Suzuki Jimny JX 2007 Review

Suzuki Jimny JX 2007 Review

Suzuki Jimny JX 2007 fq

If you had $16,990 to buy a new car you could buy a Kia Picanto manual and have $300 spare, or a Suzuki Jimny JX manual and have thousands of dollars worth of off-road fun. These cars are the cheapest on the market, but they’re quite different. As I’ve only driven the Picanto for a short distance I don’t want to give you any opinions yet (I get it for a longer test in a couple of weeks), but I had the Jimny for a week to explore its envelope.

In terms of the usual specification of a modern car the Jimny has a longer list of what it doesn’t have than what it has. No ABS, air conditioning, passenger sun visor mirror, electric windows, central locking, immobiliser, traction control, stability control, electric mirrors, stereo controls on the steering wheel, adjustable steering wheel, fifth seat, or height adjustable driver’s seat. Nope, it’s as spartan as they come. With this long list of absences, I’d assumed I wouldn’t like the Jimny, but that’s not the case. Lack of air conditioning and central locking aside (the only two things I really missed), the Jimny has the kind of engaging drive that’s usually totally engineered out of all but sports cars such as the Ariel Atom and Radical SR3. It’s a busy ride with constant adjustments required of the steering, and I find this invigorating. I don’t usually want a boring drive — I want cars to be more entertaining and involving, where I have to pay attention, and there’s an element of ‘juggling chainsaws’ to the proceedings. My personal feeling is that the more we make cars like lounges the more that people will fall asleep at the wheel and have accidents.

There’s no chance of falling asleep in a Jimny. Apart from the rather active steering, the suspension is designed for a good compromise between road and off-road. I didn’t take it through serious mud, but did enough to tell that it would most likely pull through where a heavier vehicle would get bogged down.

The driver sits quite high in the Jimny, so visibility is excellent and with it having a short bonnet, seeing to pull out of intersections when there are cars parked on the side of the road is easy. Manoeuvring is also simple with a fairly tight turning circle and dimensions that are easy to judge. The Jimny is equipped with two airbags, and all controls (there aren’t many of them) are simple to use. In the centre of the console are the three switches for 2WD, 4WD and 4WD low range. 4WD can be selected on the move; low range can be selected when stationary.

Speed is not the Jimny’s forte. The 1.3-litre engine dribbles out 63kW and 110Nm and assisted by the featherweight 1060kg it’ll crack 100kph in around 12 seconds. This also contributes to a reasonable fuel consumption of 7.1l/100km. Shifting gears (which you’ll do a lot of if you want to get the best performance from the engine) is accomplished with a satisfying click into place.

Four people can travel in the Jimny — the two in the back even get their own cup holders — though the boot is small. Fold the seats down and a practical and flat luggage space is revealed.

The Jimny is a sensible new car choice for anyone who requires a rugged but compact car with a sizable load space, but doesn’t want a ute. In fact, it is the type of car that people should learn to drive in. It’s not hugely quick, it’s adequate in terms of on-road handling, and it teaches you to pay attention to the road at all times. It’s not really any more difficult to drive than any other car, but it is certainly more engaging, requiring concentration that should then stay with you for the rest of your driving lifetime.

Price: from $16,990

What we like

  • Engaging drive
  • Off-road ability
  • Value for money
  • Gearchange

What we don’t like

  • You need the air conditioning in the summer
  • Only 63kW
  • Storage options sorely lacking

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

DIMENSIONS JX JLX LTD
Overall length mm 3625
Overall width mm 1600
Overall height mm 1670 1705
Wheelbase mm 2250
Track Front mm 1355
Track Rear mm 1365
Ground Clearance mm 190
Minimum turning radius m 4.9
WEIGHTS JX JLX LTD
Curb weight kg Manual 1060 Manual 1060 / Auto 1075 Manual 1060 / Auto 1075
Gross vehicle weight kg 1420
ENGINE JX JLX LTD
Type M13A with VVT
Cylinders 4
Number of valves 16
Displacement cc 1328
Bore X stroke 78.0 x 69.5
Compression ratio 9.5 : 1
Maximum Output (EEC net) Kw/rpm 63/6000
Maximum Torque (EEC net) Nm/rpm 110/4100
Fuel distribution Multi-point injection
TRANSMISSION JX JLX LTD
Drive Select 4WD High/low ratio transfer gears
Transfer gear ratio High Manual 1.000 Manual 1.000 / Auto 1.320 Manual 1.000 / Auto 1.320
Low Manual 2.002 Manual 2.002 / Auto 2.643 Manual 2.002 / Auto 2.643
Type Manual 5 – speed all synchromesh
Automatic N/A 4 – speed electronically controlled 4 – speed electronically controlled
CHASSIS JX JLX LTD
Steering Ball and nut
Suspension Front 3-link coil, rigid axle
Rear 3-link coil, rigid axle
Brakes Front Ventilated disc
Rear Drum, leading & trailing
Tyres 205/70R15
CAPACITY JX JLX LTD
Seating 4
Fuel tank (unleaded 96) Litres 40


