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VIDEO: 2019 Suzuki Jimny review - bafflingly brilliant

Published 24 September 2018

The 2019 Suzuki Jimny is without doubt the best small 4x4 you can buy - assuming you're a farmer. If you're not, and you're looking for a left field little runabout, the compromises may be too great. 

You'll probably still want one though. Click play above to watch Mark explain why...

Comments

mmmmm    on 24 September 2018

Mark,

You requested views, so...your overall summary, deals with the Jimny, being shortlisted as a small crossover, in the same class as eg Captur, Juke, Ecosport...but they are not in the same sector as this car. Jimny appeals to those who already have/had one/several, eg those living in rural areas, those with unmade roads with winter conditions to consider, both these as PRIMARY buying considerations, not as with the above cars, which would by and large not be as suitable as Jimny.

Those folks who buy for the ladder frame chassis and other aligned attributes, know what they will be getting and are not looking for the qualities that Captur, Juke would give them, above the primary reasons aforementioned.

Price is being suggested beginning at £16K!. I read that a few weeks ago, there were 250c left in the UK. Those who want/need the Jimny for the above reasons and more, will be hot footing it down to their (not so) local dealership and begging for one of the previous...if there are any left.

There will be a healthy sellers market for any late plate/low mileage previous gen cars and perhaps for any decent condition 90's car also.

I feel that you have compared new Jimny to cars that certainly do not themselves ask for comparison to Jimny. Not many direct competitors, except perhaps Panda 4x4, which itself is way overpriced new...shame Suzuki could not recall this £16K start price and offer it for less, as with Swift Sport, when they realised their mistake with that...perhaps they will...

Test Jimny for what it does offer to those few who want/need it and it will, pricing apart, show a very different slant on this very decent car.

Please will you comment on this piece.

tony123456789    on 24 September 2018

Poor man's Jeep with a tin roof.

MarkNichol    on 24 September 2018

Hey. I think I agree with most of what you're saying, and you're right to say that many Jimnys are bought by repeat customers. However, someone at Suzuki told us that 9/10 sold are actually to people who never take them off road, aside from to "try it out" occasionally. There's no doubt that if you're looking for small, relatively cheap and very capable off roader because you need one, the Jimny is absolutely brilliant. However, that's a minority of customers. You'll note that I don't actually call the Jimmy a crossover in the video - it clearly isn't one - but for the majority of 'regular' buyers (ie. those who don't live in the countryside and who want a high-riding runabout) the Jimny's compromises will be too great. For those people, a small crossover will do a much better job - as in, it'll have a proper boot *and* four or five seats, will be much more refined, more economical, safer and generally just easier to live with. I'd put myself into that category - I'd love to buy one of these, but with two young children, I just couldn't. I hope that answers you sufficiently. :-)

Edited by MarkNichol on 24/09/2018 at 12:50

mmmmm    on 24 September 2018

Hey. I think I agree with most of what you're saying, and you're right to say that many Jimnys are bought by repeat customers. However, someone at Suzuki told us that 9/10 sold are actually to people who never take them off road, aside from to "try it out" occasionally. There's no doubt that if you're looking for small, relatively cheap and very capable off roader because you need one, the Jimny is absolutely brilliant. However, that's a minority of customers. You'll note that I don't actually call the Jimmy a crossover in the video - it clearly isn't one - but for the majority of 'regular' buyers (ie. those who don't live in the countryside and who want a high-riding runabout) the Jimny's compromises will be too great. For those people, a small crossover will do a much better job - as in, it'll have a proper boot *and* four or five seats, will be much more refined, more economical, safer and generally just easier to live with. I'd put myself into that category - I'd love to buy one of these, but with two young children, I just couldn't. I hope that answers you sufficiently. :-)

Cheers for getting back to me.

mmmmm    on 24 September 2018

Hey. I think I agree with most of what you're saying, and you're right to say that many Jimnys are bought by repeat customers. However, someone at Suzuki told us that 9/10 sold are actually to people who never take them off road, aside from to "try it out" occasionally. There's no doubt that if you're looking for small, relatively cheap and very capable off roader because you need one, the Jimny is absolutely brilliant. However, that's a minority of customers. You'll note that I don't actually call the Jimmy a crossover in the video - it clearly isn't one - but for the majority of 'regular' buyers (ie. those who don't live in the countryside and who want a high-riding runabout) the Jimny's compromises will be too great. For those people, a small crossover will do a much better job - as in, it'll have a proper boot *and* four or five seats, will be much more refined, more economical, safer and generally just easier to live with. I'd put myself into that category - I'd love to buy one of these, but with two young children, I just couldn't. I hope that answers you sufficiently. :-)

