Suzuki Jimny Review 2022

Suzuki Jimny At A Glance

3/5

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

-Tiny boot. Not in its element on the motorway. In high demand and now only available as a two-seater van.

Insurance Groups are between 13–14

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

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

Can you recommend a plug-in hybrid 4x4?
"I am looking to buy a new car (nearly new/used probably) but have quite a few criteria and despite spending some time looking on the internet have not had much luck in finding what I'm looking for! I used to drive Suzuki Grand Vitaras which I absolutely loved, especially the high driving position and chunky style. I then decided to go from a manual to automatic (to help my knee) and that's where the trouble started! I have wasted money trying to find a car I love as much as the older GV (I really want to have the higher traditional 4x4 type). My criteria is: Plug-in hybrid; 4x4 - 4 wheel drive with 2 wheel drive option; higher, traditional 'chunky' style 4x4 like my old Vitaras without being the size of a tank; automatic gear box; 1.4 engine size or above; smaller rather than family-size; and mileage - less than 20,000."
The Land Rover Defender 90 is available as a plug-in hybrid, has a high driving position, automatic gearbox, a 2.0-litre engine and is relatively small. That said, they're expensive and have permanent four-wheel drive. Cheaper options don't have some of the kit you have requested, but if you can live without the car being a plug-in hybrid, the Suzuki Jimny sounds like it would be ideal. It has an old-school SUV design so it feels – and genuinely is – rugged, has a high driving position, switchable four-wheel drive, is available as an auto and has a 1.5-litre engine.
Answered by Russell Campbell
What's the best 4x4 for narrow, rural roads?
"My daughter, an emergency nurse, is moving from the south of England to the North East and will be commuting between hospitals. She is looking to buy a new car more appropriate to the change in climate and the narrower roads. A small 4x4 would be ideal, perhaps a MINI? Your advice would be very much appreciated. "
I'd recommend the Suzuki Jimny, Fiat Panda 4x4, Dacia Duster 4x4 or MINI Countryman All4. The Jimny is a brilliant 4x4. But Suzuki stopped selling it as a new car in 2021, which means your daughter will need a nearly new model via a dealer.
Answered by Dan Powell
Should I buy a four-wheel-drive car for snow or will winter tyres do the job?
"I want to buy a car to drive down to the Alps for the winter ski season. I'm thinking that an AWD or 4WD would be best, or will an ordinary car fitted with winter tyres be as good? I do appreciate that I will need to take snow chains. I don't want it to be too big as it will be parked in an underground car park with fairly tight spaces. I currently have a Honda Jazz so, ideally, not much bigger than that. A newish second-hand car would be best but I would also consider a new car. My budget is £30k. Any advice, particularly a list of models that I should consider, would be really appreciated. Thank you."
A two-wheel drive car with snow tyres is much better than a four-wheel drive without, although a four-wheel drive with snow tyres is the best option of the lot! The Mazda CX-30 is worth considering because it should be as reliable as your Honda and your budget is plenty to get you a brand new car. It looks stylish and feels nicely built inside. It has a 2.0-litre petrol engine so you can expect it to get around 40mpg if driven carefully, about 50% less than your Honda. For parking, it's about 3 cm longer than the Honda. The Skoda Karoq is about the same size as the Mazda. It's not got quite as good a reputation for reliability as the Mazda (it's still pretty good) and it's not quite as stylish looking, however, it is more practical and has better infotainment. Four-wheel drive versions of the Karoq only come with a diesel engine, although I wouldn't let that put you off – it means they have plenty of power and will get better fuel economy than the Mazda. Your budget is enough to get you a new car. Both the Fiat Panda 4x4 and the Suzuki Jimny have lots of grip in snow and are actually slightly smaller than your Jazz, although they both lack power and can feel a little wearing on a long drive. You'll get them brand new under budget.
Answered by Russell Campbell
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: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/suzuki/jimny-2019/ Brilliant off-road and just 1.7 metres wide.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Suzuki Jimny cost?