COMFORT JX JLX LTD
Power steering O
Electric windows O O
Electrically adjustable exterior mirrors O O
Remote central door locking (including tailgate) O O
Audio System – 2 speakers Radio/CD
Air Conditioning O O
INSTRUMENT PANEL JX JLX LTD
Tachometer O
Instrument lighting colour O
Lights-off reminder O
Key reminder O
Luggage area underfloor storage box O
Assist grips O
Glovebox & passenger side compartment O
Digital tripmeter O
Steering lock O
LED speedometer with fuel warning light O
INTERIOR JX JLX LTD
Cabin light – 3 position O
3-spoke urethane steering wheel O O
Leather covered steering wheel O
Sun visors with drivers side vanity mirror O
Day/night rear view mirror O
Console box with cup holder O
Walk-in system – passengers side O
Reclining and sliding front seats O
Detachable head restraints – front & rear O
Fabric seat material O
Separate reclining & split folding rear seats O
Front door pockets/armrests O
Fabric accented door trim O
Fabric floor carpet & luggage compartment mat O
Rear quarter trim with pocket/cup holder O
Remote fuel lid opener O
EXTERIOR JX JLX LTD
Green tinted glass – UV front windows O
Halogen headlights O
Body-coloured bumpers O
2-speed intermittent wipers O
Rear window defogger/wiper/washer O
Coloured side-splash panels O
Roof rails O O
Retractable aerial O
Fog lamps O
Spare wheel cover O
Alloy wheels Optional Optional O
SAFETY & SECURITY JX JLX LTD
Push button drive Select 4WD system O
Free wheel hubs (air hubs) O
Dual airbags O
Collapsible steering column O
ELR seat belts – front & rear O
Height adjustable front seat belt anchors O
Adjustable head restraints O
Passenger grab handle O
Side impact beams O
High-mounted stoplamp O
Engine Immobiliser O
Remote central locking O O

Suzuki Jimny JX 2007 fq

If you had $16,990 to buy a new car you could buy a Kia Picanto manual and have $300 spare, or a Suzuki Jimny JX manual and have thousands of dollars worth of off-road fun. These cars are the cheapest on the market, but they’re quite different. As I’ve only driven the Picanto for a short distance I don’t want to give you any opinions yet (I get it for a longer test in a couple of weeks), but I had the Jimny for a week to explore its envelope.

In terms of the usual specification of a modern car the Jimny has a longer list of what it doesn’t have than what it has. No ABS, air conditioning, passenger sun visor mirror, electric windows, central locking, immobiliser, traction control, stability control, electric mirrors, stereo controls on the steering wheel, adjustable steering wheel, fifth seat, or height adjustable driver’s seat. Nope, it’s as spartan as they come. With this long list of absences, I’d assumed I wouldn’t like the Jimny, but that’s not the case. Lack of air conditioning and central locking aside (the only two things I really missed), the Jimny has the kind of engaging drive that’s usually totally engineered out of all but sports cars such as the Ariel Atom and Radical SR3. It’s a busy ride with constant adjustments required of the steering, and I find this invigorating. I don’t usually want a boring drive — I want cars to be more entertaining and involving, where I have to pay attention, and there’s an element of ‘juggling chainsaws’ to the proceedings. My personal feeling is that the more we make cars like lounges the more that people will fall asleep at the wheel and have accidents.

There’s no chance of falling asleep in a Jimny. Apart from the rather active steering, the suspension is designed for a good compromise between road and off-road. I didn’t take it through serious mud, but did enough to tell that it would most likely pull through where a heavier vehicle would get bogged down.

The driver sits quite high in the Jimny, so visibility is excellent and with it having a short bonnet, seeing to pull out of intersections when there are cars parked on the side of the road is easy. Manoeuvring is also simple with a fairly tight turning circle and dimensions that are easy to judge. The Jimny is equipped with two airbags, and all controls (there aren’t many of them) are simple to use. In the centre of the console are the three switches for 2WD, 4WD and 4WD low range. 4WD can be selected on the move; low range can be selected when stationary.

