9th Dec 2010, 10:39
I have owned and driven a Jimny competitively off road for two years now, and am amazed at how capable they are. I have been at some very steep angles and it has never rolled, it feels like it should be unstable but it always stays upright and keeps going. Also, I have driven it around in the recent snow, it is very grippy and goes anywhere.
I think there has been an unfortunate set of circumstances which lead to this incident, tight corner, oil on the road, rear wheel drive vehicle, driver taken by surprise, and a kerb close by, probably if one of these hazards were absent, the accident wouldn't have happened. As for searching the web for similar incidents, if you search the web for Audi A4 rolls or any other vehicle you will see lots of them.
The Suzuki Jimny is a great all round vehicle, it's not the best at anything, but as an all round vehicle, it's hard to beat. I can't imagine anyone buying a small Japanese lightweight vehicle believing it to be the safest option.
9th Dec 2010, 13:55
As I said, great off road, but not an alternative to a "normal" car, and certainly not a "great all rounder" as it's too compromised in too many areas.
Huge fun, cute, strong, well built, reliable, superb off road, but easy to roll in 2wd at normal traffic speeds, given the right conditions.
All cars get involved in roll scenarios, Audis may be prevalent due to sheer numbers on the road, but the Jimny is flawed as a road car due to rear wheel drive (can't use 4wd on tarmac), high centre of gravity, no ESP and town/country tyres.
I loved my Jimny, but would not go over 40mph in one, knowing how easy the roll was; simple rear slip, abrupt re-grip while off-balance, roll.
I would have one as a dedicated off roader if I had several cars.
10th Dec 2010, 04:36
If the Suzuki Jimny is not a "great all rounder", what is?
Still don't see how a rear wheel drive vehicle equals easier rolled? If the rear end lets go, you will experience over steer, or at worst a spin; to roll you would have to get terrific grip at some point to make the car flip, or of course hit a kerb. I would argue if a similar incident happened at a little more speed with a rear wheel drive BMW it would also roll.
The bottom line is; to drive with the capabilities of the vehicle in mind, and to go back to the original post; 25mph around a roundabout is too quick.
10th Dec 2010, 06:09
Are you sitting comfortably...??!
...I disagree; try driving around a large trunk A-road roundabout to join a 70mph dual carriageway at under 25mph in traffic without causing problems. Perhaps the text is not clear?
As said many times, the incident occurred in a line of moving traffic, with all the other vehicles in the same place at the same speed having no problems. As said, the driven rear wheel slipped out (damp greasy patch) and then re-gripped (well-drained dry patch) while the car was off balance (i.e oversteering), which caused the momentum of the car to pull it over rather than push it forward.
The rear wheel drive element is crucial as the driven rear wheels slipped out; would not have caused the same loss if directional stability if the car was front wheel drive or was able to be kept in 4wd on the road. The roll was caused by the momentum of the mass with high centre of gravity having a sudden deceleration from re-grip while the vehicle was not going forward, but oversteering.
A road-biased BMW with rear drive does not have the same physical factors as the Jimny, which is short, narrow, tall and has country biased tyres. A BMW which lost grip at higher speeds in the same circumstance (it would not be easy as it is more stable, has better tyres, weight distribution and ESP) would be recoverable; the physics of the shift of centre of gravity would not be as pronounced as they are in the taller, narrower, shorter Jimny.
Again, as said before, I would never have believed it until happened to me. Please bear in mind I have driven 1,000,000 miles++ with a (clean) coach licence, car and bike licence and have had extensive advanced, skid, safety etc training for all categories. I also drive extreme distances in all weathers; eg last year during the worst period of snow I drove to Poland and back in a rear drive saloon in -25 and I have been all over Europe driving continental coaches in all weather, as well as working in the Welsh mountains amongst uncleared roads.
I am in no way a perfect driver; we all make mistakes all the time, and if this was a genuine mistake, I really would not have gone on and on about it. I am not trying to vindicate myself by blaming a car for my own lack of judgment/skill, I am trying to give honest info to anyone considering buying a Jimny to make sure they are buying the car for the right reasons - and not because they are assuming that as it is a chunky looking 4x4, it is a safer buy for their 17 year old daughter as a first car (for example) than a similarly priced 4 or 5*NCAP crash tested front drive hatchback.
I can understand why you/others want to defend the Jimny, as it is a very appealing vehicle, but don't assume that because you have not had a problem yet, that it won't happen to you or others, given the same fairly common set of circumstances that I encountered.
Re: all-rounder, I suppose it depends on what you mean; if you mean it suits what you do day in day out, that's great.
However, even judged solely against 4x4s, I would say that the Jimny excels in a few areas (reliability, off-road capability, longevity), is average in some areas, and poor in others. To be a great all-rounder in my eyes, it would need to be above average in all areas.
The Jimny is too narrow in its talents to be a true all rounder, but it does have genuine appeal in the right context.
If it suits your needs well and you are aware of the safety issues of this type of car for primarily road use, fine! I would not like to put my family in one, from my own experiences - and would urge anyone buying one for the wrong reasons to re-consider.
I very much appreciate other owners comments about their own cars, as they are often either interesting or have been useful in choosing my own cars. Carsurvey really is a great site, even if I do dislike the endless arguing about "my 106 will p*** on your Saxo" on the threads; in my mind these should be on the relevant marque's forums, not on a car survey site about factual ownership experience. That is another matter not relevant to this thread before anyone jumps on!!
I am a family man, and get no benefit at all for my time doing these threads. I update this Jimny thread so that people can make an informed choice about the car (the point of the site), which may - in the case of the Jimny - avoid an unnecessary injury or fatality to someone buying one for the wrong reasons.