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Suzuki Jimny Review

Suzuki Jimny
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Suzuki Jimny

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2019
      Body type
      SUV
      Fuel type
      Petrol
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
You’ll love or hate it

Best bits

  • Quirky and characterful little 4x4
  • Very capable off road
  • Maintenance costs should be low

Not so great

  • Functional cabin is best used as a two-seater
  • Surprisingly expensive on the used market
  • Unlike anything else to drive. And not in a good way...

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Suzuki Jimny Front Side View

Overall verdict

Suzuki Jimny Driver's Seat

On the inside

Suzuki Jimny Front Side View

Driving

Suzuki Jimny Side Rear View

How much does it cost to run

Suzuki Jimny Right Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Suzuki Jimny is a car that we’d spend our own actual money on, but it’s difficult to recommend you should do the same. It’s immensely characterful, with cute looks and a driving experience best compared to a classic Land Rover. Most people will find it incredibly flawed, though - with a wheezy engine, lazy handling and a boot that’s practically non-existent."

Suzuki Jimny Front Side View

It’s impossible not to love the Suzuki Jimny. It’s a totally flawed car - you won’t fit your family in it with any room left for luggage, while the driving experience is more akin to a classic car than one launched in 2019. It’s a properly old-school off-roader, based on a ladder-frame chassis that means it ping-pongs down the road with all the precision of a drunken goose.


Think of it as a mini Land Rover Defender or Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Unlike these two, it’s actually kind of affordable - but you’ll still have to pay a premium for one. That’s because Suzuki only sells a very small number of new Jimnys in the UK, in order to keep its average CO2 emissions down.


Waiting lists are long and the Jimny has a long line of committed fans ready to pay well over the odds for a nearly-new example. Still, if you’re keen to jump the queue, there are plenty available - and you should be able to get most of your money back when you’ve had enough of it in six months’ time.


The line-up is pretty limited. It was initially offered in SZ4 or SZ5 trim, while this was later dropped to SZ5-only. Standard specification is a little peculiar… you’ll get things like heated seats, a seven-inch media system and fancy LED headlights, but genuinely useful things like reversing sensors aren’t even available as an option.


There’s only one engine, too: a 1.5-litre petrol which produces a humble 101PS and can be paired with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox. This is about as underpowered as it sounds, without a turbocharger on hand to assist when joining a motorway.


Not that you’ll want to do much motorway driving in the Jimny. It’s pretty dire to drive, in a laugh-out-loud kinda way. That’s if you find a car that wanders within its lane and lurches from corner to corner funny. It’s better around town than it is on the open road, although you’ll have to be prepared to work away at the steering - the wheel requires many turns from lock to lock.


With a low-range gearbox, selectable four-wheel-drive and hill-descent control, the Jimny’s quite an accomplished off-roader. That’s not much use when it can’t carry enough to make venturing off-road worthwhile (sheep farmers will find a pick-up truck much more useful), and it’s not going to lug a trailer into a field either.


The interior is about as luxurious as a mountain bothy. There are lots of hard plastics that feel like they’ll outlast the apocalypse, while the seats are back-to-basics affairs. It’s pretty cramped in there, too. Adults will be OK in the front, while kids will put up with the rear seats for the fun factor. With the back seats in use, though, you won’t even fit a couple of shopping bags in the boot.


If you're looking for the older version, you need our Suzuki Jimny (1998-2019) review.


Ready to get your top quality Suzuki Jimny?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked

Suzuki Jimny

1.5 SZ4 ALLGRIP 3dr

  • 2019
  • 6,846 miles
  • Luscombes Suzuki Leeds
  • Yorkshire, LS101QR
Price:£21,995
PCP: £435.47/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £435.47, Customer Deposit: £3,299.00, Total Deposit: £3,299.25, Optional Final Payment: £7,632.00, Total Charge For Credit: £4,177.70, Total Amount Payable: £26,172.70, Representative APR: 10.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 10.37%, Excess Mileage Charge: 4ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Suzuki Jimny right for you?

It’s easy to get charmed by the Jimny’s cutesy appearance and, on the face of it, it might not offer bad value for money (certainly compared to bigger off-roaders like the Land Rover Defender). But it takes a sense of humour and surprising levels of commitment to drive a Jimny every day, especially if you plan to cover long distances.


If extreme off-roading isn’t on the cards, most buyers will find a more conventional crossover SUV like the Suzuki Vitara will do the job a lot better than the Jimny. It’ll be better to drive, cheaper to run and you won’t need to decide between your children or the weekly shop.


On the plus side, if you do fancy a Jimny, Suzuki is limiting the number sold in the UK and demand is showing no sign of dropping. That means you could buy one, run it for a year or two, and you’re unlikely to lose a significant amount of money when you come to sell it. There aren’t many modern cars we can say that about.

What’s the best Suzuki Jimny model/engine to choose

Engine choice is easy as there’s only one: the 1.5-litre petrol. Whether you should look for one with the manual or automatic gearbox comes down to personal preference, but we think the manual transmission suits the mechanical nature of the car. Besides, the four-speed automatic torque-converter gearbox isn’t exactly civilised.


There are two trim levels to choose from on the used market. There’s something really cool about the SZ4 model with its steel wheels, CD player and primary colour pallet, but most buyers opt for the SZ5 (now the only option). This means there are more available, and you can get the SZ5 in funkier colours, too. Plus, it means you get navigation rather than having to rely on traditional maps (or a TomTom stuck onto the windscreen).


What other cars are similar to the Suzuki Jimny?

There’s nothing else quite like the Suzuki Jimny. In some ways, it’s a scaled-down version of rugged off-roaders like the Land Rover Defender, Mercedes-Benz G-Class and Jeep Wrangler. You could also compare it to small crossover SUVs like the Suzuki Vitara and Honda HR-V - these are better to drive, more comfortable, yet don’t quite have the same amount of character. If you’d like a small SUV that puts functionality over style, you should also look at the Dacia Duster.


Learn more

Suzuki Jimny Driver's Seat

On the inside

Suzuki Jimny Front Side View

Driving

Suzuki Jimny Side Rear View

How much does it cost to run

Suzuki Jimny Right Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Can you buy a Suzuki Jimny in the United States?

The original Jimny was launched in 1970, and since then Suzuki has sold almost 3 million in 194 different countries, but not a single one in the US market, which the brand left in 2013.

heycar editorial team

Answered by

heycar editorial team

What kind of accessories can I get for the Jimny?

As a car aimed at those with a more adventurous lifestyle, the Jimny comes with all sorts of gear to help you get out there, from attachable tents, to surfboard racks and a tow bar.

Dan Harrison

Answered by

Dan Harrison

Do I have the choice between a manual and automatic gearbox?

Yes. The automatic Jimny costs £1000 more than the standard manual, and only has just four forward speeds. It does make it easier to drive in traffic, but hampers faster progress.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

What happened to the Jimny convertible?

All previous generations of the Jimny were offered as a convertible (the original from 1970 even had fabric doors). Great for desert driving, but the latest car has just one body style.

heycar editorial team

Answered by

heycar editorial team