Speed is not the Jimny’s forte. The 1.3-litre engine dribbles out 63kW and 110Nm and assisted by the featherweight 1060kg it’ll crack 100kph in around 12 seconds. This also contributes to a reasonable fuel consumption of 7.1l/100km. Shifting gears (which you’ll do a lot of if you want to get the best performance from the engine) is accomplished with a satisfying click into place.

Four people can travel in the Jimny — the two in the back even get their own cup holders — though the boot is small. Fold the seats down and a practical and flat luggage space is revealed.

The Jimny is a sensible new car choice for anyone who requires a rugged but compact car with a sizable load space, but doesn’t want a ute. In fact, it is the type of car that people should learn to drive in. It’s not hugely quick, it’s adequate in terms of on-road handling, and it teaches you to pay attention to the road at all times. It’s not really any more difficult to drive than any other car, but it is certainly more engaging, requiring concentration that should then stay with you for the rest of your driving lifetime.

Price: from $16,990

What we like

  • Engaging drive
  • Off-road ability
  • Value for money
  • Gearchange

What we don’t like

  • You need the air conditioning in the summer
  • Only 63kW
  • Storage options sorely lacking

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

DIMENSIONS JX JLX LTD
Overall length mm 3625
Overall width mm 1600
Overall height mm 1670 1705
Wheelbase mm 2250
Track Front mm 1355
Track Rear mm 1365
Ground Clearance mm 190
Minimum turning radius m 4.9
WEIGHTS JX JLX LTD
Curb weight kg Manual 1060 Manual 1060 / Auto 1075 Manual 1060 / Auto 1075
Gross vehicle weight kg 1420
ENGINE JX JLX LTD
Type M13A with VVT
Cylinders 4
Number of valves 16
Displacement cc 1328
Bore X stroke 78.0 x 69.5
Compression ratio 9.5 : 1
Maximum Output (EEC net) Kw/rpm 63/6000
Maximum Torque (EEC net) Nm/rpm 110/4100
Fuel distribution Multi-point injection
TRANSMISSION JX JLX LTD
Drive Select 4WD High/low ratio transfer gears
Transfer gear ratio High Manual 1.000 Manual 1.000 / Auto 1.320 Manual 1.000 / Auto 1.320
Low Manual 2.002 Manual 2.002 / Auto 2.643 Manual 2.002 / Auto 2.643
Type Manual 5 – speed all synchromesh
Automatic N/A 4 – speed electronically controlled 4 – speed electronically controlled
CHASSIS JX JLX LTD
Steering Ball and nut
Suspension Front 3-link coil, rigid axle
Rear 3-link coil, rigid axle
Brakes Front Ventilated disc
Rear Drum, leading & trailing
Tyres 205/70R15
CAPACITY JX JLX LTD
Seating 4
Fuel tank (unleaded 96) Litres 40


COMFORT JX JLX LTD
Power steering O
Electric windows O O
Electrically adjustable exterior mirrors O O
Remote central door locking (including tailgate) O O
Audio System – 2 speakers Radio/CD
Air Conditioning O O
INSTRUMENT PANEL JX JLX LTD
Tachometer O
Instrument lighting colour O
Lights-off reminder O
Key reminder O
Luggage area underfloor storage box O
Assist grips O
Glovebox & passenger side compartment O
Digital tripmeter O
Steering lock O
LED speedometer with fuel warning light O
INTERIOR JX JLX LTD
Cabin light – 3 position O
3-spoke urethane steering wheel O O
Leather covered steering wheel O
Sun visors with drivers side vanity mirror O
Day/night rear view mirror O
Console box with cup holder O
Walk-in system – passengers side O
Reclining and sliding front seats O
Detachable head restraints – front & rear O
Fabric seat material O
Separate reclining & split folding rear seats O
Front door pockets/armrests O
Fabric accented door trim O
Fabric floor carpet & luggage compartment mat O
Rear quarter trim with pocket/cup holder O
Remote fuel lid opener O
EXTERIOR JX JLX LTD
Green tinted glass – UV front windows O
Halogen headlights O
Body-coloured bumpers O
2-speed intermittent wipers O
Rear window defogger/wiper/washer O
Coloured side-splash panels O
Roof rails O O
Retractable aerial O
Fog lamps O
Spare wheel cover O
Alloy wheels Optional Optional O
SAFETY & SECURITY JX JLX LTD
Push button drive Select 4WD system O
Free wheel hubs (air hubs) O
Dual airbags O
Collapsible steering column O
ELR seat belts – front & rear O
Height adjustable front seat belt anchors O
Adjustable head restraints O
Passenger grab handle O
Side impact beams O
High-mounted stoplamp O
Engine Immobiliser O
Remote central locking O O
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