higher than it is wide, but with all four wheels pushed out as far as possible at each corner it’s as surefooted as a mountain goat. The wheel arch flares, stand out red mud flaps and chunky looking alloy wheels certainly give it the off-road rugged look.

Inside, the rugged styling continues with exposed bold heads adorning the dash and doors. All the modern conveniences are here too, with climate control air conditioning, Bluetooth handsfree with music streaming and GPS all built in along with cruise control and a speed limiter. And, there is something here that I am almost too ashamed to admit. It took me far longer than it should have to find the window switches. Um, yeah. But I wasn’t alone, the rest of the family also had difficulty there!

Even though it is built for off road use the cute little Suzuki doesn’t look out of place driving through suburbia or parked outside a Ponsonby café and lets face it, the sad thing is for the majority of these that are sold, that is where they will most likely end up and the most rugged terrain they might experience will probably be an accidental curb or a speed hump. Even though they can be a little harsh to drive around town it’s not totally unbearable.

The Suzuki Jimny range starts at $25,990 for the JX Manual up to the $29,990 for the Sierra Auto with a two-tone paint scheme. We tested the Sierra manual two-tone at $28,500. As the new Jimny has been around for a little over a year now you might be thinking ‘they are so cool, I want one’ and you might start shopping around for a good low kilometre second-hand one to try to save a few thousand dollars. Think again, these are holding their value extremely well and even the ex-demo models are only one or two thousand dollars less than a new one simply because they are extremely popular. And if you think ‘oh well, I’ll get a new one then’, you’ll be temporarily disappointed there too. Currently (February 2020) there is a waiting list and there is no new stock in the country until sometime later in the year!

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