Was getting a Jinmy the correct decision?





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  1. #1
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    Default Was getting a Jinmy the correct decision?

    Me and my softness loves camping and exploring the mountains and used a Datsun Safari Pickup and later a MB 416 Unimog as transport. Due to circumstances we were without a 4x4 for a number of years. Well, camping with a VW Caddy bus is great because of the cavernous inside. Traction on slippery roads excellent due to the electronic traction control. Ground clearance however sucks, and the suspension bottoms out too easily in Karoo drifs. And we miss out on the 4x4 only parts big time. Camping below Matroosberg and not being able to go up there was bordering on a criminal act. A capable vehicle we had to get, but prices and fuel cost and consumption was a huge braking parachute for our enthusiasm.

    Having known the old Suzukis' capabilities, and hearing the Jimny has a bit of a topspeed advantage on them, we started to research the Jimny. Then we saw Cyril's Richtersveld report in one of the WEG magazines. Knowing Cyril's trip reports from the Wilddogs forum we knew he use very little poetic license regards equipment performance. That decided for us that the Jimny will do for the 2 of us, provide we keep its design goals in mind. Only problem the nearest Suzuki service center was 400km away. Not the best of situations.

    OK, Suzuki opened a service center in George recently so we started looking for a 2nd hand Jimny. We now have the car for two week, but has not driven a lot of kilos yet.

    First impressions.
    1. Moer, its small compared to the Caddy. But the Caddy is exceptionally big inside, and there are ways to pack, specially if I can get the softness to not treat an outing like we are moving house.
    2. Hell, its slow on the pull. That was until I realized the baby needs revs. That sorted.
    3. Bumpiness next. 4x4community.co.za sorted that with recommended tire pressures. Was running way too hard.
    4. Must say I never had the swaying feeling until I took it to gravel. It is definitely more of a handful on loose gravel than the Safari or the Caddy. OK, wheelbase does count against stability, but still, first time the back stepped out I had second thoughts on getting the car. Was driving it on loose gravel again last night and got a real scare again. But then hooking 4x4 and changing my braking technique going into the corners sorted about 80% of the problem. But remember that design parameters, not a rally car.

    Still, though I really enjoy driving it, the little voice behind my ear was still grumbling about a "wrong decision". Every time I had something that did not compare favorably with past references, or reading a negative web review ( and there are quite a few) that little voice got some food and started vocalising with new gusto.

    Then I read the comments below the October 2003 test by 5FWD. Most written by OWNERS of Jinmys, not testers who give the car back after three days. Man, if you ever want to make up your mind about getting a Jimny, this is what you should read. A really negative report, contrasted with a stream of praise. Well that little voice on the shoulder is now permanently dispatched with a well targeted snotklap.

    Like some people comment, "the only 4x4 which delivers exactly what is advertised on the tin".

    O, and I find a lot of off remarks about me driving a Matchbox, Tin Tox, etc are actually envy in disguise.
    Last edited by jab2; 2011/12/01 at 02:07 PM.
    Cobus Brink
    2010 Jimny M18

  2. #2
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    This is the most fun I have ever had with a car , its amazing. Its not just a car anymore its a family member
    2019 Jimny GLX Manual
    2011 Jimny Zuk-Zilla
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    GP0057

  3. #3
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    Jimny bad on gravel

    Then you haven't driven a Hilux yet have you

    I had a SC Hilux (the 2.7 4X4) and a clubcab 3L D4D before the Jimny and I will easily hand SWAMBO the keys to the Jimny where I would never have dared that with either Hilux.
    Gert Grobler

    VW Touareg V6 Tdi Escape; Land Cruiser 105
    Bush Lapa Boskriek 816

  4. #4
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    I'm 8 months in to Jimny ownership and still excited about the little thing. For me it's the best car in the world!
    Dewald

  5. #5
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    I never had an issue with handling on the dirt. I used 4H most of the time. The ride was bumpy but ok. I was impressed with the performance but my consumption was never great.

    At the end the interior size just got to me. I got tired of having to pack everything like a puzzle. I did a trade on reliability for space. Hopefully I won't regret it.

    Still rate the Jimny as one of the best quality cars I've had.
    2004 Defender 110 Td5


  6. #6
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    I beleive the Jimny is a package that is extremely focused, and beacause of this it is extremely compromised in most of the areas that do not fall within this focus.

    But if the focus coincides with what you want to do, it is absolutely brilliant.

    As an off-roader, it could do with a suspension kit (a good one might also make a huge difference to the dirt road handling), some tires to match it's focus and perhaps a diff lock or two to make it virtually unstopable.

    I would dearly love one as a second car, but there are four of us, so it wouldn't work for me, but with two people who are not too comfortcentric and not in a huge rush, it could be great.
    1996 Patrol 4.2SGL with lots of stuff to make it heavier and thus increase traction?

