Suzuki Jimny vs Dacia Duster


Consider an SUV in 2019 and the automobiles that spring to thoughts will probably be spacious household fashions with daring styling and restricted off-road capacity. Over the previous 10 years the market has shifted on this route, however earlier than that SUVs earned their preserve – and the Suzuki Jimny was an important instance.

It’s now time for an replace of one of many smallest off-roaders round, and whereas Suzuki has made it extra visually interesting, the new Jimny hasn’t forgotten its off-road heritage.

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Can it compete with Dacia’s Duster as a rugged and reasonably priced small SUV? Up to date final yr, the Duster is obtainable with four-wheel drive, however this check isn’t all about all-terrain capacity. The winner should match that with on-road manners and practicality.


Mannequin: Suzuki Jimny 1.5 SZ5 ALLGRIP Dacia Duster SCe 115 4×4 Consolation
Value:  £17,999 £15,395
Engine:  1.5-litre 4cyl petrol 1.6-litre 4cyl petrol
Energy/torque:  100bhp/130Nm 113bhp/156Nm
Transmission:  5-speed handbook, four-wheel drive  Six-speed handbook, four-wheel drive 
Zero-60mph: 11.four seconds 12.1 seconds
Prime pace: 90mph 105mph
Take a look at economic system:  39.9mpg/eight.8mpl 39.4mpg/eight.7mpl
CO2/tax:  154g/km/£140 158g/km/£140
Choices:  None Metallic paint (£495), spare wheel (£150), European mapping (£90)

Suzuki Jimny

For: Sensible off street, charming appears in and out, properly outfitted as normal, nice gearbox.
Towards: Poor on-road dealing with and journey high quality, cramped inside, pricier and fewer sensible than Duster.

The daring styling offers the Suzuki Jimny a person character, and that is mirrored within the driving expertise. The ladder body chassis is an old style manner of constructing a automotive, as a result of most fashionable motors use a monocoque design to maximise dealing with, consolation and security. However for off-roading, a development like this enables for a stronger foundation for the rigid-axle suspension.

This set-up is helpful while you need one wheel to be pushed down whereas the opposite goes up, boosting traction over bumps and ruts in tough terrain. Nevertheless, it means it’s not as comfy on street.

The Suzuki additionally has a low-range field to take advantage of its torque at low pace, and has an digital limited-slip system that makes use of the brakes on spinning wheels to permit the opposite wheels to regain traction.

There’s completely little question that the Jimny is the higher off-roader. It feels powerful, as if the little Suzuki may tackle just about something you throw at it. It’s additionally nice enjoyable to drive off street.

All of these features improve its attraction as a street automotive, however this targeted nature means the Jimny can’t compete with the Duster as an all-rounder. The steering has extra really feel than the Dacia’s, however as a result of there isn’t an enormous quantity of grip and the steering is sluggish, it typically requires extra effort than you’d anticipate. Loads of lock means parking is sweet and straightforward, although.

Journey consolation isn’t a powerful level for the Suzuki, and it’s not as clean because the Duster on the street, however the Jimny isn’t terrible on this space. It fidgets slightly on quicker roads and it bounces out of potholes, though the seats are comfortable sufficient. Refinement isn’t nice, both, as a result of the engine is noisy and the chunky tyres generate fairly a little bit of roar.

The 1.5-litre engine is new, and it’s smoother and extra responsive than the 1.6-litre unit within the Dacia. It’s not a powerful performer general, though it did beat the Duster from Zero-60mph in our exams, taking 11.four seconds. At larger speeds the five-speed gearbox held the Suzuki again, as a result of it has one fewer ratio to utilize, even whether it is lighter.

Whereas the Jimny’s inside is utilitarian, it has a beautiful design and the supplies are harder than these within the Dacia. Though the Duster’s dashboard appears as if it’s been taken from a 10-year-old automotive, the Suzuki’s feels prefer it’s constructed for a function and options further safety in key areas reminiscent of on the backs of the rear seats.

The Jimny is properly outfitted, and this SZ5 has metallic paint as normal, together with sat-nav, 15-inch alloys, AEB and smartphone connectivity. The Duster misses out on the latter, however does get sat-nav and a reversing digital camera in Consolation trim. 

