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  • Off-road capabilities; honest value; simplistic design; strong brakes
  • No ESC available; some drivetrain noise; light steering; fuel economy

OUR RATING
5 / 10



Suzuki Jimny Sierra Review & Road Test
Suzuki Jimny Sierra Review & Road Test
by Matt Brogan

Enjoy life outdoors without breaking the bank

Model Tested:

  • 2009 Suzuki Jimny Sierra; 1.3-litre, four-cylinder, petrol; five-speed manual; SUV – $20,490*

Options Available:

  • Metallic Paint $475; Alloy Wheels $800 (Fitted)

CarAdvice Rating:

Words by Matt Brogan Pics by Brendan Nish

In one form or another the humble Suzuki Jimny Sierra has been with us for close to 45 years now, and true to its origins, remains a simple, no nonsense, light-weight 4WD offering honest value and tenacious off-road performance.

From the outside Jimny Sierra offers an inoffensive, amiable appearance that, as dated as it may appear, is nonetheless practical when you stop to consider just where the car feels most at home, and how far off the beaten track it’s prepared to push.

Suzuki Jimny Sierra Review & Road Test
Suzuki Jimny Sierra Review & Road Test
Suzuki Jimny Sierra Review & Road Test
Suzuki Jimny Sierra Review & Road Test

You see this isn’t a soft-roader in the true sense of the word, and what I mean by that is that the Jimny Sierra isn’t a front-wheel drive toy made to look as if it can go off-road. No, this little number actually can go off-road, and has the right suspension, low-range gearbox, plus suitable approach and departure angles to do so.

Sure, it isn’t the first 4WD on every one’s mind as they attempt to tackle the Kimberley, but that’s not what the Jimny Sierra is about.

What it is about is fun. A great little couple’s car for camping, surfing, fishing, or just some time in the bush. Enjoying a life outdoors without breaking the bank, but still having enough off-road capability to make sure you get back.

Inside the Jimny Sierra is simple but effective. The seating is comfortable, driving position spot-on and visibility superb. In fact the only real issue is the lack of elbow space between you and the door.

Even up back there’s enough space for two adults, though headroom may be tight for those over six-foot, while getting in and out is an easy affair aided by front seats that roll far enough forward to make it a one-step task.

Rear seat passengers also gain storage bins and drink bottle holders under the fixed rear-side windows.

Suzuki Jimny Sierra Review & Road Test

There’s a fair list of standard equipment too, considering the price, with a single CD tuner, air-conditioning, remote central locking, roof racks, power windows and mirrors all included.

Storage is ample with map pockets in the doors, drink holders in the centre console, a decent glove box and small oddments tray all within easy reach. Up back behind the large side-hinged door, Jimny offers 113-litres of cargo space that can be expanded to a whopping 816-litres with the rear seats flipped down, perfect for a couple’s weekend away.

Powering Jimny Sierra is Suzuki’s 1.3-litre DOHC four-cylinder engine that develops a modest 63kW at 6,000rpm. It’s not exactly breath taking in terms of performance, and with 0-100km/h times slower than some cars run the quarter-mile (14.1 seconds), it isn’t exactly what you’d call quick. But again, to think of this car in that light is missing the point.

Jimny Sierra makes a gallant effort with what little it has, and in mating the little 110Nm of torque on offer to a well cogged five-speed manual gearbox (with push button 4WD and low-range settings), Suzuki have extracted an ample level of motivation for most situations, provided that is you don’t wish to overtake anyone.

What does let the Jimny Sierra down is its light steering and super-firm rear suspension that, coupled with a very short wheelbase, cause a complete lack of feel at highway speeds and a susceptibility to both camber and cross wind. Couple this to the obvious mechanical noise from the drivetrain and highway trips are, well… less than pleasant.

Safety comes compliments of dual front airbags, three-point inertia reel seatbelts and ABS brakes, that I might add are surprisingly strong. ESC and Traction Control are not available. Metallic paint and alloy wheels (fitted) are available for a modest cost.

While it’s a great little machine around town and off-road, getting to your favourite camping spot may well be a little tedious given the pairing of a small 40-litre fuel tank to a consumption figure we tested at 9.4L/100km. But if you’re prepared to stop a few times – and endure a slightly rugged ride – the Jimny Sierra may well be a good option to those chasing big fun from a small budget.

Ratings:

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SUZUKI JIMNY BREAKDOWN

Suzuki Jimny Sierra Review & Road Test
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Suzuki Jimny Specs

JLX (4x4) : UPGRADE : 1.3L MULTI POINT F/INJ - 4 SP AUTOMATIC 4x4 - UNLEADED PETROL - 2D WAGON
Car Details
Make
SUZUKI
Model
JIMNY
Variant
JLX (4x4)
Series
UPGRADE
Year
2009
Body Type
2D WAGON
Seats
4
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$7,590 - $8,630
Dealer Retail
$8,970 - $10,670
Dealer Trade
$5,900 - $6,900
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
1.3L
Max. Torque
110Nm @  4500rpm
Max. Power
60kW @  5500rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
57.1W/kg
Bore & Stroke
78x69.5mm
Compression Ratio
9.5
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
4 SP AUTOMATIC 4x4
Drive Type
FOUR WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
4.09
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
40Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
7.8L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1050
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1670mm
Length
3625mm
Width
1600mm
Ground Clearance
195mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1300  Unbrake:350
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
BALL & NUT - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
9.8
Front Rim Size
5.5Jx15
Rear Rim Size
5.5Jx15
Front Tyres
205/70 R15
Rear Tyres
205/70 R15
Wheel Base
2250
Front Track
1355
Rear Track
1365
Front Brakes
DISC
Rear Brakes
DRUM
Front Suspension
3 links, Coil Spring, Rigid axle
Rear Suspension
3 links, Coil Spring, Rigid axle
Standard Features
Comfort
Air Conditioning
Driver
Power Steering
Entertainment
Radio CD with 4 Speakers
Exterior
Power Mirrors, Roof Racks
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Control & Handling
Alloy Wheels
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Other
Service Interval
6 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Rear Driver Side Chassis
Country of Origin
Japan