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Suzuki Jimny Commercial First Drive 2021

Dan Powell

Written by

Dan Powell

Suzuki Jimny Commercial driving off road

Best bits

  • Fantastic off-road
  • Quirky styling 
  • Good levels of standard equipment 

Not so great

  • Noisy and unrefined on the motorway
  • Maximum payload rating is just 150kg
  • Rear windows may make the load area a tempting target for thieves
Suzuki Jimny Commercial exterior front
It looks like a regular Jimny – but it's hiding a secret...

What is it?

The mountain goat of the 4x4 SUV world, the Suzuki Jimny is proof that bigger isn't always better when it comes to off-roaders. Nimble, light and powered by Suzuki's proven Allgrip four-wheel drive system, the Suzuki Jimny Commercial is a compact but hugely capable 4x4 SUV.  

The Suzuki Jimny Commercial is based on Suzuki's quirky Jimny 4x4 SUV with the rear seats removed and replaced with a flat load space and a mesh metal bulkhead. The boot provides 863 litres of storage, which means the Suzuki Jimny Commercial can carry bulky objects weighing up to 150kg. 

Power comes from a modest 1.5-litre petrol engine that produces a Volkswagen Polo rivalling 101PS. However, while the Suzuki Jimny Commercial is a modest player in the power stakes it does have an ace up its sleeve, with Suzuki's Allgrip system providing selectable four-wheel drive that includes low-range gears for tackling the really tough stuff. The Suzuki Jimny Commercial also use a tough ladder-frame chassis and two solid axles, which means it is a proper old school off-roader.

The Suzuki Jimny Commercial's interior feels like a throwback to the early-1990s. There are lots of thick and scratchy plastics, along with a DAB radio that's operated by dials and buttons. Some drivers will be delighted with the retro feel, while others will be horrified by the lack of touchscreen infotainment

The interior is tough and easy to clean though, which means you can jump in with a muddy set of overalls without having to worry about causing any lasting damage to the cloth seats or trim. The Suzuki Jimny Commercial also gets a decent level of equipment as standard with all models having air conditioning, cruise control and a full-size spare that's wheel bolted to the rear door. You also get a hill hold and descent system that will control the vehicle speed when driving down a steep or slippery slope.

The Suzuki Jimny Commercial van goes up against some accomplished competition, with the Land Rover Defender Hard Top and Toyota Land Cruiser both offering more space and performance, albeit at a much higher price. Dacia is also vying for a slice of the 4x4 van market with the commercial version of the latest Dacia Duster SUV.


The Suzuki Jimny Commercial is sold in very limited numbers in the UK. That means prices are high. Very high...
The Suzuki Jimny Commercial is sold in very limited numbers in the UK. That means prices are high. Very high...
The Jimny van has a maximum payload of 150kg while its loadspace measures 939mm in length and 1295mm wide
The Jimny van has a maximum payload of 150kg while its loadspace measures 939mm in length and 1295mm wide

How does the Suzuki Jimny Commercial drive?

The Suzuki Jimny Commercial is a delightful little thing, but it isn't without its flaws. And some drivers will find Suzuki Jimny's crude refinement a little too much to bear, especially on the motorway. 

As a rural working vehicle, Suzuki's van is impressive. The Suzuki Jimny Commercial measures just 1645mm wide, which means you can slip through a narrow set of farm gates or a twisty country track with ease. The 210mm ground clearance will also ensure your journey isn't interrupted when you head off-road by a tree stump or a wayward rock. 

Activating the four-wheel drive system is easy, thanks to a small lever next to the driver's seat. The Suzuki Jimny's lightweight chassis gives the impression that you skip over rough and muddy surfaces rather than plough through them. The non-turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine provides punchy low-gear performance, too, which makes the Suzuki Jimny Commercial perfect for climbing steep or slippery hills.

Things are less impressive on the open road, with the 1.5-litre petrol engine getting quite noisy as you exceed 5000rpm. There's lots of wind and road noise, which can make a long motorway journey quite a tiring experience while the Suzuki Jimny's short but high body has a habit of catching side winds which will cause some unnerving wobbles. The steering also has quite a lot of travel between turns, which makes it difficult to make small and accurate corrections.

Suzuki Jimny Commercial interior
The Jimny Commercial doesn't do touchscreen infotainment. Instead, you get a DAB radio with buttons and dials

Is the new Suzuki Jimny Commercial a good van?

The Jimny Commerical is hindered by its size, which means a lot of van drivers will find the load area to be too small. For example, the maximum payload of 150kg isn't the best in class for an SUV-based van and the rear windows make the Suzuki Jimny Commercial an easy target for thieves. You don't get anything in the way of load area protection either, which means it is painfully easy to scuff the paintwork or tear the carpet that covers the load floor. 

That said, the Suzuki Jimny Commercial load space is a decent size with the boot measuring 939mm in length and 1295mm wide. The load area will also accommodate bulky objects measuring 787mm in height. Sadly, you don't get any tie hooks for securing your load and preventing it from sliding about when you navigate a bend in the road.

Despite its shortcomings as a commercial vehicle, the Suzuki Jimny Commercial van's 4x4 ability and quirky styling has made it an instant hit with buyers. Suzuki has already said it will sell the Jimny Commercial in limited numbers in the UK, which means demand and prices will most likely be high. 

Read our full Suzuki Jimny review here

Suzuki Jimny Commercial dynamic off road
The Jimny Commercial is powered by a non-turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine that develops 101PS and returns an advertised 36.7mpg

Suzuki Jimny Commercial: the facts

Model tested: Suzuki Jimny Commercial 1.5 Allgrip

Engine: 1.5-litre petrol

Gearbox: Five-speed manual

Power/torque: 101PS/130Nm

Combined fuel economy: 36.7mpg

CO2 emissions:  173g/km

Price from: £20,155 (including VAT)

As tested: £20,640 (including VAT)

The Jimny Commercial van isn't as cheap to run as its diesel rivals, with the 1.5 petrol engine returning an official 36.7mpg. 

Suzuki is very open about the fact the Jimny Commercial is sold in very limited numbers in the UK. As a result, there are not many used Jimnys for sale and this means prices are kept high by the fact there are more buyers than sellers. 

The Jimny Commercial has two seats only. The rear seats are not in place, owing to the fact they've been replaced with a flat load space. 

Find your Suzuki Jimny

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Suzuki Jimny

1.5 SZ5 ALLGRIP Auto 3dr

  • 2019
  • 4,149 miles
  • Motorpoint Newport
  • Newport, NP194PL
Price:£31,999
PCP: £567.36/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £567.36, Customer Deposit: £4,799.00, Total Deposit: £4,799.85, Optional Final Payment: £11,866.00, Total Charge For Credit: £4,524.45, Total Amount Payable: £36,523.45, Representative APR: 7.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 7.61%, Excess Mileage Charge: 4.8ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000