Range Rover Autobiography vs Suzuki Jimny: Odd 4×4 Face Off

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The Suzuki Jimny is a small and relatively inexpensive 4×4 with some impressive off-road chops, but is it really better than a Range Rover?

In this video from the AutoCar YouTube channel, they put the two very different 4×4 vehicles through an off-road course to see if the diminutive Suzuki Jimny could follow the Range Rover Autobiography all the way around.

Now, we’ve had a little experience with small Suzuki 4×4’s and weren’t too surprised at the result. On a small purpose built track they are light-weight and as long the driver keeps their momentum up, they can get through surprising amounts of mud. The very short wheelbase also helps in getting the Jimny over the top of obstacles, and its slim width can get it through narrow routes. Put on a set of real off-road tires, and a Jimny can be close to unstoppable. However, we believe the video skipped the point of how very different the vehicles are.

Suzuki Jomy following a Range Rover off-road.

If you want an inexpensive small daily for a city with small streets and then go play at the weekend, then a Jimny is quite excellent bang for the buck. Suzuki accurately bills it as, “One of the most affordable and economical compact 4x4s on the market. Perfect for city streets or the great outdoors.”

There’s actually a big downside of going off-road in a small Suzuki. When things get rough, you end up bouncing around inside like a pee in a tin whistle. That’s fine and fun for short bursts. But, once you get into a longer trip through natures real playground, then a Range Rover comes into its own. The sophisticated drivetrain and suspension, room for gear, supplies, and the torque of a V8 all become rather important. On top of that, if anyone else gets stuck you have the power and weight to pull them through.


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On the road, there’s a huge difference as well. In a small city, a Range Rover can become expensive and cumbersome. But once you get into a real journey, any Range Rover is happy to eat up the miles. On top of that, it’s comfortable enough for its occupants to still be fresh when they arrive.

The comparison video is fun to watch, and we truly do love a little Suzuki 4×4. We would go as far as saying it’s the Mazda Miata of off-roading. In fact, if you want a truly inexpensive little off-road toy you won’t mind banging up, putting some mud-plugging tires on a Jimny or Samauri makes a lot of sense. Then you can trailer it with a Range Rover, and save that it for the serious off-roading.

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Ian Wright has been a professional writer for two years and is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum, Jaguar Forum, and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

His obsession with cars started young and has left him stranded miles off-road in Land Rovers, being lost far from home in hot hatches, going sideways in rallycross cars, being propelled forward in supercars and, more sensibly, standing in fields staring at classic cars. His first job was as a mechanic and then trained as a driving instructor before going into media production.

The automotive itch never left though, and he realized writing about cars is his true calling. However, that doesn’t stop him from also hosting the Both Hand Drive podcast.

Ian can be reached at [email protected]

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