As a road car, it’s really rather poor. Inherently flawed, even. Those looks can only go so far to assuage any ill feelings you’ll inevitably experience about the way the Jimny goes from A to B, and it’s likely not going to be that much further than 10 miles or so.
The low-speed ride is horrendously choppy over lumps and bumps, to the point where it feels as though it wouldn’t settle down even if you found yourself driving on a road that had the smoothness of glass. Add a little pace to the mix, and it calms down a touch, but stray above 60mph and there are times when the Jimny feels as though it’s about to take off completely.
Things don’t get much better through the bends, either. Its tall, slab-sided shape gives way to a considerable amount of roll, while mid-corner directional changes are particularly good at eliciting something of a dynamic tantrum. Weight transfer in this instance isn’t particularly progressive - there are times when it feels like all of the Suzuki’s 1090kg mass is shifting around its lateral axis in a manner that’s not too dissimilar from a ship being tossed about by a stormy sea.
The steering is overly light and not particularly responsive, but to its credit it does provide some idea of what the front tyres are doing beneath you. Which is a good thing, as there’s very little front-end grip on offer here; the Jimny requires only minor provocation before it’ll begin to understeer. You won’t be in any danger of falling off the road, mind – there’s so little performance that you won’t be travelling particularly quickly and the traction control will cut in fairly severely if it thinks you’re being a bit of a wally.
Speaking of the powertrain, that will likely grow to be a source of annoyance for anyone planning on regularly using the Jimny for long-distance trips. Its lack of pace or in-gear shove isn’t the problem here, more the fact that you get the impression Suzuki has done very little when it comes to refinement, and noise isolation in particular. At the sorts of speeds you encounter on British motorways, the engine will be spinning away so furiously and vocally, you feel as though the soundwaves that permeate throughout the cabin might actually melt your eardrums.
Which is a bit of a shame, really, because the cabin actually isn’t an unpleasant place to spend time. The seats position you high up for a commanding view of the road despite the Jimny’s relatively diminutive 1.7m height, and its boxy shape makes for excellent visibility. The controls are chunky and easy to operate (infotainment aside), and quite obviously geared towards making the Jimny as user-friendly as possible off-road.
And that, ultimately, is where the Jimny should be used.