Suzuki Jimny - what's your experience with them?

megamung

Active Member
we had a Vitara for many years , just ate up Fraser and used to drive it from Brisbane to Sydney on a regular basis. biggest negative was a lack of room. Ahh! the late 80,s What a time.
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LongRoad2Go

Well-Known Member
I haven't had any 'behind-the-wheel' experience with Jimny's, but, have observed them in Japan's snow areas where they really excel - light, reliable, and very good for travelling to/from villages and around roads with significant snow loads - sealed and unsealed, mountainous and flat. Their tinny sound and very nimble qualities make them stand out. I'd compare them similar to some early Subaru models, just without the creature comforts.

Suppose the other thing is, being light, if they do end up in trouble, a couple of people can just shove it back on track.

As mentioned previously, with our longer travel distances, a good use here would be to tow it to the track rather than long distance driving.
 

Ron0z

Active Member
A good video and put together well.

Anyway, to buy a Jimny or not. That is the question. The practical side of my brain says, 'Buy a ute,' but the other side says, 'You've already got a Falcon ute. Get a Jimny.'

I have to say that until today I've only ever seen pictures of them. The last thing I wanted to do was go chasing them up and down the country only to discover that I didn't like them. There was one I spotted in a used car lot. There's no way I'd buy from a dealer. Anyway, it allowed me a test drive. This one was an auto. Not my choice, but that's all they had.

Not as small as expected. Pleasantly comfortable. I could see the complaints about lack of space in the back, but there are only two of us, and our two small dogs. The next thing was the road test. Up and down the highway, that is. It had a surprisingly good turning circle. Probably due to its short wheelbase. Spent most of the drive at around 80kph. I was waiting for the noise that people mentioned. It was quite tolerable actually. Not nearly as bad as I was expecting. Perhaps that was addressed with more sound dampening under the carpets. Then I zoomed it up to a 100. "Zoomed?" No, it was gutless. It seemed to take ages to get there. Being automatic wouldn't help. My old 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer would leave the Jimny in its dust. (Bigger engine - 1.8 vs 1.3). Still, this Jimny was a 2015 model. I expected it to have more get up and go. There was a comment about it being 'choppy' but I didn't actually know what that meant. I couldn't begin to imagine, but I think I know now. I was kind of reminded of being in a speed boat when they hit the waves. I exaggerate of course, but there was a bumpiness to the ride. Probably due to having harder suspension and its short wheelbase.

On the whole, it was a pleasant experience. Looking in earnest.
 

rob_macca67

Well-Known Member
we had a Vitara for many years , just ate up Fraser and used to drive it from Brisbane to Sydney on a regular basis. biggest negative was a lack of room. Ahh! the late 80,s What a time.

I've had the 5door LWB version for the past 13yrs and its been brilliant... These little 4wd's when modified a little are very capable. The LWB I find that much better as in more room for camping gear, etc.. They use to be fairly cheap when compare to Sierra's but these are starting to rise in price as well
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
Anyway, to buy a Jimny or not. That is the question. The practical side of my brain says, 'Buy a ute,' but the other side says, 'You've already got a Falcon ute. Get a Jimny.'

Maybe sell the Falcoon and use the additional funds to get one better vehicle ( 4x4 ute) that will tick both boxes and only have the ongoing overheads of one vehicle?
 

SuperSteve

Member
We had an 80s Sierra when I was a kid. One of the cars I learnt to drive on. It definitely went everywhere our Landcruiser went.
The back seat (where I spent more time than anywhere else) was NOT comfortable, although as a kid I thought it was fun.
Driving on the highway, we couldn't really listen to music or talk. Again, didn't bother me so much as a kid, but it would now (my prado is already too noisy)

Workmate has one of the new ones, it's very nice inside, and they tell me it's not bad on the highway. But it seems you're not looking at one of them, so those videos posted aren't relevant.

One thing about the new ones, the tyres they come with are awful. Workmate went through 3 tyres just driving on dirt roads in a matter of weeks.
 

Ron0z

Active Member
I've got a Jimny lined up to buy. If all goes well (money from the bank, no one gazumps me) I'll have it this week.

The weird thing about 4WD utes is that when I walk past a Hilux or Navara or BT50 or something like that, they seem so big. Huge monsters. Then, when I check some of them on the RedBook for dimensions and compare the length and width to my Falcon I find my Falcon to be much the same or even longer. Bizarre. Anyway, do I want two utes, I ask myself. The Falcon is good because I have a campervan that fits in the back (no wheels). It has jacks and gets raised, reverse the ute under it, and lower the van onto it. With the generally extra height 4WD utes have my van jacks may not go high enough. There'd be ways around that. I also haven't measured any of them to check how the van would fit (ie. between the wheel arches, clearance over the cabin, and how much if any would hang beyond the tailgate. Anyway, it's not the sort of van you'd want to take off the highway too far lest it be shaken apart. It's mostly a caravan park type of thing. Perhaps when I get fed up with the Jimny it'll be another ute.
 

