2009 Suzuki Jimny Sierra Review

11 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2009 Suzuki Jimny Sierra Review

Overall Rating

2009 Jimny Sierra Road Review

SOMETIMES IT#39;S THE THINGS in life we enjoy the Case in point: the Suzuki Sierra.

It’s existed in the same compact two-door since 1970. And although third-generation model is far less than its ancestors, we’d be way off the if we said the current Jimny was edge.

It’s anything but but curiously that’s part of its

We spent a week with an Jimny to assess the pros and by the seventh day – after and surveying our handiwork (and lo, it was – we didn’t want to the keys back .

We’ll why.


At 3.6 metres and 1.6 meters wide, the 2009 Jimny is, for want of a better rather diminutive for an off-roader.

At 1.7 high it’s also tall, and the result is a car that more like a supersized toy an actual vehicle. The mini-Jeep certainly lends it a rugged but the Jimny’s proportions make it like a cutesy caricature of a larger four-wheel drive.

The might not boast the latest in design, but there are dollops of in its perky lines.

It is also of personality; some will be to it simply for its Bonsai dimensions and style. But that#39;s not the end of it: there is behind the Jimny’s lines and features than mere appeal.

Manoeuvrability is one. The compact size gives it the to thread a path through as easily as it traverses shopping carparks, and the short overhangs it with steep approach and angles.

The short wheelbase just an aid for parallel parking, but ground clearance and ramp-over It does effect on-road behaviour, but we’ll touch on later.

The Jimny is also designed to light knocks and scrapes in its The entire lower body is in colour-coded durable plastic which deform and pop back shape should a tree or traffic bollard leap out as you pass.

And though diminutive, it is for utility. up to a point. The rear spare tyre saves inside the car (freeing up the back for and the standard-issue roof rack can outsized loads (canoe, St up top.

Steel 15-inch are standard, but our car came fitted the optional five-spoke alloy

There is also promise of in those flared fenders, and the axles with their housings hint at some off road potential. Venture however, and things are a bit adrift of

The Interior

Is the Jimny’s cabin Not entirely; there are some comforts but it#39;s all a bit spare.

In a (like, really in a nutshell), cramped. The Jimny#39;s narrow leaves little width to with, putting the occupants to shoulder, particularly in the back

Twirling the wheel also the driver at risk of thumping an on the door trim. You quickly to adapt to the space and tuck the in when working the wheel.

not so easy to adapt to however is the position. The steering column has no so some drivers may find it to get comfortable.

The driver’s seat is mounted very high, and no height adjustment. The upright position improves forward when stuck in traffic, or over obstacles on a rutted but it feels like driving a at times.

Rearward visibility, on the hand, isn’t so great. The big on the back seats block a lot of the through the rear window, the spare tyre overlaps a of the glass.

Vision over the shoulder bad, but in some situations the shape of the B-pillars can hide low next to the car.

The front lack a little support they#39;re a bit thin – but are reasonably comfortable. The hard headrests, on the other hand, quite so cosseting.

The back comprises a two-person folding which is easily accessed to the sliding and tilting front seat.

Rear seat is tight and you’ll literally be shoulders with your The rear seat itself is and hard and long trips can be for any … passengers there. some speco scenery to at will help though, as the windows give a decent outside.

Cabin quality more to #39;tradesman#39;s ute#39; passenger car (by today’s standards). that isn’t trimmed in or carpet is moulded in either plastic or urethane, and the design the most cohesive you#39;ll

The two alloy-finish trim pieces on side of the centre stack are a link to other vehicles in stable, such as the SX4 and Grand but the interior styling is more durability and longevity than it is good looks.

Storage isn’t exactly generous, but no great surprise considering the compact dimensions. Both get map pockets and there’s a handy hole above the glovebox, but from a small tray the centre stack there are no places to store your

Two cupholders are offered, but struggle to tall bottles upright.

a four-seat compact hatchback, space is small. There is 113 litres of luggage room the 50/50 split rear up, and a grand total of 816 litres folded down.

Equipment and

The Jimny is undoubtedly modest but there are a couple of amenities to ease the time spent its cabin.

Airconditioning is one of them, an tuner with MP3-compatible CD is the other. Power windows and are a given, as is a 12 volt power in the centre stack.

It’s basic, yes, and looking for fripperies like and chilled gloveboxes are bound to be However the Jimny isn’t mod-cons and fancy gadgets: about the bare essentials.

essentials” also describes the safety equipment. Dual airbags, front pre-tensioning and ABS are standard, but side airbags, airbags, traction control and stability control are nowhere to be

The rear seats get three-point – which is a plus but with the Jimny’s narrow width and small crumple some extra safety kit go astray.

Mechanical Package

In the Jimny is powered by a 1.3 litre petrol four-cylinder that out 62.5kW and 110Nm. Gearbox are limited to a five-speed manual, or a automatic.

