Suzuki Jimny Review

Gumtree Rating

4.0 rating

First released back in 1970, the Suzuki Jimny is a compact 4×4 SUV that’s probably the Japanese manufacturer’s most unique creation, if not its most popular. It’s designed to offer great all-terrain driving in a small car at an affordable price point, and it’s generated a small cult following over the years for its simplicity and bold aesthetic. Besides offering rugged off-roading, the Jimny’s proportions and retro styling are sure to make it stand out from the crowd.

Explore the Suzuki Jimny hub to learn more.

What we think about the Suzuki Jimny

The Suzuki Jimny isn’t exactly a car that we would recommend to all buyers, but if you want to have fun exploring tough terrain and you appreciate character and simplicity, it’s an appealing prospect.



Great off-roading


Unique retro aesthetic




Poor safety rating

Impractical interior

Awkward city driving

The entry-level version of the 2020 Suzuki Jimny model has a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, which can deliver up to 35 miles to the gallon. It’s a five-door, four-seater SUV offered in just two trim levels: SZ4 and SZ5. The SZ5 trim makes an automatic transmission and wider choice of colours available.

Driving performance of the Suzuki Jimny

Our Driving Rating6 / 10

The Suzuki Jimny’s driving performance is mixed, mostly by design. It’s a low-powered and awkward ride on city streets, and its slow, weak steering response and bouncy suspension make it tough to recommend for everyday driving. However, if you take it off-road, it becomes an entirely different vehicle. The car was built for dragging you up rocky inclines and descending bumpy slopes, and it does these things extremely well. Though there are better off-road performers, they’re mostly much larger and more expensive than the Jimny, meaning that it’s a real standout car in its class and price range.

Safety and reliability of the Suzuki Jimny

Our Safety Rating6 / 10

Safety is the main weakness of the Suzuki Jimny, and it could be a major dealbreaker for many potential buyers. Crash tests by Euro NCAP resulted in a three-star rating. Child protection was rated at a respectable 84%, but its protection of adult passengers scored just 73%. Worse still was its 52% score for the safety of pedestrians, and a lack of safety features saw it score just 50% in this area. Though recent models have improved with the introduction of limited auto braking functionality, it still lacks advanced features like blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.

Under the bonnet of the Suzuki Jimny

Our Engine Rating7 / 10

The Suzuki Jimny is modest in power, with a relatively quiet 1.5-litre petrol engine that’s lacking the turbo-charge that boosts smaller engines on cheaper SUVs. It delivers around 101 bhp and makes the 0-60 mph run in around 12 seconds, with a top speed of around 90 mph. The standard version of the car has a manual transmission with five speeds, and there’s also a four-speed automatic available, which has a slightly lower top speed of around 87 mph.

What you'll find in the Suzuki Jimny

Our Design Rating10 / 10

The design of the Suzuki Jimny will definitely not be to everyone’s tastes, but it has a one-of-a-kind charm that makes it beloved by many owners, despite its flaws in other areas. It’s one of the boxiest cars on the market, contrasting sharply with the sleek lines and precise angles of most other SUVs. The Jimny also combines a compact, truncated body with a high wheelbase, which gives it a unique look and has a significant effect on how the car handles. A busy front end, with a large slatted grille, contributes further to its rugged appeal.

Comfort and interiors in the Suzuki Jimny

Our Comfort Rating6 / 10

The interior of the Jimny has the same combination of rugged charm and awkward impracticality that characterises its outside. Materials are mostly foam and chunky plastic, which some may find refreshingly simple, but the lack of refinement could be a drawback for others. There’s very little in the way of adjustability, which is particularly noticeable when it comes to the steering wheel, and anything that can be changed has to be done manually. Sitting in the back isn’t recommended for long trips, and the boot space is around 377 litres, which is significantly smaller than most SUVs.

What features you'll find in the Suzuki Jimny

Our Features Rating7 / 10

The touchscreen media system in the latest Suzuki Jimny is relatively small, with a basic interface. Other luxuries are mostly lacking, although the speaker system is decent. Upgrading to the SZ5 version, however, will get you large 15-inch steel rims painted black, and there’s a broad range of bold colour schemes available. You can also get LED lights, Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning, a DAB radio, and heated front seats. Android and iOS device integration is only available with the upgraded model.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Suzuki Jimny

Our Fuel Consumption Rating7 / 10

Fuel economy in the Suzuki Jimny is relatively competitive for an SUV, although it could perhaps be better considering its small engine size. You can expect to get up to 35 miles per gallon if you opt for the basic manual five-speed transmission. The four-speed automatic engine is reported to offer 32.2 mpg. Both engine types have relatively high CO2 emissions, with the latter engine kicking out just under 200 grams per kilometre of travel, while the manual emits around 178 kg/m.

Running costs of the Suzuki Jimny

Our Cost Rating7 / 10

Decent fuel efficiency should keep running costs fairly low for the Suzuki Jimny, and its small engine contributes to lowering insurance premiums – though its poor safety rating can bump these back up slightly. That said, this is one of the more reliable vehicles available on the market, and its lack of luxuries inside could also be a bonus in this respect. Suzuki offers a basic three-year (or 10,000 miles) warranty to cover the car, which is a little stingy compared to many competing manufacturers.

Our verdict of the Suzuki Jimny

4.0 rating

4 / 5 Gumtree rating

Its safety and practicality aren't great, but off-roading enthusiasts who appreciate personality and retro charm will struggle to find a more affordable or unique car than the Suzuki Jimny.