Our tame racing driver helps kicks off Evans's CarFest motor show...
You are here
The Top Gear car review:Suzuki Jimny
Against:Noisy and cramped, bouncy on-road
1.3 VVT SZ4 3dr
What we say:
Still here, still surviving, that's the Jimny. It had a minor facelift in 2013: so minor, the challenge is spotting the difference...
What is it?
Plodding, that’s the best way to describe the Jimny. Looks like it was born in a bygone era, puny engine.
Read the spec sheet: beam axles at both ends, a high seating position, a short wheelbase. You can speculate on the result. A pogo stick is more satisfactory through a series of curves.
The long-travel suspension copes quite well with huge bumps, but shudders on smaller ones.
It is just possible to buy a slower-accelerating car elsewhere. Just about. But the plucky little 1.3 engine does a fair job, and certainly delivers all the performance that the chassis can handle. Useful for the occasional bit of towing, we suppose.
On the inside
Another seriously weak point. It’s noisy and cramped inside. The Jimny has superb unstoppable engineering, but a distinctly off-hand approach to fripperies like soft-feel plastics or chrome-edged dials.
With only four seats and a small cargo bay the Jimny can’t carry much but it can carry it anywhere. Oh and it does have one advantage as a town car: it’s tiny and boxy so easy to park. Which is just as well as you’ll be dying to stop and get out.
It’s so cheap it’s practically disposable, but actually it’ll last for ages and need very little care or attention. Yes there’s only a petrol engine, but this is hardly a high-mileage vehicle so fuel costs aren’t an issue.