Just bought a 2006 Jimny in France. We use it for around our small town and around the countryside. Seats are like cast iron. On typically bumpy secondary roads the hard shocks (dampers) give me chronic back pain. You get this constant BA-Bump! BA-Bump! It's partly the short wheelbase, but softer shocks would make it far more comfortable. The dealer has harder ones, but none softer @E400). He says if we didn't like the ride we shouldn't have bought the car (you don't know these things until you drive a few days).
We have a 2001 Geo/Suzuki Tracker in USA and it's a dream by comparison, on all kinds of surfaces (though handling is imperfect). We also have a '90s Renault Express (5/Cinq) mini-truck (camionette) in France... it bests the Jimny is all categories (comfort, handling. etc.) except raw power. Bottom line: Jimny is unsuitable for rural European driving.
Another thing, whereas the Tracker has a readily-operating rear door, the Jimny top must be disconnected before you can load your groceries. NOT SMART.
Jimny jlx+ bought new after 10 miles pulsating whine from drive chain. after 2 visits to dealer they said they were going to change the transfer chain and main bearing!but had not got parts in stock and I will have to wait. I have put up with this noise for a month now and have decided to try and get my money back customer care don't seem bothered.
As the original writer on this thread, my Jimny too had a pulsating whine on the transmission, which worried me so I had it looked at by the dealers, who noted the comments on the car file in case of a warranty claim and suggested that a slight pulse or whine was common when new, but did settle down after a few thousand miles.
Other Jimny owners I spoke to had encountered the same thing, which disappeared as the car got older. A very slight whine is normal at 45pmh+ owing to the type of engineering used.
At one stage I got angry at being severely cut up by another driver, and I revved the engine to the red-line, dumped the clutch in first gear and screeched off. Around this time, a slight oil leak which dropped oil along the chassis leg and down onto the road just behind the rear of the engine developed.
I took it to the dealers, who immediately investigated and said that a seal was slightly leaking when the transmission got hot, ordered a new seal and booked me in for this to be fitted. Three mechanics came out to see the car, and all scratched their heads and said "God, a fault on a Jimny? Once these are sold, we never, ever see them apart from at servicing". I think that one was my fault!!
If the whine is severe, get the parts swapped, but 10 miles down the road is probably not long enough to get it run in. If you have never had a four wheel drive before (I hadn't) then it does sound odd, but many rear wheel drive transmissions on these type of cars are very heavy and solidly built, and not as smooth or quiet as what you or I are used to!
Suzuki UK can be pretty hopeless, but my Suzuki dealers are first class and cannot do enough to help me.
I would suggest that you let your dealers try and sort it out before trying to reject it!
The Japanese build quality of these Jimnys is magnificent, and far superior to the Hungarian built Suzukis (see my other reports: 2005 Ignis 4Grip, current 2006 Swift DDiS).
Handling/stability worries aside, if you use the Jimny off road, don't lose faith in it because of an early issue...!
At the end of the day, it is a very cheap, very well built off road tool, which will last forever-look at the high mileage 1998 farm hacks that still look new..!
If you say that your Polo handles badly, I would forget now any idea of buying a Jimny. The Polo is very very stable and agile compared to the Jimny which is basically an AGRICULTURAL vehicle with limited on-road ability.
It is certainly powerful enough for road use, but it really does not have the necessary stability for motorway use, let alone on the twisties.
Go and buy a Skoda Fabia 1.2HTP or Toyota Aygo Black (special edition) after testing both and forget the Jimny- you are not a farmer!! You will also save a fortune on fuel and insurance.
PS: our local dealers have a new JLX+ including leather at £8000 if you really are going to ignore all advice!
Having owned my Jimny 02 for 2 months, I have to say I love it! Every aspect of it! I know it's not good on fuel, not the best handling, and certainly it's never going to break any land speed records, but that not the point of them is it? You have to actually drive one, which these days is unusual, as I think that some cars are so easy to drive, they don't require much effort. I traded in an 05 Corsa CDTi, which did near 60 to the gallon and cost me 40 quid a year for tax, for my Jimny. I haven't looked back since.
Just done a 1500 mile round trip in it to Scotland and back; it coped admirably with the motorway, and really came into its own around the back roads of the highlands, getting me to places the Corsa never would have.
I have fitted a steering damper, some uprated springs and changed all the bushes to urethane; this makes miles of difference to the handling.
The point is don't test drive it expecting it to drive like a Fiesta or the like, or you'll be disappointed. If you want a car that's different, that'll get you places you normally wouldn't be able to go, then get one. Be prepared to have to drive it though, which I think is what some people expect not to have to do.
Got to say as well, compared to Vauxhall, Suzuki customer service is outstanding as well! Be different.
Glad you like it-they do give you a feeling of adventure and are very capable in the rough.
Please be careful though-I would have written the exact same comments you wrote, after two months of ownership.
After I oversteered on damp roads by accident at low speeds a couple of times, I got wary of it, and I ended up rolling it at a very low speed when it oversteered at 25mph and clipped the kerb.
They are fun, but I would never get in one again!
Please be careful.
It seems that the handling is the big issue with the Jimny - most reviews on various sites say 'no problem' but a few say 'beware'. To me the car is about something just a little different that, on record, appears very reliable and puts a smile on most owners faces. I'll be test driving one shortly after Xmas, on A roads, country lanes and motorway so that should give me a good insight as to whether the Jimny is for me or not. I agree with the earlier post that although a diesel is economical (I have the Polo 1.4tdi) you do adapt to the running costs when you change. If I do get a Jimny it could be the worst decision ever, but only time will tell - the only thing making think twice at the moment is that I hear Suzuki are bringing out a 3 door diesel Grand Vitara - see the 'Suzuki4u' forum (a UK Suzuki car owners site) for further info on this and Jimny.