2nd Jun 2010, 01:33
Like someone earlier has said, if you rolled your Jimny, you were driving too fast!! Too fast for the Jimny happens to be slower than in other cars! Like you say, a modern hatch is much more stable than a Jimny, then why try to match the speed of more 'stable' cars around a corner?
These cars have a short wheelbase, solid axles, (as opposed to independent) and are a 'real' four wheel drive, not an all wheel drive road car..
All of these points make them brilliant off road, and all of these same points make them less suited to road use.
If they had ESP, wider track, longer wheelbase etc to make them more suitable on road, they would not be anywhere near as capable off-road, and would no longer be in the same market class, and would just be another neither-here-nor-there soft roader.
If you want to go around corners as fast as hatches, get a hatch, if you buy a Jimny expecting it to handle like a Renault Clio, you'll crash it. Drive cars to their limits, any rear wheel drive will skid if you drive it without the respect it deserves.
2nd Jun 2010, 04:35
Short, tall, rear wheel drive, dual purpose tyres make it less stable than a modern hatch; you drive within its capabilities.
The issue is that you CANNOT select four wheel drive on tarmac, which makes it rear wheel drive.
When you encounter oversteer after one or both of the driven rear wheels lets go on grease, oil or similar (it can happen - even to you), which then re-grip on a grippy patch (or by touching a kerb), the motion of the car sliding sideways then abruptly gripping, in conjunction with the tall body and odd weight distribution (especially with just the driver on board) makes the Jimny topple over, as happened to me on an urban island at low speed.
I was the original writer on this thread, and I was staggered at how easily it happened.
Reading this, like you, I would have put the roll down to excess speed and driver error, but it is down to a specific combination of factors (rear wheel loss of grip, oversteer, abrupt re-grip and the physics of the resultant forces and weight distribution and loading of the car) resulting in this dangerous event.
Obviously, you would avoid any potential loss of grip, but in this case, a mostly damp island had (invisible) oil/diesel patches and dry patches; giving the conditions where the rear wheels skidded then abruptly re-gripped, with the momentum acting on the height of the car and tipping it over.
I have nothing to prove on here and as said, I like the quality and appeal of the Jimny and it is exceptional off-road. That said, I would not put any of my friends or family in one as a road vehicle.
If you do not encounter the above specifics, you may not have a problem, but there many reports of roll-over accidents involving the Jimny, including several fatalities; I'm sure amongst these there will be driver error, but my incident was shocking.
23rd Jun 2010, 18:57
I stumbled upon this page when using Google. In February I was driving up my slippery wet driveway in 2WD and simply rolled the vehicle in what sounds to me like similar circumstances. I was lucky. I didn't have a seatbelt on (old habit of taking it off once I get onto my driveway), and neither did my passenger. One of her legs went out the drivers window, and she got stuck, but was luckily uninjured, and I ended up on top of her (we did one full rotation and landed on the drivers door). The jack was not put in its place properly and it hit me in the face during the roll. But we lived.
I totally agree that the height and the short-wheel based style of the car contributed to the accident. I love my Jimny and will get another, but would never put a lift on it after this.
24th Jun 2010, 13:48
It is that easy, given the right combination of factors.
Would you have believed me if it had not happened to you?
I would never have.
This is why I posted my thread and have responded to numerous comments.
27th Sep 2010, 14:00
Couple of points I would like to add.
Firstly 4x4 vehicle as a rule of thumb cannot be driven on Tarmac in 4WD. Don't confuse off road 4x4 with road cars with 4WD; they work differently.
Road 4x4 has slip diffs on both axles. Most off road vehicles lock the wheels to a greater or lesser extent. Off road cars are designed to lock the axles, which means the right and left wheels are locked to prevent slip on mud and snow, so if you come to a corner on tarmac, the inside wheel needs to turn slower and the outside faster, because it's got further to go. On tarmac this will either force the car in a straight line or trash the transmission. Off road people will know the answer, but for people new to off roading, the answers is obvious.
ONLY use 4WD on slippy surfaces as stated in your manual. The slippy surface allows the wheels to slide a bit to allow for the cornering. Also bear in mind you are on mud or snow, so you are only likely to be doing 5 to 10 mph.
I don't intend to be condescending, but your Audi road car 4WD is totally different to an off roader; they are a TOTALLY different design to achieve different objectives. Road cars aim to put power down to all 4 wheels to allow you to corner faster under power, off road vehicles use 4WD only in very slippy circumstances, nearly always at slow speed, 25 MPH on mud and snow is fast only achieved in races or competitions or idiots on the road!!! I did say mud and snow on the road when I said idiots; keep the fast off roading for the organised events or specialized areas.
30th Sep 2010, 07:51
There are variations in transmissions and differentials, even within 4x4s, which can use slip diffs; the confusion has come about because of soft roaders, which are set up more like cars and not basic 4x4s.
The Jimny is a old-school basic simple 4x4 and when my roll (original posting) occurred, I was in 2wd as per handbook, and on a part wet/part damp roundabout, the rear wheels kicked out, then gripped suddenly while going sideways, causing the roll.
My comments are to point out what you are saying; that a Jimny should not be bought as a "safer" option than a hatchback; but is very useful as a simple off-roader.
4x4 does not mean better safety and grip on the road in relation to this simple type of transmission, which has to be used in rear wheel drive only on tarmac, making it less stable (especially with high centre of gravity and no electronic aids) than a standard car.
However, a road car benefits from the high tech 4 wheel drive slip diff systems now used in modern cars; like the Quattro set up in Audis which make for example an A4 Quattro more likely to retain stability in poor conditions than a standard 2wd A4.
As the original poster, I have learned much from the Jimny, and still respect it for the build quality and outstanding off-road ability. Just don't buy one thinking it is a safer option than a standard car because of its chunky looks; it is tall, rear wheel drive on tarmac and has no NCAP crash rating or electronic safety aids.
I would now choose a standard hatchback, and use M&S or winter tyres when needed, unless I owned a farm and could justify a Jimny as a second vehicle for mostly off road use.
Hope this helps.