Road Test: Suzuki Jimny 1.5 SZ5
Martyn Collins struggles to remain objective about the latest Suzuki Jimny.
SECTOR Compact 4×4 PRICE £18,999 FUEL 37.4-41.5mpg (WLTP) CO2: 154-170g/km (NEDC Correlated)
Questionable refinement, tight interior packaging, plus it’s only so-so to drive. That’s the logical way of summing up Suzuki’s all-new baby off-roader. Yet, after a week with the range-topping SZ5, with its attractive, miniaturised off-roader looks and serious mud-plugging ability, we found it easy to forgive the Jimny’s faults. In fact, we reckon it’s one of the most memorable test cars of the year.
Let’s start with perhaps its biggest selling-point – the looks. Basically, a modern homage to Suzuki’s classic compact off-roaders, the Jimny really couldn’t be mistaken for anything else. There are some trick design touches to help the brick-like shape slip through the air a little easier too, such as the flush-fitting door handles and recesses cut in the windscreen scuttle for the wipers.
Sadly, the Suzuki’s five-speed gearbox, blunt aerodynamics and chunky tyres mean efficiency isn’t a Jimny selling point. Performance from the 1.5-litre petrol engine is merely adequate too; then again, more performance would only amplify the Jimny’s shortcomings of the unsettled ride and boomy engine on road – although improved over the model it replaces.
Off-road is where the Jimny is most at home – we did some green-laning while we had the little Suzuki, with its selectable all-wheel drive, and found it took to it with ease.
Inside, the range-topping SZ5 is well-equipped, with features such as sat nav, keyless go, heated seats and climate control all standard. Sadly, despite all the kit, the compact dimensions mean you’ll have to make a choice between carrying rear passengers or luggage.
Objectively there are better alternatives to the Jimny, but how can you be objective when the car looks this good?
Fleet World Rating: 4/5