As the entry-level to Suzuki’s extensive range of SUVs, the Jimny Estate remains the perfect introduction for those wishing to sample the adventure of 4x4 motoring, thanks to the breadth of its capabilities and its compact dimensions. When required, it can be readily taken over more demanding terrain, with the rugged and distinctive styling underpinned by a separate chassis, Drive Select 4x4 system and all-round coil suspension.
The youthful, bold looks and ‘wheel in each corner’ styling have brought a loyal following and make the Jimny as enjoyable to be seen in as it is to drive. The neat, modern, practical look is enhanced by curving body panels, body-side protective mouldings and bumpers, all colour coded to match or contrast with the paint finish. Integral roof rails emphasise the roof contours, giving additional functionality with a range of roof rack accessory options available.
All body panels are made of high-tensile galvanised steel and are mounted to the separate chassis, which provides a rigid basis for the whole vehicle.
And Jimny’s firmly planted stance gives it a presence that belies its compact dimensions. An overall length of just 3625 mm and width of 1600 mm together with a high driving position and a tight 9.8 m turning circle, allow it to be manoeuvred about town and parked with ease, even in the most congested of conditions.
The driving position is high and commanding, offering enhanced views in all directions and occupants have plenty of headroom, enhancing the feeling of spaciousness created by the large glass area. Rearward visibility is aided by large, electrically operated door mirrors, doughnut-type headrests and a spare wheel mounted low on the rear door.
Access to the rear is assisted by a front passenger seat that slides forward, and wide-opening doors and low sills. Rear seat passengers are provided with armrests, holders for oddments and a cup holder. Additional cup holders are located in the central console between the front two seats. The rear seat backs are split 50:50 and can be both reclined and fully folded forward to open up the luggage area.
The seats offer comfortable support and the controls are light to use. The fascia is simple yet stylish, with clarity and ease of use being prime design considerations. Speedometer, tachometer, and gauges for temperature and fuel are accompanied by a full display of warning lights.
Since its launch in 1998, the Jimny’s separate, full box-section chassis has established a reputation for durability and toughness.
The rigid axles front and rear are attached to the chassis by a three-link arrangement, with a stabiliser bar fitted at the front. This well-proven design, controlled by long-travel coil springs and gas dampers, is configured to cope with the punishment of rough surfaces, while ensuring a refined and compliant ride on conventional roads.
Suzuki's Drive Select 4x4 system features a transfer box with high or low ratio four-wheel drive. The free-wheeling front hubs are engaged automatically and four-wheel drive can be selected on the move whilst travelling in a straight line at speeds of up to 62 mph. Jimny’s off-road credentials include 190 mm ground clearance, approach and departure angles of 42º and 46º respectively, and a ramp angle of 31º, impressive by any standards.
Accessories for even greater personalisation
Jimny continues to be offered with a wide range of accessories including alloy wheels, spare wheel covers, graphics, door sills, dash and exterior light trims. Roof rack modules, for easy transportation of skis, snowboards, bicycles, surfboards, sailboards, and roof boxes are also available. All the accessories have been designed to enhance the rugged and stylish appearance of Jimny.
Jimny Estate is available in a choice of six new colours, with metallic paints carrying a £275 premium: Blueish Black Pearl; Cool Beige Metallic; Kashmir Blue Pearl Metallic; Bright Red; Grove Green Pearl Metallic; and Silky Silver Metallic.Published 21 January 2005