What is it?

Suzuki's evergreen Jimny, a super-compact SUV (it is 78mm shorter than a Mini) with genuine off-road credentials. It is powered by a 63kW/110Nm 1.3-litre Euro V-compliant petrol engine matched to a five-speed manual (an auto is available). Pay $19,990 for the bare-bones JX or $22,990 for this manual Sierra with ABS brakes, roof rails, alloy wheels, electric windows and mirrors, and remote central locking. Both get a radio/CD with aux port and MP3. Jimny is remarkably useful, fitting two full-size child seats, a compact baby-buggy plus nappy bags and picnic in the boot. Slide the front seat forward and stand to strap the tinies in, far easier on the knees than the squat mandated by three-door hatches. Sweet!

We like
The low-range transmission takes you a long way off-road. I fondly recall a blue-rinse nanny at a 4wd event smiling sweetly at dismissive jibes from the macho mud-plugging brigade. They went very quiet when she drove rings round them as her Jimny threaded through gaps they had to avoid, and skipped across mud bogs they sank into.

It'll park in city spaces few other cars can manage, too.


We loathe
Choppy ride and lack of shoulder room. Jacqui Madelin