Testers’ notes

  • • Infotainment: Jimny makes use of the identical system as most different present Suzukis, and it consists of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as normal. It’s solely fitted to SZ5 fashions, although.
  • • Gearshift: Gearlever appears prefer it is perhaps imprecise, however the shift is definitely very exact and feels properly mechanical.
  • • Supplies: Exhausting-wearing inside plastics aren’t a blot on the Jimny’s copybook, as a result of they swimsuit its rough-and-tumble nature.

Dacia Duster

For: Nice worth for cash, very sensible inside, higher on the street than its competitor right here.
Towards: Noisy engine, gearbox is disagreeable to make use of, poor infotainment, not pretty much as good off street. 

This newest model of the Dacia Duster arrived in showrooms in summer season 2018, and though it’s a brand new mannequin, the reasonably priced SUV makes use of the identical platform as its predecessor and even the identical 1.6-litre SCe petrol engine.

The non-turbo unit isn’t a powerful level; it’s pretty noisy and must be revved to entry what little efficiency it presents. That’s true of the Suzuki’s 1.5-litre engine as properly, however no less than within the Jimny you may benefit from the candy shift. Within the Dacia gearchanges are disagreeable as a result of the field is imprecise and rubbery.

In our efficiency exams on the observe, the Duster took 12.1 seconds to go from Zero-60mph, which was Zero.7 seconds slower than the much less highly effective however lighter Jimny, highlighting why the funds SUV feels slightly bit extra gutless right here.

Tremendous-short gearing helped the Suzuki within the dash, however its ratios weren’t as properly suited to on-road use because the Duster’s. Whereas the Jimny took 5.7 seconds to go from 30-50mph in third gear, the Dacia posted a time of four.9 seconds. In fifth gear, the Jimny took 15.2 seconds to go from 50-70mph, whereas the Duster managed that in 12.1 seconds.

Neither automotive is designed for efficiency, however the further grunt within the Dacia – it has a most of 156Nm of torque, whereas the Jimny presents 130Nm – means it’s simpler to rise up to hurry on a important street or motorway. When you’re in control, the Duster can also be extra refined than the Suzuki, preserving extra wind and street noise out. Nevertheless, neither of those fashions is especially quiet.

Due to its extra advanced suspension set-up (MacPherson struts on the entrance and a multi-link rear axle), the Duster rides extra fluidly than the Jimny. It’s acceptably comfy on tough roads and simply trumps its rival right here, though this nonetheless isn’t the Dacia’s key power; deep potholes can upset its composure.

The Duster’s quicker steering doesn’t have as a lot really feel because the Jimny’s, however the brand new electronically-assisted set-up is mild and doesn’t chill like earlier than, so it’s simpler to drive. The Dacia additionally has fairly a bit extra grip in corners, so that you needn’t sluggish proper down for each flip as you do within the Suzuki.

Whereas the Duster isn’t a winner in terms of driving, it does rating properly as a household automotive, and even as a motor for carrying something. Its boot is larger with all of the seats in place than the Jimny’s is with the rear seats folded, for instance.

However whereas there’s quite a lot of area inside, the inside is drab. The supplies appear and feel low cost. The Suzuki masks that with a unusual design, whereas the Dacia’s dashboard is uninteresting.

Testers’ notes

  • • Infotainment: Sat-nav works properly sufficient, however there’s no smartphone connectivity right here and the menus can typically be complicated to navigate by.
  • • House: Tall drivers could discover their knees knocking towards the steering column, though headroom is beneficiant.
  • • Supplies: Low-cost supplies are constructed to final, however they don’t really feel as strong because the Jimny’s, and don’t look as properly built-in. 


First place: Dacia Duster

The Duster isn’t simply cheaper than its rival right here, it’s additionally extra comfy on the street, far more sensible and has area for a complete household. It’s properly outfitted contemplating its low worth and higher to drive on the tarmac than the Jimny. However as an off-roader, it does lose out to the Suzuki.

Second place: Suzuki Jimny

Few folks will purchase a Jimny with their head, as a result of it’s uncompetitive with virtually any rival, however many will purchase with their coronary heart. If you happen to’re in search of a critical however tiny off-roader, this charming and quirky automotive is nice. It’s simply not a really sensible household automotive, neither is it that comfy or good to drive.