Here we are, at the tale end of 2017, testing the latest iteration of the ever youthful Jimny, a SUV before we knew what an SUV actually was, perhaps even more surprising is the fact that that the little Suzuki has barely changed since launch.
The Suzuki Jimny 1.3 SZ4 on test is a striking piece of design and a perfect example of function dictating form. The Suzuki comes with smart front fogs and vertical grille, 15” alloy wheels, tough looking side panels and wheel arches, rear privacy glass and that iconic spare wheel perched on the rear door as it should be.
Inside and the functional dashboard offers clear dials and a central information panel highlighting fuel and temperature as well as the drive mode selected. The interior is a comfortable place despite the compact exterior dimensions whilst the large expanses of glass allow the driver and passengers an airy cabin in which to enjoy the drive.
Practical features include a pair of handy cup holders, lockable glove box, pockets in all four doors and a decent size storage compartment in the centre console, all of which combine to make journeys of varying length not only possible but positively encouraged. When you need additional boot space there are 324 litres of space with the back seats folded and 113 litres when they’re not, enough room for the supermarket or a weekend away.
As standard, this SZ4 edition comes with driver and front passenger airbags, remote central door locking, front fog lamps, black roof rails, spare wheel, CD tuner with DAB digital radio, air conditioning, a 3-spoke leather covered steering wheel, 2-tone black and silver roof rails, 15” alloy wheels and rear privacy glass that really completes the car and brings it stealthily into the 21st century.
Pulling away in the Jimny brings about the first surprise of the day with the throttle unleashing a satisfying amount of ‘go’ allowing the Suzuki to squeeze out into gaps in the traffic whilst making the most of it’s compact exterior dimensions, dimensions that allow the Suzuki great manoeuvrability so that getting into and out of tight spots is easy.
With 84bhp @ 6000rpm and torque of 81lb/ft @ 4100rpm, this is not an engine that will intimidate meaning you can use all of the Suzuki’s performance out on the open road. The Jimny is able to traverse town centres with ease, using the pull from the 1328cc engine available from low in the rev range whilst it’s raised driving position and immediate steering mean that effective progress can be made. Outside of town and the Suzuki is more than capable of holding it’s own on both A-roads and Motorways whilst a potential combined mpg of 39.8 is more than acceptable.
The Suzuki enjoys a selectable 4-wheel Drive system adapting to any terrain you come up against at the push of a button. Options available are 2WD: for normal on-road driving, with all engine torque going to the rear wheels. 4WD: splits engine torque between the front and rear wheels, for normal off-road conditions or driving in difficult conditions like snow. 4WD-L: engages low ratio gears for maximum off-road performance when needed and the price for all of this? The Jimny starts at just £12,999.
Overall the Suzuki Jimny 1.3 SZ4 is a retro off roader that just so happens to find itself on the road in 2017. It offers fantastic value for money, especially when you consider that the Suzuki is able to perform so superbly off road. It is equipped with exactly the technology needed and is just a genuinely great little car.
I loved it.
Where will you go?