Well, you've got the readers typing like crazy on this one...how about getting hold of the MY2019 Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86 and watch the divided opinion posts roll in, re "where is the turbo/supercharger...seven years and their still not listening to us" debate...oh dear, they really should be looked up the R&D brief, before clacking away at the keyboard on this one.

colin fairhurst    on 24 September 2018

This is a very valid test, i fully agree that a vehicle does not have to be excellent in all areas to actually be excellent in the area for which it is/was designed,
A classic example being the venerable Landrover Defender ! Not the best car in so many ways , BUT, SO good in the environment for which it was designed . Where i live on the outskirts of Snowdonia, both Defenders and Jimnys share equal credibility with the people who buy them . To paraphrase another major motor companies advertising blurb 'if you want to go to remote exotic places buy a juke/qashai , IF you want to get back too, get a defender/jimny!
The bottom line here is, when you get stuck in a snow bank or a muddy field, it'll probably be a Jimny or a Defender that will tow you out !

SouthernDervish    on 24 September 2018

I would really like one of these bad boys for around town-but I am to wedded to my nice comfortable Suzuki Swift !!!

Matthew Hudson    on 24 September 2018

I'm going to get one!

I have one at the moment and it's frustrating but utterly lovable despite it's shortcomings, just like you said Mark.

But worried about a big price hike - demand is outstripping supply overseas and this will guide their pricing policy for this, a relatively unimportant market...


(PS By the way, if you go to Florence there are hundreds of them around, a really favoured vehicle in the west's hearth of culture!)

Penner    on 24 September 2018

Mark

I'm sorry of this seems like a nit-pick, but the Honest John website is held up as an expert, authoritative source of information for all motorists. So I really think you would set a better example in your video if you ensured that both hands were on the wheel at all times (except when changing gear, etc.).

Check it out for yourself, and count how many times your energetic gestures mean that one or both hands are waving around rather than steering the car!

groaver    on 24 September 2018

If you were attempting humour at feigning ignorance about the chassis and gearbox it didn't work for me, sorry.
If you genuinely didn't know....well, that's pretty damning of a road tester who had actually used the car off road and supposedly didn't bother to understand the vehicle's usp.

MarkNichol    on 24 September 2018

Humour, sir. Thanks for pitching in though, and sorry you didn't find it funny. Can I interest you in a knock knock joke...?

groaver    on 24 September 2018

Humour, sir. Thanks for pitching in though, and sorry you didn't find it funny. Can I interest you in a knock knock joke...?

I'm sorry. I've reread my message and it comes over harsh. I do get you like to inject humour into your videos.

It just seems to many in the media seem to wear their ignorance as a badge of honor these days.

Your written report dispels that notion. :)

Who's there anyway?

MMB69    on 29 September 2018

Mark, I love your reviews and this one is spot on... and funny in a lovely non cynical way :-)

We've had a few 'proper' off-roaders as well as cross overs (semi rural home, unmade roads hilly terrain) and I think you're right on the money with this review.

We've been waiting for the latest version, we loved the old car and you're right, it kinda' doesn't make sense but we love 'em anyway... but I grew up in an era of Tonka Toys and had a G Wagen (before they went all Gangsta) and we've run Defenders... Spotting a theme?...

The Jimny is just a laugh and very easy (if small) to live with and quite a handsome machine in its new clothes.

Keep up the great work.

Edited by MMB69 on 29/09/2018 at 12:00

soldierboy000    on 24 September 2018

In this day of modern engineering is it necessary to have ladder frame chassis, this will not be required by any owner to go where no man has been before. And back.

Matthew Hudson    on 24 September 2018

Penner, do you, by any chance, read the Daily Express?

Penner    on 8 October 2018

Sorry for my delayed reply, Matthew, which is hell no. I can use words of more than two syllables, do joined-up writing and everything.

gavsmit    on 24 September 2018

This review is spot on and brings me back down to Earth and in touch with common sense.

I hated the concept of the SUV until I drove one as a courtesy car. The higher driving position / visibility and the fact that it seemed more enjoyable to drive at slower speeds (thus safer).

