Suzuki Jimny 1.3 4X4

the 1300 Suzuki Jimny was great fun to drive

Jimny took to water like a duck...

without so much as a cough


First impressions are usually everything; they count for a lot and are difficult to change after that first pre-conception has developed. The Suzuki Jimny is definitely a case of pre-conceptions proved wrong. At first glance, it does not seem like much of an off-roader, although that front metallic grill does bear some rugged credibility.


Take a deeper look and it will not take you long to see there is a lot of decent development and technology that went into the Jimny. With four seats and air-conditioning, it is the ideal vehicle to use on weekends in remote locations usually inaccessible with non-4WD vehicles. The boot space is very limited to a mere 113 litres. With this said, the Jimny is better suited for two people when the weekend away beckons, as by folding the rear seats down, a more accommodating 816 litres of load space becomes available. Keep in mind that there are roof racks too.


the rear seats can be folded down for added loading space

the Jimny's 4-wheel drive system


The wheelbase is very short at 2250 mm, giving a better ramp angle and ability to manoeuvre between trees and bushes in tight spaces. Ride height is on par with most other vehicles of this type and ground clearance is a respectable 190 mm (compared against the Land Rover Defender at 215 mm). The ride itself is very rigid on tar but as a result performs better off road.


the Suzuki Jimny 4X4 is equally at home on the road and in the rough


Two SRS airbags upfront and 3 point seat belts all round, as well as anti-locking brakes provide added safety. Remote central locking adds to over all security but the Jimny lacks an alarm system. The power steering and electric windows worked flawlessly and further added to the luxury of the whole driving experience.


Pop the bonnet and the four cylinder, fuel injected 1.3 litre engine looks impressive. It subsequently gives great fuel economy too, at a claimed 7.2 litres per 100 km. The power plants longitudinal layout appears robust and hints that Suzuki is not messing around. Two separate fan belts drive the various pumps and electronics. There is ample space in the engine compartment, so if the need arises its quick and easy to replace parts.


Jimny was very capable off-road


The small block petrol engine might seem puny but it provides enough punch to propel the Jimny to 100 km/h in 14.1 seconds from standstill, although it still lacks the torque given by the diesel counterparts. This is where the selectable low range 4WD comes into its own. There are three buttons in the cabin 2WD/4WD/4WDL, which adjust the transfer case into the preferable mode. Four-wheel drive can be selected on the fly (whilst moving) without exceeding 60km/h. Low range requires the car to be stationary and takes about two seconds to activate. It provides a better gear ratio for traversing extremely rough terrain at lower speeds. The low range also activates a descent control system for controlled descents down hills or steep slopes. It works by keeping the rpm between 1000 and 2000 resulting in the ideal speed for the steepest of slopes.


Besides the relatively rock hard suspension on the road, the Suzuki Jimny is very comfortable and copes well at highway cruising speeds with a top speed of 140km/h. Road noise is kept down thanks to the well sealed cabin and the engine noise is remarkably quite too. At idle its practically inaudible (great for sneaking closer to animals when you're in the Kruger Park). All this adds up to an amazing little car with great off road capability at an amazing price.


neat, simple cockpit

Suzuki Jimny

R 182 900

Engine 4 cylinders, 1328cc, 63kW Transmission Manual Type MPV / SUV

Engine & Gearbox

Accel 0-100

14.1 Seconds

Bore x Stroke

78.0x69.5 mm



Compression Ratio




Engine CC

1328 cm3

Engine Design

Longitudinal Inline

Engine Location


Fuel per 100km

7.2 Litres

Fuel Supply

Multipoint Electronic Fuel Injection

Fuel Type






Max Speed

140 Kph

Power KW

63 KW

Power Revs

6000 rpm

Torque NM

110 Nm

Torque Revs

4100 rpm

Valves per Cyl



Air Con


Alloy Wheels




Central Locking


Descent Control


Diff Lock


Low Range


Power Steering




Safety & Security



Immobilizer &/ Alarm


SRS Airbags



Approach Angle


Boot Max

816 litres

Boot Min

113 litres

Departure Angle






Front Track

1355 mm

Gross Weight

1420 Kg

Ground Clearance

190 mm

Kerb Weight

1060 Kg

Ramp Angle

31 Degrees

Rear Track

1365 mm

Tank Capacity

40 Litres

Trailer Weight

1300 Kg

Tyre Size

205/70 r15


2250 mm

Suspension & Drivetrain

Brakes Front


Brakes Rear


Drive Wheels


Front Suspension

3-Link Rigid Axle With Coil Springs

Rear Suspension

3-Link Rigid Axle With Coil Springs

Plans valid from Vehicle First Registration

Service Intervals

15000 Km

Service Period

48 Months

Service Period

48 Months/60 000 km

Service Plan

60000 Km

Warranty Period

36 Months


The Jimny is extremely driver friendly. On the road and in the rough, its high-performance features make handling easy for professionals and novices alike. Where you point, the Jimny follows. Compact dimensions help you slip through heavy traffic and into small parking spaces with ease, while off the beaten track they help you squeeze between boulders and trees. Unbeaten paths that would challenge other vehicles are a breeze in the Jimny. You'll climb hills with confidence thanks to generous approach and departure angles, drive action 4x4 with low range and excellent traction enhanced by excellent wheel articulation. Take the Jimny for a test drive and discover for yourself just how fun driving can be... That's what Suzuki said, and we think they got it right.


Words and photos by Dylan Slater


Thanks to Suzuki Auto South Africa for the drive,

the Jimny is a rugged and fun little 4X4... great!