Com­pact and dy­namic off-road

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

the four-speed au­to­matic ver­sion.

Au­to­mat­ics make off-road driv­ing a plea­sure. You don’t have to worry about stalling and you can inch for­ward slowly with­out slip­ping the clutch or spin­ning wheels on take-off.

The Jimny’s lit­tle 1.3-litre with 63kW and 110Nm off the beaten track is ac­cept­able, but on the open road, car­ry­ing three large peo­ple, you won’t be break­ing the speed limit of­ten.

On long in­clines, the box tended to hunt and there were times when it sounded as if the en­gine wanted to climb out of the en­gine bay.

But once we ar­rived at Bass Lake it came into its own.

Pep­per is a 4x4 vet­eran and has more ex­pe­ri­ence than most. I had ar­ranged with him to take the two kids with me.

Dur­ing break­fast he con­firmed whether they had li­cences and promptly brought two more Jim­nys for them to drive.

He pro­ceeded to give an out­line of what the cour­ses on of­fer would be like and ex­plained the me­chan­ics of a 4x4.

We then went to put the the­ory into prac­tice and, be­fore ev­ery ob­sta­cle, Pep­per climbed out to ex­plain which line to drive and why, if you took a dif­fer­ent one, you would get stuck.

The Jimny has a low range and no diff lock, so it’s not just a ques­tion of push­ing a but­ton to get out of trou­ble, you have to drive your way out.

This pro­vides a cer­tain thrill, par­tic­u­larly if, like the boys, it’s your first time out; it soon be­came a com­pe­ti­tion between the two of them.

There are one or two ob­sta­cles re­served for the more sea­soned. Pep­per ex­plained how he would drive up and then re­verse down again which, even for a more ex­pe­ri­enced driver like my­self, was im­pres­sive. Af­ter­wards, we were given a sum­mary of the day’s events.

One of the Jim­nys ar­rived at Bass Lake from the show­room floor and has spent its time ex­clu­sively as a train­ing ve­hi­cle on the course, but there are no rat­tles or squeaks and the doors lined up per­fectly – tes­ti­mony to its build qual­ity.

The Jimny will never be the fam­ily sedan be­cause space is at a pre­mium, but for good, hon­est fun and to get to places where the big boys play, the Jimny will put a smile on your face.

The Suzuki Jimny makes off-road driv­ing a plea­sure.

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