Skip advert
Advertisement
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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Skip advert
Advertisement

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.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed
Alpine A290 front quarter
News
13 Jun 2024

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
12 Jun 2024

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
14 Jun 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
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
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

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

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024