  7. #7
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    Some really funny comments on that link.

  8. #8
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    I have had mine for 7 months. The only negative is fuel consumption.


    I find Jimny thirsty in 4H. However I have fitted big tyres and added weight with bull bar, bash plates etc. Consumption is currently at 10l/100km (mostly 100-120 km hour driving) which is improving as the mileage increases (was 10.7l).

    But I just don't ever see the 7-8l which some forum members have reported.

    On space take out the back seats if you are a couple and you have tons of room:

    I have a 51l fridge plus double sized battery inside, water jerry and fuel jerry, our clothes and 4 ammo boxes. The roof rack takes the Oz tent, stretchers, table and chairs. And there is room inside for our light weight nylon tent if we dont take the Oz. And if you buy the Thule box on top you have even more space. Take a look at what LuckStriker packs into his Jimny. It is a real eye opener
    What more do you want!


    It is an incredible car and I would buy one again.

    “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

  9. #9
    andre` Guest

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    I get 10km/l at 130 to 140km/h. Must add that it is stock standard - with the weight of accessories it will be more sluggish and heavier on fuel.

    Fit a steering damper and it is a different Jimny or tar and gravel roads. I would not have believed it`s the same car if I hadn`t fitted it myself.

  10. #10
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    Cobus the posters above all own Jimny's ... thus "cant be trusted" .... as you elude to other reports by people that sold their Jimny's after a few days.


    Well maybe you can "trust" my post - I sold my Jimny back to Suzuki after about 18 months.

    Small - YES

    big enough for two ... uhm ja well, you refer to Wilddogs forum - so I am guessing you have done some trips on a motorcycle - then suddenly the Jimny is BIG and allows much more packing space (even though it is still the smallest of the 4x4's) Heck we did NINE days on a motorcycle with a total packing space of about 80 liters !

    bumpy ride - as you the tire pressures were too high

    bad on gravel - the ONLY time I had an issue on gravel was when I inflated the tires to road pressures and drove too fast on the gravel road, DROP the pressure when going off tar !! And USE the 4x4 ! Just so much more stable when all four wheels have tracktion. even so, the Jimny does not like corrugated sweeping bends ! (but then it would appear very few short wheel base vehicles do)

    slow on the pull -- come try my 2,5D-4D nope the Jimny IS nippy, as long as you ref the engine a bit.



    downside - because you have to rev the engine to get performance the Jimny is not ideal for steep inclines with cross axles - you should be going slowly because of the terrain, but you must keep the revs up to keep the power, thus I found that it was sometimes difficult to go as slow as the terrain would suggest. BUT, I have seen some other brands with the same problem


    There are also a host of upsides when comparing the Jimny to its competitors - each time I do a 20 point turn I long back to the Jimny


    So why did I sell - the steering wobble around 80km/h. I had my Jimny for about 15 000 km before it developed this issue. The biggest single frustration was the staff at "the local dealership" LIE to me, time after time .... It would appear that since then the topic has had enough press and most dealerships rectify this immediately (shims must be fitted, and it is done under warantee)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisF View Post
    big enough for two ... uhm ja well, you refer to Wilddogs forum - so I am guessing you have done some trips on a motorcycle - then suddenly the Jimny is BIG and allows much more packing space (even though it is still the smallest of the 4x4's) Heck we did NINE days on a motorcycle with a total packing space of about 80 liters !
    Partly true, but since I have operated a Unimog too and still camp with the Caddy, the space issue not so clear cut. Very few people, other than Caddy drivers realist the space this vehicles has. To give an example, I once transported 5 wooden pallets in the back (seats down) with space to spare front, back sides and top. I recon if it was not for the slight narrowing of the rear door making entry impossible I could fit a 1000 liter flowbin in the back with clearance on all sides.
    Cobus Brink
    2010 Jimny M18

  12. #12
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    I must admit I had some misgivings and if I wasn't so good at procrastinating I would probably have traded it in after 2 months. But I have found that the Jimny eventually creeps into your heart and you end up loving it even though I can't put my finger on why. But I suppose if you can love it in spite of its problem that must mean its true love. Or what?

  13. #13
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    Well it's the first car I ever owned, where I felt the need to or could see why one would
    1. Give a car a name
    2. Consider painting it any other color other that how it came (I saw a pained one and well..urhm fell in love)
    3. Start looking at add-ons - that would cost me money (previously if a car cost me acent more than petrol, oil and the odd tyre change, it got sold instantly)
    4.Actually am seriously thinking about keeping once the warranty runs out. That would be a first!!

    Garrie
    Defender 110 TD5 CSW 18P loving every moment driving it !!!!!
    Suzuki Jimny with custom made rack and drawers view here - Sold
    Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution...

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