So I decided to make my next car an SUV when I started reading about the new Jimny and automatically started trying to justify its shortcomings in order to convince myself to buy one (as mentioned in the review).

But at the end of the day I don't need to venture off road much so I need my next car to drive well on road, and have a practical interior / boot. I also want something with a good crash rating (not criticised for structural integrity as well as safety aids). Unfortunately that isn't the Jimny, regardless of how greedy Suzuki get with the pricing (like they did with the Swift Sport).

I'd be better served by the new shape Vitara when it arrives, and with some online car brokers already quoting for lower spec models with the 1.4 Boosterjet engine, I think I've found my next car :-)

alan lovedog    on 24 September 2018

sounds like it's great fun offroad, but surely it's not beyond their engineering ability to make it better on the road when not doing that? - the two dont have to be mutually exclusive. having said that yes i'd still fancy one as it's little and japanese and hopefully bulletproof.

mmmmm    on 24 September 2018

sounds like it's great fun offroad, but surely it's not beyond their engineering ability to make it better on the road when not doing that? - the two dont have to be mutually exclusive. having said that yes i'd still fancy one as it's little and japanese and hopefully bulletproof.

Not beyond them at all... but, the costs involved trying to bridge the gap to include engineering in, on road capabilities, would ensure its (even more so) priced out of reach. Given the target market and satisfying that, which it most certainly does, in this case, these ideals are mutually exclusive..you need to look at one of the usual suspects for your next car, if you cannot abide the lack of on road sophistication.

J C Dimsdale    on 24 September 2018

I agree entirely with Mark - this is not a small crossover but a genuine mini off-roader like a Defender or a G-Wagen. Everyone seems to have forgotten that Suzuki already makes a crossover/mini-SUV - the Ignis. This is a proper crossover/SUV with funky looks, high driving position and even a 4x4 with a semi-hybrid engine. The Allgrip is substantially cheaper than the Panda 4x4 and much more modern, with a great interior, excellent infotainment system and good build quality. We bought one as my wife has to be off road once a week during the winter with her dogs and the ride height is the same as the Vitara except for the front spoiler, which will definitely have to go! We looked at the old Jimny andit really was too basic but the new one looks good and is a great price for a proper off road vehicle, but it is NOT an SUV. So Mark, go and look at the Ignis Allgrip SHEV for a high riding mini crossover with character, excellent boot space, flexible seating, economical and a 5 star crash rating.

HonestTam    on 24 September 2018

The previous Jimny was, in my opinion, a brilliant, quirky vehicle.

Remember the ridiculous snow storms we had in 2009/2010?

A friend of mine lived in the remote Scottish Borders and not even his next door-neighbours Land Rover Defender could make it out.

My pal's light little Jimny allowed him to cross a field onto a B Road, and join the road into Edinburgh. Despite living 30 miles away, he made it into work sooner than some of the city dwellers.

Barsus    on 25 September 2018

Reading these comments about practical virtues overriding comfort/safety kit reminds me of an early Lada Niva poster, which said something like "when S...H...T..F..you'll be glad you bought one of these".

Bazza

KingRat999    on 28 September 2018

I absolutely LOVE this little car. I don't know the reason why they don't make a 5 door version of this brilliant little car, but there must be a valid reason. I recently purchased a new car and I would have bought one of these in an instant... well I may have done, not sure about the 4-speed auto box though. But, as I don't drive motorways I probably still would have bought it. After all, my Suzuki Wagon R+ was a 4-speed auto and that was brilliant and I had it for 15 years! But when the auto gearbox went, I decided to change. If ONLY the new model had 5 doors I would definitely buy one. Until then, well I will keep looking and wishing!

Edited by KingRat999 on 28/09/2018 at 10:32

Roey    on 29 September 2018

I was attracted to this for a bit of fun driving around town. Are you really serious, about it being a nightmare in tight spaces? If so, that is probably enough to put me off. Thanks. Roy

Trevor G Jones    on 2 October 2018

Wish the guy testing it knew a little more about the vehicle. A friend who lives in the city, never goes more than 10 miles out of it and only uses it for shopping bought a new Jimny in 2008 and she loves it. One morning in the snow she took it out and another neighbour was stuck trying to get back to his driveway and was shovelling to get some traction when the friend came along, straight up the hill into her driveway in her Jimny, did he look and the friend was in her mid seventies then. I noticed that it actually comes with a spare wheel was not mentioned in the test.

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