Here’s a comparison between the 3 door Suzuki Grand Vitara and the Suzuki Sierra Jimny. We are comparing the two because not many people are aware that they exist and that they are probably the best and only city friendly and small SUV and genuine 4WD you can buy!

The Suzuki Jimny is the smallest and only ‘hard-core’ 4WD that you can by new. The Jimny was the new name for the Sierra – why they changed names who knows. However they have recently decided to add the Sierra tag back to Sierra Jimny acknowledging their branding mistake. Advertising and marketing people often make stupid mistakes like this.

The 2 door Suzuki Grand Vitara or GV3 is the next smallest 4WD SUV you can buy new. The smallest Grand Vitara is a cut down version of the larger one but retains the same body up the end of the front doors. All other manufacturers of small SUVs have abandoned this class of vehicle which is a pity.

First of all we like both cars. The concept of having a small car that is as capable as bigger 4WD that can also be used in a space challenged city without too many compromises is rare. Although small they ride higher and have a weight advantage and fuel consumption advantage to all other SUVs.

Since we’ve driven both we can say we prefer the Grand Vitara because it is more civilized. Now equipped with the 2.4 litre petrol engine it is quite zippy too – but you have make sure the engine is fully run in before you can enjoy its character. Likewise the Sierra Jimny – it’s engine is very tight when new.

The Jimny’s handling on normal roads is surprisingly good considering its hard core axles and short wheelbase. Sure it is a bit bumpy and relatively noisy on the road (mainly the engine) but so are most small cars and likewise off road. It is probably a bit worse than the Jeep Wrangler.

The Grand Vitara’s handling is very good for a small SUV but the Jimny feels different when compared to a normal car and less handling potential but at normal speeds in town we prefer the less feedback than more due to the quality of some roads. They are not sports cars but at least you can have fun at legal speeds.

The performance of the Jimny Sierra despite the small engine is acceptable for road use. Sure it’s half the power of the Grand Vitara but the Jimny also weighs 500kg less. Like all small cars you need to use the gears and revs to make decent progress. Due to their 4WD nature the gears are quite short ratio, especially the Jimny which means more gear rowing. However the mechanical package and engines have proven reliable over the years. Using full throttle is satisfying as well and builds old style noise yet when we filled up didn’t actually use very much. Get the automatic and use full throttle for the most fun on road. Add a new stereo and couple sub-woofers and you’ll be giggling – even if you’re a guy.

Going off-road in the Jimny as we did – you’ll find that it can do amazing things. It may not be effortless since you rely on speed and agility to get over or through obstacles. Ignore the engine noise and it is more fun that way which is what the Jimny is about. Due to its tough suspension and other components it will not break.

The Jimny may be tiny in size but it has all the features you would expect which included electric everything except for the seat. The Grand Vitara is similarly equipped but has nicer passenger car materials. In the end we like both for very different reasons. The Sierra Jimny is cheap by 4WD standards but its off road ability and fuel consumptions are state of the art. It is also more solid than the Great Wall Motors which currently has unknown reliability.

Suzuki Sierra Jimny Suzuki Grand Vitara GV3
Engines  

IL 4 Cylinder (M13A)
IL 4 Cylinder petrol
DOHC EFI VVT
1.3 Litre (1328cc)
Claimed 62.5Kw @ 6000RPM
Claimed 110Nm @ 4100RPM

IL 4 Cylinder (J24B)
IL 4 Cylinder petrol
DOHC VVT EFI
2.4 Litre (2393cc)
Claimed 122Kw @ 6000RPM
Claimed 225Nm @ 4000RPM

IL 4 Cylinder (F9QB)
IL4 Cylinder Diesel
Direct Injection Common Rail Turbo
1.9 Litre (1870cc)
Claimed 95Kw @ 3750RPM
Claimed 300Nm @ 2000RPM

Weight  

Kerb weight 1060 – 1075Kg
Towing capacity up to 1300kg

Kerb weight 1489 – 1504Kg
Towing capacity up to 1600kg

Fuel capacity & consumption  

Up to 40 litres
IL4 Petrol 7.1 Lts per 100km AVG (Manual)
IL4 Petrol 7.4 Lts per 100km AVG (Auto)

Up to 55 litres
IL4 Petrol 8.8Lts per 100km AVG (Manual)
IL4 Petrol 9.6Lts per 100km AVG (Auto)

Other specifications  

5 speed manual or 4 speed Auto
Overall height/width 1705/1600
Overall length/wheelbase 3645/2250
4WD system: Selectable 4WD
ANCAP Safety: 4/5
Tyre size: 205-70-15

5 speed manual or 4 speed Auto
Overall height/width 1695/1810
Overall length/wheelbase 4060/2440
4WD system: AWD
ANCAP Safety: 4/5
Tyre size: 225-65-17 or 225-60-18

Capability   

Angle of: (degrees)
Approach 42 Departure 46 Breakover xx
Ground clearance (unloaded) 190mm
Water Fording depth xxmm Max

Angle of: (degrees)
Approach 29 Departure 27 Breakover 20
Ground clearance (unloaded) 200mm
Water Fording depth xxmm Max

Performance  

Petrol (4 Cyl)
0-100Kph:10 secs

 

Pricing  

2011 $20,490 – 22,490 AUD
*Always check with the dealer for up to date pricing, specifications, on-road costs, accessories and specials etc.. everything as usual is subject to change!

2011 $25,990 – 27,990 AUD