In-depth reviews

Suzuki Jimny SUV - Engines, drive & performance (2018-2020)

The Suzuki Jimny is acceptable on-road and a very impressive performer off it

Carbuyer Rating

2.3 out of 5

Owners Rating

5.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

2.5 out of 5

The Suzuki Jimny is quite unlike any other new car to drive, and it certainly won't suit everybody. Unlike most SUVs, the Jimny has a separate chassis onto which the bodywork is fitted, much like the SsangYong Korando and Land Rover Defender. It's a setup that lends itself to off-road ability but also leads to untidy handling on-road.

The first thing you'll notice is the steering, which feels very indirect and takes a lot of twirling from one lock to the other. That's ideal for off-road driving, where tiny course changes can be needed, but makes holding a straight line fairly tricky and parking a fairly laborious process.

If you judge the steering well enough to take a corner at speed, you'll probably not want to do it particularly often. The Jimny leans far more in corners than most other SUVs, yet doesn't compensate with a soft, comfortable ride. Instead, it's rather bouncy, and neither fun for the driver or relaxing for passengers.

As expected, the Jimny is in its element when you show it a muddy track. Push the levers to engage four-wheel drive and low-range gearing and the Jimny will seemingly tackle anything in its way. It's actually even more capable in the rough than its predecessor, thanks to clever electronics such as hill descent control and what Suzuki calls ‘Brake LSD Traction Control’.

Suzuki Jimny petrol engine

The latest Jimny is fitted with a four-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine, which replaces the smaller 1.3-litre engine used in the previous model. The newer, bigger engine produces 101bhp – a 14bhp increase. Acceleration has improved as a result, with 0-62mph taking around 12 instead of 14.1 seconds. While the additional power doesn't turn the Jimny into a quick car, it does make it more capable of keeping up with traffic than before. However, with 3,000rpm showing on the rev counter at 60mph, the Jimny is anything but a quiet cruiser.

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Renault Clio hybrid
Deals
5 Aug 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

BMW X3 vs Mazda CX-60 vs Volvo XC60 – which should you buy?
Hero image
News
28 Jul 2022

BMW X3 vs Mazda CX-60 vs Volvo XC60 – which should you buy?

New electric MG4 hatch to start at £25,995
MG4 Front driver side
News
5 Aug 2022

New electric MG4 hatch to start at £25,995

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022