Ron0z

Active Member
I'm now the owner of a 2010 Jimny ($15,000). First impressions: Lovely. It seemed a bit of a Tardis. It's definitely a small car, but when inside looking across the bonnet it seemed quite large, but then I'm used to driving smaller cars. I found the auto that I road-tested last week to be a bit gutless. This one is manual and found its acceleration to be acceptable considering the engine size. Other impressions: I felt that the starter had to turn the engine for longer than I'd like before it started, but the engine seems smooth and quiet. It sounds or feels heavy (I'm trying to describe an impression rather than anything mechanical) as I move through the gears. Like I was driving a truck (that's over the top, but as I said, just an impression). This one's brakes were the same as the 2017 model I test drove last week. I'd prefer snappier brakes, but then that's not what you want if braking on a downhill gravel track. So, I probably shouldn't complain about that.

I bought it in Melbourne (I live in Canberra). Was going to spend the night there but couldn't get accommodation. So, drove to Eden. It rained most of the way and was windy and was about 4.00 AM when we arrived. I was getting worried about petrol. Luckily, I found a service station open in Bairnsdale. There's not much open at that time of night. That 40 L petrol tank has got to be a design fault. I was thinking of all the things noted above as I was driving. I sat on 100 km for most of the way. The heavy rain slowed me considerably at times. The car had been raised 2" and it has bigger wheels. I had the feeling the wind was buffeting me something terrible and being higher off the ground it felt like a boat in the ocean. I had to hold the steering wheel tightly at times. There was definitely a roughness to it. Someone mentioned "choppy" above. Sure, it's that. No sore back though. I found the seat comfortable, except for one thing. It was like sitting on a kitchen chair (back strait, knees bent). Must check out the seat adjustment.

All I have to do now is see how it goes off the highway.
 

Ron0z

Active Member
Off-road for the first time.

I took it for a drive on a track that ran off Mount Darragh Rd near Wyndham in NSW. It was the kind of track where low range was the bee's knees. I'm looking at a hill in front of me at one point and wondering if the car will actually make it up, then find myself laughing out loud by how easy it was. The car was a kitten on that track just purring its way up and down. Not a hint of wheel spin. And on the downhill runs in low range the engine acted as a brake. I hardly touched the brake pedal and on a few occasions had put my foot on the throttle. To think I was considering buying a car that didn't have dual range. I've fallen in love with low range. I don't think I'll ever consider one unless it has dual range.

Though, I haven't quite got the knack of getting it in and out of low range. It was a bit of a fiddle. I couldn't get it out of low range so easily. I think there's a lot to be said for a gear lever that you shift rather than all this push-button stuff.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
Off-road for the first time.

I took it for a drive on a track that ran off Mount Darragh Rd near Wyndham in NSW. It was the kind of track where low range was the bee's knees. I'm looking at a hill in front of me at one point and wondering if the car will actually make it up, then find myself laughing out loud by how easy it was. The car was a kitten on that track just purring its way up and down. Not a hint of wheel spin. And on the downhill runs in low range the engine acted as a brake. I hardly touched the brake pedal and on a few occasions had put my foot on the throttle. To think I was considering buying a car that didn't have dual range. I've fallen in love with low range. I don't think I'll ever consider one unless it has dual range.

Though, I haven't quite got the knack of getting it in and out of low range. It was a bit of a fiddle. I couldn't get it out of low range so easily. I think there's a lot to be said for a gear lever that you shift rather than all this push-button stuff.
You’ll find in the shorty you can drive and not commit to ruts a lot further than others in bigger cars. The lines you end up picking will look very dissimilar to the ‘track most taken’ by the run of the mill style vehicles that make them. Zukes are most at home in the tight technical stuff that most others wouldn’t dream of doing. Steep up and down, not so much - LWB has a distinct advantage there, but to find it you are getting pretty dicey. Enjoy.
 

Chatty

Well-Known Member
And TJM have released a whole range of bits to dress up the Zook now!

Enjoy - I loved my Sierra, but at the end of the day it wasn't big enough or "long distance" enough.
 

Ron0z

Active Member
So, far I have no regrets in buying my used Jimny, but then it's hardly been a week since purchase. I found this site recently. I figured it might be good to include it should anyone else be interested in buying one. I wish I had taken note of it earlier. The wiki component of the site is crammed with useful stuff, and the writer's sarcasm and humour provides some entertainment value.
 
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