Car Chooser
Car Chooser

2020 Suzuki Jimny owner review

Jack Quick
Author
Published
PROS
  • Lots of smiles per mile
  • Cute, boxy looks that make people look
  • Current resale value
CONS
  • Lack of power and torque
  • Basic technology
  • Ride and comfort on long trips

About the Suzuki Jimny

Jack Quick purchased this Suzuki Jimny new with additional options for $34,500 (including all on-road costs). Jack Quick would buy this car again because: “My Suzuki Jimny is a bare bones vehicle that I’d buy again and again.

It provides only the bare minimum, if that, and you definitely won’t win any races from the traffic lights. My Jimny took a long time to arrive (six months) but the wait was definitely worth it.

There have been a couple of issues so far, but my Jimny’s innate charm has always made me forget my woes.”

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

For the most part, my Suzuki Jimny has been extremely reliable. It always does what I ask of it and gets me wherever I need to go.

The Jimny has always been care-free over the countless four-and-a-half hour, 360km road trips to my family’s farm in Brim, Victoria. It hasn’t overheated, nor thrown up any engine warning lights ever.

Early on in my ownership though, my Jimny started making a crunching noise when doing a hill start with a fair bit of acceleration. Over time this crunching noise became worse and worse.

At my first service check-up I flagged this issue with the dealer I purchased the Jimny from.

I’ll detail the whole ordeal in the purchase and aftercare segment but getting the crunch fixed took a long time and a lot of effort.

It turned out the issue was to do with a slipping transfer case chain. This is a well-known weak point and issue for current-gen Jimnys.

Suzuki attempted to fix this issue by fitting a slightly longer transfer case change.

The crunch has pretty much gone away now, but every now and then it returns to my dismay.

From my understanding, this fix appears to be only temporary with the same crunch eventually returning.

Although my ramblings about my slipping transfer case chain are now taking up a large portion of this section, it rarely affects my everyday driving of my Jimny.

I rarely think about it actually because my local Suzuki dealer has previously reassured me that if anything happens they’ll look after me.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

My ownership experience of the Jimny thus far has been fairly good for the most part.

The Jimny, just like every new Suzuki model, is covered by a five-year warranty which is nice to have just in case.

I’ve already had a new transfer case chain and damaged front hubs replaced under warranty by my local Suzuki dealer.

Owning a Jimny is such a joy really. I frequently get people doing a double-take at me when driving and when it’s parked I get a lot of attention.

The Jimny community seems to be very close-knit and I often get waves when I pass another fellow Jimny owner.

There’s also a wealth of aftermarket and third-party accessories you can purchase for your Jimny to kit it out in the way that you’d like. There are some crazy Jimnys out there!

How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

When I purchased my Jimny I waited around six months for it to arrive. Funnily enough when it was ready to pick up from the dealer, Melbourne was going back into a lockdown so I didn’t get to use it for a long time.

If I was to purchase my Jimny again I’d definitely go through a different dealer. I won’t name names but I felt the Suzuki dealer couldn’t really care less about my purchase and they provided little to no information during the wait.

Now for the transfer case debacle…

So to recap, I had a crunch coming from the Jimny when I did hill-starts with a lot of accelerator applications.

The first time I flagged this with the dealer they didn’t really believe me. They’d never experienced anything like this before, or fixed it either.

They got me to do a drive with the service head honcho and observed the crunches.

During the inspection the dealer took off the Jimny’s wheels to have a look at the brakes as well.

Once I picked up my Jimny from its first service check-up they’d identified that there was something wrong. They needed to send evidence off to see what they thought.

I got home from this service check-up and saw the service team had quite severely scraped my central hubs on the front wheels. They admitted to fault thankfully and said they’d replace them.

It took around two months for parts for the transfer case and hubs to come from Japan.

Once the parts had arrived as well, the dealer needed my Jimny for what was originally a full week.

This ended up being two weeks roughly because the service team underestimated how much work was needed/was busy doing other jobs.

During the time the Jimny was in at the dealer workshop I had a blue Baleno, which I actually didn’t mind. Don’t hate on me for saying that…

Regardless of this issue, the aftercare of my Jimny has been a little bumpy thus far and I hope it becomes smooth sailing from here on out.

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

Well let me start by saying that a Jimny is more about the feeling it creates than the features it provides. I think that’s a good summary if you don’t want to read this section.

I’ve always wanted a small modern off-roader and the $34,500 asking price was honestly irrelevant to me.

It’s a lot for what it is though.

I could potentially sell the Jimny now for a considerable amount more now but I love it too much.

The features the Jimny comes with are okay, if a little bit lacking. I’ll start with what I like.

I quite like the crisp and clear analogue gauges with the basic digital screen, the intuitive climate control dials, and the super bright LED headlights.

Everything is very logical and just makes sense when you hop in.

What bugs me the most though is how dodgy the Apple CarPlay system can be. It takes forever to load and sometimes just doesn’t work, which is just great.

