Top Gear Website, June 2001, Suzuki Jimny 1.3 JLX rated 8/20
The Road Test
Ok there are actually two reviews here, the Road Test of the Suzuki Jimny 1.3 JLX and then the Overall Verdict of the Suzuki Jimny .
The Road Test review is actually quite fair: yes the Jimny is really built for off-road, yes the cabin is noisy and there is a lean into corners (yes it feels top-heavy).
This review mentioned that the little 4x4 was very basic, but didn't pound away as if it were criminal.
In fact, the rating (8/20) spoke more about the negatives than the actual article.
At least the reviewer mentioned the Jimny's mojo:
"What it is about the Jimny that inspires people so? I'm not completely sure, but try as you might, you can't help but feel a soft spot for the little fella. Cute, friendly styling, a willingness to please off-road ... and a sense of character that is sadly so often missing in cars these days. And these qualities alone will be enough to make some people happily forget the Jimny's other shortcomings."
Maybe the 'inspiration' comes from the fact that for all it's flaws, the Jimny can rise above what it is to pull for it's driver. It's an underdog.
The Overall Verdict was harsher - a 4/20.
We can't really fault the comments, which are delivered in quite a humorous way. However some points of the review are really just a matter of 'spin'.
The car is definitely cheap to run and cheap to buy, so why the low scores on running costs?
And being so cheap, the comfort and quality of non-engineered items are compromised. This is not a surprise.
The handling, performance and comfort comments and scores were hard to take (that pogo-stick comment was mean), but they were a bitter truth and just like the Jimny, we owners can take that on the chin.
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Fifth Gear website, October 2003, rated 2/5
Fifth Gear review
How many ways can you say 'I hate Jimny'? Well, the Fifth Gear review of the Jimny gives it a good go.
The review sums up the Jimny:
" WE LIKE
1. Decent off-road
3. Potential use as military target practice
WE DON'T LIKE
1. Awful driving experience
2. Terrible interior
3. Everything else"
The short review is dedicated to the "true awfulness of the Jimny", and the unique character of the Jimny seems to provide a lot of fodder for Fifth Gear's ridicule.
I'm amazed that they gave it two stars instead of one, or none - it was certainly 'over-rated' grudgingly.
Interesting that 32 (and counting) user reviews gave the Suzuki mini SUV a 4.5 stars out of 5.
Is the Fifth Gear review wrong?
Well to put the review in perspective, there is one telling quote:
" RUNNING COSTS (3 stars out of 5)
Poor residual values mean the Jimny is not a good medium-term investment, but decent fuel economy and reasonably priced servicing makes it one of the cheapest ways to get yourself an off-roader."
So the buyer gets what the buyer pays for.
Obviously Fifth Gear review a lot of cars, and a lot of expensive, luxury cars too; testing the cheapest, smallest 4WD on the market was not going to compare well. But despite the fact that the little Suzuki was given a 'Not Recommended' verdict, the Fifth Gear reviewers still gave it two stars.
Overall, this review is unhelpful, negatively biased (ego over substance), and as you can see from some of the comments in the user reviews, inciteful rather than insightful.
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