2008 Suzuki Jimny Sierra Review
Yes, it's a Suzuki, no, it's not a Swift.
Great little car, fun off-road, lots of character.
No side airbags, can be a little cramped inside.
- by Alborz Fallah
Don't get me wrong, the Corolla is a great car, so great in fact, that it's the most popular car in Australia, but popularity doesn't always equate to anything special.
If you're wondering why I am talking about a Toyota Corolla while I am reviewing a Suzuki Jimny Sierra, then take a deep breath, because I am going to explain to you why, the Jimny should be considered for all sorts of reasons.
Surprisingly, the Jimny has become of those cars that has faded into the background, not too many consider it when looking for a new car. The Japanese manufacturer only sold 118 Jimnys Australia wide in June, which is an improvement over the same period last year, but still a far cry from where it could be.
Stick it in neutral, turn the key and the tiny 1.3-litre engine comes to life. Yes, 1.3-litres, small, but very punchy when it needs to be.
With only 62.5kW on tap, you might be thinking this car is rather underpowered, but underpowered for what? A race off the lights? Maybe, but for getting around town or up a hill, absolutely not. The Jimny only weighs 1060kg (kerb weight), so the power to weight is about 59kw/per tonne, which is more than you'll need for a car like this.
Just how does it get around town? Very easily. The five-speed manual is smooth, allowing for easy shifts while the clutch picks-up exactly when you expect it.
This is the sort of car you can get in, any time, any where and drive to where ever it is that you want to go. It's comfortable, easy to drive, can go off-road when it needs to and most importantly, it has a lot of character, perhaps that's its best selling point. It didn't bore me like most other cars in its price range.
A drive out to near Australia Zoo saw the Jimny tackle our QLD 4WD obstacle course, with great success. Put it in 4WD mode and with the cars low weight and great ground clearance, you can be assured you can go pretty much anywhere. Suzuki are happy to admit the Jimny is better off-road than the flagship Grand Vitara, which should tell you something.
As for the city, parking is easy given the car is only 3.6M long, our press car came with power steering which makes the process much easier. I wouldn't recommend the entry model (w/o power steering and alloys).
Fuel consumption from the tiny 1.3-litre engine isn't as great as you might expect, coming in at 7.3L/100km for a combined cycle, however it does have to work quite hard at times which equates to more fuel. Real world figures actually bettered that of the manufacturer, coming in at around 7.2L/100km. With a 40L fuel capacity, you will get at least 500km out of one tank.
Also if you fit a tall adult in the passenger seat, their right knee tends to make contact with the manual gearstick at times.
Now, back to what I was saying earlier. If you're thinking about buying say a Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, or maybe even a Mazda2, do yourself a favour, go check out the Suzuki Jimny Sierra.
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