Suzuki Jimny (2019 – 2020) Review

Looking for a Suzuki Jimny (2019 - 2020)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Suzuki Jimny (2019 – 2020) At A Glance


+Adorable looks. Fun to drive (in a sense). Extremely capable off road.

-Tiny boot. Not in its element on the motorway. Very high CO2 of 178g/km for the manual and 198g/km for the auto.

The old Suzuki Jimny was dire to drive on the road, its interior was basic and, by the time its 20-year production lifespan came to an end in 2018, it was long past its best. You only need to visit rural areas to see how successful it was, though - buyers loved it for its reputation for reliability, low running costs and its ability to go anywhere.

The brand could easily have replaced it with yet another fashionable crossover to take on the likes of the Nissan Juke. But it's already got the crossover market pretty well catered for with its Ignis, SX4 S-Cross and Vitara - so it's stuck true to its principles and launched a very quirky off roader.

Quirky is arguably a polite synonym for flawed. The new Jimny feels prehistoric to drive on the road - the steering takes a lot of turns from lock to lock, and you'll constantly be correcting the wheel to keep it in a straight line. It's underpowered and desperately in need of a sixth gear, running out of steam at around 60mph.

But that's the difference between a hatchback-based crossover and a proper, old-school 4x4 vehicle based on a ladder frame chassis. Most people will hate how the Jimny drives but there's a charm to it. Just like some people choose to drive classic cars, some people appreciate an old-fashioned off roader. Some people need an old-fashioned off roader.

There are just two trim levels on offer in the UK: the SZ4 and SZ5. We'd recommend paying the extra £2500 for the top-spec model, if only for a wider colour range and the more attractive navigation display rather than the old-fashioned radio.

Whichever trim level you opt for, don't expect to be able to carry your family and enough luggage for a weekend away. The Jimny can barely carry anything with all four seats in use - it has an official load capacity of just 85 litres with the rear seats left up. It's much better treated as a two-seater, with the rear seats permanently left down, in which case you get a fairly boxy, useful boot. Suzuki even sells a load cover to fit over the rear seats if you wish to do this.

Suzuki is bringing just 1200 examples of its new Jimny a year to the UK - and demand is far outstripping supply. Most buyers would be better looking elsewhere in Suzuki's range, but the Jimny is a charming (have we mentioned flawed?) car that has clearly struck a chord with so many buyers.

Suzuki Jimny 2019 Road Test

Suzuki Jimny 2019 Video

Looking for a Suzuki Jimny (2019 - 2020)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

Help us with the Honest John Satisfaction Index now

Ask Honest John

What's the smallest, competent 4x4?
"I wish to replace my wife's car with a small 4x4. Given the terrain where we live, it needs to be as narrow as possible and competent as a 4x4. What can you recommend?"
Suzuki Jimny: Brilliant off-road and just 1.7 metres wide.
Answered by Dan Powell
We want a small 4x4 hybrid. Should we wait for the newest Jimny or look elsewhere?
"Can you please recommend a small 4x4, automatic, hybrid? Our first choice was a new Suzuki Jimmy and we've been on several dealer waiting lists for over a year now and getting tired of waiting. Second choice would be a Suzuki Ignis but I can't see an automatic option, ditto a Panda Cross. Would really appreciate your help."
If you need the car for off-roading then it might be better to wait for the Jimny or buy a nearly new model on the used market: If you do not plan to use the car off-road then it might be better to buy a front-wheel drive car and fit a good quality set of all-season tyres. These will give you the extra grip you need in the winter months. In this case, I'd recommend the Toytota C-HR:
Answered by Dan Powell
Should I hold out for the LWB Suzuki Jimny?
"I'm struck by the cute, new Suzuki Jimny. I might be able to do some recreational off-roading, but I don't want a one-trick pony. So, with the possibility of a LWB model looking more a probability, filling a space left by everything else that's gone upmarket, that looks like a better bet. It certainly would up the practicality stakes for me: more space for camping gear, bigger roof tent, maybe a bike inside with a wheel off. Would a longer wheel base potentially make this a better cruiser?"
While a five-door Jimny is rumoured to be in development, we'd be surprised to see it sold in the UK. The future of the Jimny is under threat as its high CO2 emissions hinders the brand's ability to hit new CO2 targets being introduced across Europe in 2021. To answer your question, yes, a longer wheelbase would probably make the Jimny a slightly better cruiser - but not as much as a more refined engine and six-speed gearbox would. It could be worth looking at the Suzuki Vitara - it might not be as capable as the Jimny off road, but it sounds like it'd suit your requirements better.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I'm looking to replace my Daihatsu Terios - what would be a suitable new car?
"I love my Daihatsu Terios, which I have had now for about 10 years. I call it the Tardis as it is deceptively roomy. I'm now looking to buy something similar - high driving position and not too wide or long. I am 70 years old and vertically challenged so I like the seating position of the Terios. Not too confident about parking a bigger vehicle either. I prefer 4/5 door and AWD. I also like the reversing sensors and am looking maybe for an in-car sat-nav. What would you suggest? "
A Suzuki Jimny is probably the closest thing you can get to a Terios today. It's not a driving experience that'll be appreciated by everyone, however. Consider a Suzuki Vitara or Fiat Panda 4x4, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Suzuki Jimny (2019 – 2020) cost?