Output isn’t especially when you realize torque (the number counts for off-roaders) arrives at However, there are a few other of the Jimny’s mechanical package help it make the most of its muscle.

One of them is its weight, at 1075kg for the automatic we tested, there’s not a lot of car to lug around. That means the Jimny is a fairly machine, and it changes direction little effort.

Off the beaten the Jimny’s dual-range transfer maximizes the little 1.3’s In low range the torque deficit is for with revs, and the transfer is more than capable of graft.

Actuated by a push-button on the centre console, the transfer can switch between 2WD high and 4WD while in motion. When the gets rough the Jimny to come to a halt when between 4WD high and 4WD low, but the hubs mean the driver can in the vehicle.

The Jimny’s underpinnings are and classic off-roader material. small body rides a ladder-frame chassis, and suspension is care of by coil-sprung three-link axles front and rear.

Braking hardware consists of discs at the front and drums at the with the front caliper at the top of the rotor to reduce the chance of from rocks, sand and

Its small overhangs and short also give extra off road. Ground clearance is when unladen, with a approach angle of 42 degrees and a angle of 46 degrees.

A wheelbase of gives the Jimny a ramp angle of 31 degrees more enough to get over most challenging humps. Its turning is also reasonably tight at 9.8

Long story short, be fooled by its appearance the Jimny no limp wristed soft-roader.


On the road though, the Jimny is far stellar. The steering is vague and has a lot of the engine is noisy and acceleration is The short wheelbase also for a jiggly ride and road intrusion is significant at highway

Its tall seating position is an advantage in traffic as you can see over the of most other cars you. That said, those who really get a kick out of the boxy 4WD charms – and all its compromises – will the little Suzuki as a daily

It is easy to park, but the power gets heavy at low speeds and the wheel can become tiring a while. Add to that the Jimny’s interior, and you have to wonder why so Jimnys sold in this spend their lives on streets.

Out on the highway, it’s not a deal better. The automatic a commendable job of making the most of the 1.3 engine’s powerband, but no amount of cogswapping can mask the Jimny’s low

It’s slow too. from zero to 100km/h around 20 seconds, and a moderate will see the Jimny struggle to momentum. It’s okay corners, but the steering doesn’t confidence and the live axle simply isn’t designed for up bends.

But any misgivings about the Jimny#39;s disappear once the little tyres hit dirt, gravel or

We took our auto-equipped tester to Black Spur, northeast of There are a number of fire and tracks out here with a of different surfaces and inclines; an testing ground for the little and a chance to prove its not-inconsiderable in the rough.

Our first obstacle was a big a water-filled gluey pit with a on one side and dense bush on the

There was some reasonably dirt at one edge, but despite its track, the Jimny had to #39;chance its with a dive into the

So, low range engaged, keeled a brief but frantic wheel-spinning through the well-rutted slippery mud at the and the Jimny bounced out the other like a cork out of a bottle.

impressive was that it was able to do it on tyres with such tread depth. Even remarkable was that it made it so easy.

As if to demonstrate the difficulty of first obstacle, our Triton support car found itself hung-up on the ledge on exit, its buried behind it (on grippy mud no less).

Further up the track, the proved just as unstoppable a long section of deep mud

Here, the Jimny has two main that enable it to churn its way obstacles that would other off-roaders: its light and narrow track.

It’s means it doesn’t sink as when barrelling over ground. (Queensland farmers this with the original LJ80. in #39;the wet#39; found it could skitter paddocks that had heavy Landcruisers buried up to their

The Jimny#39;s narrow track means it can take paths bigger cars can’t It can pick its way along the solid at the edges.

In the rough in these it needs to be driven with a lot of and getting through sticky mud is a affair. However it simply to give up, and skated across gravel and dirt with

It is not as happy over corrugations; is some structural noise and from the suspension. As capable as it is, the feel of something like a simply isn’t there in the but then again it doesn’t to be.

After all, the Landcruiser is comfort and Herculean grunt. The is about having a blast getting where you need to go.


We had a huge amount of fun in the Jimny, but the only got started once we it off the asphalt.

One of the TMR team is considering one, and I now want to put the manual its paces. Once out in its natural it’s a genuinely enjoyable

Sure, its on-road manners the best, but its foibles give it a of charm. For most drivers despite its character, the Jimny likely be a little too wearing and a too compromised to be considered for everyday

The Jimny isn#39;t about or speed, or looking good: about getting back to the of driving. It#39;s certainly not the polished vehicle, but it#39;s a car interacts with you just as as you interact with it.

The Jimny simple, uncomplicated, fuel-efficient in a character-laden package.

While not exactly flash in an urban if you’re the type that to get back to nature once in a the Jimny could well be the you’re looking for.

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