You are here

Specification:
SZ5
Engine:
1462cc 4cyl, AWD, 100bhp, 95lb ft
Claimed MPG:
35.8mpg, 178g/km CO2
Performance:
0-62mph in 12.0secs (est), 90mph
Weight:
1135kg
Price:
£18,499 OTR/£20,797 as tested/£252pcm

It seems everyone loves the Jimny. No matter how often I fill up with fuel, park it at an airport or take it to a car wash, there’s at least one bystander who asks all about it and displays genuine shock it’s ‘only’ 20 grand. With most of my mileage on motorways where skittish, slab-sided 4x4s just don’t belong, I never used to share their enthusiasm.

And yet – with time – the silly little thing’s got beneath my skin. In part it’s the joy of driving a car so far out of its comfort zone, like a more humble take on those TaxTheRich videos of bullied Ferrari F50s, yet it’s also me being a big softie and forgiving some clanging flaws now I know the Jimny’s soon to depart European showrooms, potentially forever.

Taking it on a Great British Break has helped hasten the process, too. A Suzuki Jimny in the Yorkshire Dales. It feels as natural as a Ferrari around Fiorano or a drop-top Mustang on the Pacific Coast Highway. But good luck spotting a new one bumbling about on rural errands. On a recent break Oop North, I didn’t see a single bug-eyed example like ours, with the umpteen other Jimnys all taking the form of its more shrunken-Vitara-esque predecessor, each wearing a natty two-tone colour scheme bespattered with muck.

Perhaps the farmers of Wharfedale are still on the Jimny’s notoriously long waiting list. Or it’s a vivid illustration of the car’s retargeting for its fourth generation. See, the Jimny has never been anything approaching a pretty car. It’s always been guts over glory, substance elbowing style firmly off the agenda. But with the deliberately retro look of its latest iteration, has it directed itself at a different audience? One that’ll never throw it down a muddy path or through crowds of baaing sheep on account of the lack of kombucha vendors in the vicinity of either?

I hope not. Because it felt completely at home buzzing through narrow country lanes, never shouldered into the looming dry stone walls no matter how many Discoverys, Touaregs or actual, non-Chelsea tractors came rolling the other way. Its dinky size raised a cheer where, on my mundane motorway commute, it elicits quite the opposite response.

A few months of ownership have seen me warm to the Jimny’s rough’n’ready charms, and it’s a process I got to see for myself on fast forward as my best mate went from chortling at its set-square styling to fighting me for driving duties in a mere day or two.

It accommodated the pair of us with ease too – albeit with every surface aft of the front seats smothered in bags, coats and boots – with the only real annoyance being its titchy fuel tank. Take one of these on the fully blown adventure it inevitably inspires and you’ll want a jerry can or two strapped aboard.

Proof of how much I’ve crumbled arrived on my commute down the M1 (in what feels like a long time ago now), when I spotted another Jimny (base spec in white, like a little UN peacekeeper) bobbling along in the inside lane. I raced alongside to give its driver a cheery wave – a rare move on my part – only to receive a befuddled look in return. His car was wearing a brand new 20-plate, though. Give him a few months…

Mileage: 11,679 Our mpg: 37.8

Read more on:

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear’s code of conduct (link below) before posting.