In a market dominated by high-riding vehicles, Suzuki has just launched an all-new Jimny – and not a moment too soon, as the third generation it replaces has been with us since 1998!
Size wise, it belongs in the subcompact segment, but unlike the rest of the competitors out there, the 2019 Jimny has a ladder frame chassis, long suspension travel, a low-range gearbox, sufficient ground clearance and a four-wheel drive system, which make it a peach off-road.
And it really does go pretty much wherever its driver points it, regardless of the ground surface, as proved in WhatCar’s review. However, if you treat it like you would any other subcompact crossover out there, you’ll be disappointed.
That’s because it’s an old-school off roader rather than a high-riding hatchback like the rest of the bunch. So, the vague steering and noticeable body lean will set the limit at the twisties, whereas on the highway the tiny engine is barely adequate and quite noisy.
Then there’s the interior, where the all-new Jimny may look funky, but has quite a few scratchy plastics, a cramped rear bench that barely sit two adults (who probably won’t talk to you afterwards) and a tiny boot.
That’s a lot of negatives and they will rightfully dissuade most customers. The thing is, the Jimny was designed by Suzuki to go further off-road than, say, a Nissan Juke or Peugeot 2008, and this it does very well. Thus, while it’s not aimed at the majority of buyers, but at a small niche that will appreciate it for what it is. After all, that’s how its predecessor managed to stay in production for a startling 20 years.