Suzuki doesn't have a particularly good reputation for building stylish cars - indeed, you'd be hard pressed to think of a Suzuki in the company's entire history that has been particularly stylish at all. The Jimny, though, could be considered quite dashing for a Suzuki, with its supermini-on-stilts demeanour, those cutesy chunky good looks. You can see how it might appeal to a certain kind of customer.
Sadly it doesn't stand up as a posing-mobile though - the standard equipment count is miserly and the quality of the interior is not very good. It is quite disappointing when you get inside, with hard plastics and a purely functional aesthetic. The Jimny comes straight out of another age, so it's close but no cigar for Suzuki on that front.
Which is a shame, because it's cheeky pint-sized good looks really should appeal to many buyers of cars this size - it's not even until something like the Nissan Juke has come along that there is a supermini-sized offering in the SUV market. If the Jimny had been better it could have cleaned up.
Of course, this is just looking at the car - unfortunately what people really want when they say they want a 4x4 is merely something that looks like a 4x4. The Jimny is great off-road which in the recent past would have been quite a compelling virtue, but it isn't so great on the road. This is bad, because no-one will ever take it off-road - to have car-like driving dynamics is really quite important these days.
The ride is too stiff, the engine agricultural and the steering fairly terrible. Where you're on the move, the engine makes a lot of noise but seems to get nowhere fast. The Jimny doesn't leave the driver with very much confidence on the road, which makes it a thoroughly disappointing car to drive.
Neither is the car particularly practical - it is cramped both in the front and in the back, and the vestigial boot isn't much cop either. It might have a supermini-sized footprint, but it unfortunately has a level of practicality that is even worse than that of a supermini.
In a demanding marketplace the Jimny has become obsolete, and you do wonder how anyone could talk themselves into buying it.