The Suzuki Jimmy has been on my “to drive” list for as long as I can remember, but it always eluded me and as they say “patience is a virtue”. I waited for over a year to have the Suzuki Jimmy on test and when it arrived a day before my birthday, I could not stop looking at it. I was anxious about the trip I would be taking for the week to Magoebaskloof in the Limpopo province in the 4th Generation Jimny and I wanted to find out why everyone (including myself actually) has been gushing over it.
Packed and ready to tackle the 4-hour drive out of Pretoria, the one thing I instantly realised was that it is definitely a car meant for 2 passengers rather than 4, our luggage alone took most of the back seats as well as the 80L boot capacity, but I mean, it’s a Jimny. Buyers of this super capable SUV know this, people who want extra luggage capacity always add on extra roof storage etc. The Jimny has loyal customers who aren’t really fussy about how small the boot is, or fussy about how motoring journalists say that the 1.5 litre Naturally aspirated engine is sluggish or how it isn’t fun to drive on the highway(which is false). They don’t mind all these things, the Jimny is an outdoorsy car.
The character packed 4×4 is definitely a head-turner, especially in the Kinetic yellow paint that my test unit was dressed in. Everyone cannot stop looking and as a person who loves attention, I could not stop smiling each time I would be driving it. My trip to Magoebaskloof started early in the morning, and I was in no rush, averaging 100km/h on the N1 the Jimmy did not have any issues on the highway, I had the 4-speed auto (I am usually not a fan of the 4-speed auto transmissions) but it was handling the road well.
Another department that kept impressing me was the fuel economy, I was averaging 6.3l/100km and in times like these, every penny saved is a blessing. Speaking of impressions, the exterior of the Jimny is probably the biggest thing I love. The ‘boxy’ shape which is perfect for parking and for manoeuvrability, the round headlights lights which give it a retro look is just amazing. The rear wheel mounted on the boot door is ultimately my favourite feature.
The interior has also been given a retro rugged yet modern look with exposed bolts and nuts in the cabin as well as grab handles for the passenger.
The 7-inch touchscreen which is Apple CarPlay and android auto ready works perfectly. I’ve sampled the same unit in most of Suzuki’s offerings and they are brilliant. The steering wheel is very modern, feels great in hand and compliments the overall cabin. Front seats are just as comfortable on and off-road, The speakers however lack definition and base but then again, it is a Jimmy and not a car you will be used as a boom box.
We arrived at a place called Mountain Cabins and after unpacking my luggage, the first thing I had to do was to make sure took the Jimmy to the beaten track, I mean this is where the Jimmy is made to thrive, eating up dirt roads and 4×4 trails. The moment you are handed the keys to a Jimmy it’s like you are being told to abandon the tar and to go on a journey of self-discovery in the bundus.
I have to say, I have never had so much fun off-roading in any car as I did in the Jimny, and when I talk of off-roading, I do not just mean water bashing on the gravel roads or gravel driving, I mean the actual off-roading where your low range gearbox comes to play. With my partner playing spotter, we tackled some terrains that left both of us in shock, it suddenly made sense why this car was loved so much apart from its looks.
I tried my best to get it stuck, but nothing, if it could talk it would have probably told me to quit trying already. The car is a fighter and it’s impressive.
On descents, the hill-descent control works brilliantly, and because of that boxy shape, visibility is excellent and you always feel confident with every terrain you tackle.
The Jimny is a classic, with a history of over 20 years, as well as a loyal following, I think this is a must-have in the garage. It’s exceedingly capable off-road and well equipped. It lives up to all the hype it gets and looks just as good too, my only advice to potential new Jimny buyers is to be cognisant of the boot, it’s non-existent, sure you can put a few shopping plastics, but that’s it. You will need to drive with the passenger seats folded for extra boot space, and even when you do have the passengers seats up, they aren’t comfortable enough for adults. With all that said, you’re going to be respected all the time you decide to go off-roading.
Jimny 1.5 GA 5MT – R307 900
Jimny 1.5 GLX 5MT – R344 900
Jimny 1.5 GLX 4AT (My unit) – R365 900