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Suzuki Jimny SUV (1998-2018) - Reliability & safety

The Suzuki Jimny SUV is tough and well built

Carbuyer Rating

2.1 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Reliability & safety Rating

3.0 out of 5

Suzuki has a reputation for building sturdy little cars and that’s absolutely what the Suzuki Jimny is. Yes, it’s very basic and well and truly behind the times compared to rivals, but it’s likely to be reliable and stand up to whatever you can throw at it.

At the same time, though, Suzuki’s performance in our Driver Power 2014 owner satisfaction survey was far from good, and the Jimny’s cheap, tinny nature doesn’t exactly make you feel safe on the road. Factor in the lack of any official Euro NCAP crash-test rating and it isn’t a great proposition.

Suzuki Jimny reliability

The Jimny didn’t make an appearance in our Driver Power 2014 owner satisfaction survey, but that probably has more to do with its minuscule share of the UK’s new-car market than what people really think of it.

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Suzuki’s ranking as a manufacturer couldn’t have been worse, though. It finished dead last out of 32 brands in our 2014 survey, dropping from a poor 29th place in 2013 and an unimpressive 26th place the year before. It’s surprising to see the company end up in such a consistently poor position, because it’s been known for building tough little cars – but the brand is obviously doing something wrong.

Suzuki’s dealerships are faring better, as they finished 16th in the survey, which is slap-bang in the middle of the 32 manufacturer’s dealers looked at.

Safety

The Jimny hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, so there aren’t any results to allow comparisons of its performance with those of rivals. Although we’re speculating here, you can’t help but wonder how well it would hold up in an accident, given that it’s so dated, quite small and lacks many of the modern safety features we now expect from family hatchbacks and SUVs.

Even so, the Jimny does have four-wheel drive. It’s one of the cheapest – if not the cheapest – car on the market to have it fitted, so if you live in an area that’s susceptible to bad weather and tricky road conditions and you’re on a tight budget, then it could make sense.

In terms of safety equipment, all models of the Jimny come with emergency braking assistance, driver and front-passenger airbags and front foglamps as standard.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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