Suzuki Jimny van review


Its hard to look at a Suzuki Jimny without resorting to making those noises reserved for cute babies! The utterly adorable little Suzuki, unlike a newborn is utterly competent and ready for work. We’re testing the only version of the Japan built all wheel drive Jimny that is presently on sale in Ireland – the LCV ‘commercial’ two-seat van.

Don’t be fooled by its size the Jimny has serious off road ability and a heritage to rival Land Rover. We’ve driven previous versions through, over and across the types of terrain that you’d usually need a team of sherpas for and come away giggling and amazed at how competent the car is off road. The four-cylinder 1.5 litre petrol powered car pushes out 101hp and 130nm of torque through a five-speed gearbox that in day to day driving powers the rear wheels.

The five-speed gearbox has a close ratio that will have you wishing for at least three more gears on the open road! Seriously 50km/h in 5th feels like 3rd does in anything else. The Jimny features Suzuki’s AllGrip Prod 4WD set up. The Jimny’s gearbox ratio makes sense when you see all Jimny’s have a 4H and 4L transfer box gear lever also. In 4 high you can tackle almost anything with ease and little effort. Four low lets you take on the nutty stuff – the type of terrain many would call the scene of the accident and 4X4 enthusiasts would call heaven!

On the road the Jimny commercial is softly sprung and not as choppy as you’d imagine given the car’s tiny wheelbase (2,250mm). It rides on steel 15 inch wheels shod with shock absorbing off-road tyres. Cornering is less hairy too as there is a nice and predictable degree of body roll that in a strange way acts as an unconscious speed-limiter. The cabin is tight with a metal bulkhead ensuring no goods can make their way from the rear cargo area in to the front under heavy braking. At just shy of 6’ my knees tended to take a bit of a clatter from the steering column each time I got in but once in the driver’s seat the Jimny’s personality makes you forget its shortcomings.

The slow gearing of the steering is very noticeable at slow speed and an annoyance. There were times I wish I had one of those ‘steering knobs’ just to save me flailing my arms when cornering. The Jimny is at its worst on the motorway where the cabin noise is near deafening. A load in the 863 litre rear cargo area or some additional carpeting would go a long way to deadening the ambient noise in the cabin. Fuel consumption is 7.7 L/100km (36.7mpg) on average (WLTP). CO2 emissions are 173g/km and the engine is Euro 6 compliant.

The Jimny’s dimensions, conventional ladder chassis and very short overhangs make it an ideal off roader. It is a mere 3,480mm in length (3,645mm including the tailgate mounted spare). It is 1,645mm wide and 1,720 tall. Ground clearance of the 1,090kg car is 210mm.

The Jimny sadly lacks smart phone integration and makes do with bluetooth. It does come with cruise control and a speed-limiter, ABS, ESP and Hill Hold and Hill Descent Control. Manual air conditioning features and there are auto lights with an auto high-beam function too.

The Suzuki Jimny is utterly lovable, I mean just look at it! Driving a Jimny is the automotive equivalent of owning a new puppy – everyone will love you. The Suzuki Jimny Commercial costs €20,995 (including commercial VRT).


About Author

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan is a senior and highly respected motoring journalist based in Ireland. He is a frequently heard voice on motoring, transport and mobility matters and has multiple credits on national television, national print media, national and local radio and other outlets. Michael Sheridan has been a Car of the Year Judge for more 20 years (& more recently a Van of the Year judge). Michael has produced and directed many international and national motoring TV programmes and documentaries both on cars and motorcycles - including four films on the iconic Route 66. Michael Sheridan is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

Comments are closed.