Compact and dynamic off-road
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.