One of the most interesting cars you can buy right now in Australia, the Suzuki Jimny is the ultimate in affordable fun motoring that's also able to hold its own off-road.
Don’t let the relatively cheap price and compact size fool you. The Jimny is a properly hardcore off-roader, with all the body-on-ladder-frame, rigid axle, three-link suspension, dual-range all-paw drive, hilarious wheel articulation and rock-leaping clearance bona-fide off-roading demands.
The one-variant ‘range’ offers the choice of transmission, asking $25,990 before on-roads for a five-speed manual and $27,990 before on-roads for the four-speed automatic we have here.
For context on how cheap that is, the closest logical mud-kicker in concept is Jeep Wrangler starting from around $50,000.
There are six colour schemes and it’s a cool selection: plain no-cost White, military-look solid Jungle Green and Medium Grey ($695 each), desert-vibe Chiffon Ivory Metallic, Brisk Blue Metallic and retina-burning Kinetic Yellow, the latter trio ($1295 each) in fetching two tone with a neat bluish-black roof.
A fair chunk of the Japanese-built Jimny’s cost is sunk into its Tonka tough underpinnings. Creature comforts are sparse and material choice is generally hardy and functional, as they should be with a four-wheeled companion intent on being thrust into the wild for recreational purposes. Well, make that ‘five wheeled’ of course, given the conspicuous spare hung off the rear door.
Highlights include LED headlights, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with reversing camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mirroring, two-speaker audio, cruise control, climate control, powered front windows and mirrors, and privacy glass.
It’s pretty basic, but it does bring a host of feel-good features much in the way, say, a humble van or tradie-spec cab-chassis ute doesn’t.
You don’t need a tape measure to marvel at its proportions – its (1725mm) height is approaching around half its length (3645mm), and it’s taller than it is wide (1645mm).
Much of the real estate within its generous 2250mm wheelbase is taken up by the first-row accommodation behind the stubby bonnet and bluff windscreen.
It's the sort of car we really recommend you drive to see what the fuss is all about, be warned though, it's so popular that the wait time is at least six months.