Suzuki Jimny SUV
Price £12,195 - £14,545
- Affordable and cheap to run
- Capable off-road
- Tough interior
- Cramped cabin
- Uncomfortable on the motorway
At a glance
"Cheap, cheerful and tough, the Suzuki Jimny is one of the UK's smallest 4x4s."
The Suzuki Jimny is now more than 15 years old and it's really showing its age, but it's still a cheap and cheerful 4x4 that's extremely capable off-road. Its compact dimensions, durability and four-wheel drive combined with a special low-ratio gearbox specifically designed for off-roading make it surprisingly effective over rough or slippery surfaces.
The Jimny may be small and the cheap-feeling cabin might leave you questioning its build quality, but it's actually a tough old thing and far more capable of tackling off-road terrain than a lot of SUVs. As for looks, it's pretty much a box on wheels, and the majority of modern compact crossovers (including ones available with four-wheel drive, such as the Nissan Juke) have much more interesting styling.
There's only one engine available: an 84bhp 1.3-litre petrol that needs to be worked pretty hard to get any real performance out of it. That means the Jimny is really not a car for high-mileage drivers or anyone who spends a lot of time on the motorway.
Although there are plenty of city cars and superminis that will do the job much better and for less money, the Jimny isn’t bad around town due to its compact footprint and small petrol engine, both of which suit urban areas. It's most at home in the kinds of places other cars wouldn’t go, though, and it makes sense if you need a robust little working vehicle that can handle surfaces other than tarmac.
The Jimny has been in production since 1998 and that does show, as on-road comfort, engine performance and interior space lag far behind more modern rivals such as the Fiat Panda 4x4, the Nissan Juke and the Vauxhall Mokka. The Suzuki Jimny comes in two main specifications: the entry-level SZ3 and top-of-the-range SZ4 and there's also an automatic gearbox available.
The Suzuki Jimny has a thirsty engine and CO2 emissions are high
The Suzuki Jimny has an underpowered engine and the car is very slow as a result
The Suzuki Jimny SUV’s suspension is bouncy on rough roads
The Suzuki Jimny’s boot is tiny and the rear seats are cramped
The Suzuki Jimny SUV is tough and well built