The infotainment system lag is annoying me so much I’m actually upgrading my head unit shortly to get rid of the Suzuki system and to also gain wireless Apple CarPlay.

I’ve done a whole heap of upgrades to my Jimny to tailor it to my tastes. I’ll list all of the things I’ve done so far in the additional comments section.

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

If you think you’re going to win a race from a traffic light in a Jimny, think again.

With 75kW of power and 130Nm of torque, both are lacking. I’d love a bit more of both power and torque, and maybe a turbocharger too…

My Jimny is equipped with the five-speed manual transmission, which I believe is the superior option. That four-speed auto can get in the bin.

I’d love an extra ratio with my manual because at 100km/h the Jimny is doing a smidge over 3000rpm and at 110km/h it’s around 3500rpm.

It doesn’t have enough torque though to rev any lower because a whiff of a hill sends the car into a deceleration frenzy.

Around the suburbs and town the Jimny absolutely excels. With the manual transmission it’s very engaging.

0-60km/h can be somewhat quick-ish if I prod the throttle a bit more than I usually would, but 60-100 km/h is always glacial.

The redeeming quality with the Jimny in this section though is the fuel efficiency.

Unlike Mike Costello’s blue Jimny, my Jimny happily sits around 6.0 to 8.0L/100km regardless of whether it’s in the city or on the highway.

I put this great fuel economy down to sticking with my minuscule 195/80 R15 highway terrain tyres that came as standard, compared to Mike’s large all-terrain tyres.

The fuel economy can get a little higher though when there’s a head wind… I blame the boxy, yet loveable design!

The Jimny only has a 40L fuel tank, so I’ve been getting around 450km on a tank.

The fuel gauge is a little iffy though because when it says it’s empty it really has around 10L left.

It drinks 91 RON regular unleaded petrol all the time and provides many smiles per mile.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

The technology in the Jimny is very basic and simplistic.

Mostly everything just works. It’s not flashy, nor quick, but just does the job.

As I said before, I’ve had some troubles in the past with lag and Apple CarPlay connectivity on my standard head unit, and to remedy this I’m upgrading it to an aftermarket one that offers wireless Apple CarPlay.

In all honesty as well, there isn’t much else technology to talk about.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

Hmm…

The ride in my Jimny was bumpy and soft when I first got it, but I made it stiffer and bouncier when I upgraded the suspension.

I now have a 50mm suspension lift kit from Ironman installed, along with a post-registration gross vehicle mass (GWM) upgrade, which is aimed at making the Jimny ride better with more weight onboard.

For the most part I drive my Jimny around unladen so it gets very bumpy and stiff.

This is only amplified on highways where the ride catches every imperfection.

The steering is very vague as well and I need to pay attention quite often. At 100km/h it has a lot of play and the Jimny loves to wander across the land.

All of these idiosyncrasies though are part of why I love the Jimny.

Inside, the seats are a little thin and lack lumbar support. They are simple fabric seats that do the job.

I put some denim seat covers on and this made the seats a little more durable and slightly more comfortable.

I’ve never ridden in the back, but I don’t imagine it’d be great…

Ahead of the driver the steering wheel only tilts, with no telescoping adjustability at all.

I’ve become accustomed to this lack of full steering wheel adjustability and have somehow found a way to get moderately comfortable in the Jimny.

On long drives I can get uncomfortable in the car and need to take more frequent breaks to stretch my legs.

Do you have any additional comments about your car?

I’ve made a number of modifications to my Jimny since I’ve owned it.

One of the first major modifications I made was upgrading all of my lights to LED units. I got this done by a company called iilumo which at the time was based in Dandenong, but is now based in Bayswater.

The lights are BRIGHT! My favourites are my LED tail lights which have a sequential indicator functionality and somewhat look like a Corvette C8’s if you squint.

My next major modification was getting a hoopless Ironman bullbar fitted, along with a 50mm suspension lift that included a post-registration GVM upgrade.

I find the hoopless Ironman bullbar fits the current-generation Jimny perfectly and doesn’t look as boring as a plain ARB bullbar for example.

It has a number of contours that make it look modern and somewhat factory to an extent.

Later on I also got an Ironman LED light bar fitted to the bar which fills out that awkward gap between the bar and the aerial mounting plate.

I’ve done a lot of minor upgrades too, but one I would recommend is adding some rear speakers.

All the wiring is there, so you only need to buy speakers and mount them using some form of bracket which you can either make or buy.

With four speakers it makes the sound system a little bit more pleasant to listen to.

Share
Link copied!
Ratings
Overall7.4
Show Breakdown
Technology 7
Reliability 8.5
Ride & Handling 6
Price & Features 7
Purchase & Aftercare 6
Performance & Economy 7.5
Ownership Experience 9.5
Top Line Specs
75kW
146g
3 ★
View all specifications