Retro-cool looks might not be enough to smooth this over.
We’re quite excited about Suzuki’s new Jimny, as the latest instalment promises to offer greater refinement, usability, and flexibility than ever before, while still retaining the off-road capability that the Jimny nameplate has always prided itself with. However, while the team at ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) have no intention of raining on Suzuki’s parade, the latest circular by the safety watchdogs makes for rather grim reading.
According to ANCAP, the capable Jimny proved to be not-so-capable in their crash tests, falling short in three out of four areas of assessment, while their offering of AEB seemed half-hearted as its implementation is very limited.
“The Jimny misses the mark with structural & design weaknesses, poor protection of pedestrians & cyclists, and lack of effective safety aids. The results show that the fundamentals of vehicle safety are still critical, and simply fitting an AEB system is not enough to earn a good rating. While marketed for off-road driving, these vehicles also spend much of their time on regular roads and buyers shouldn’t have to forgo safety.” – James Goodwin, Chief Executive, ANCAP
According to ANCAP, the Jimny did particularly badly in the frontal-offset test, where intrusions of the pedals & steering wheel were observed, which could have the potential to harm the driver during a head-on collision. Further, ANCAP noted insufficient inflation of the driver’s airbag, with the crash-test dummy contacting the steering wheel through the airbag.
And while it didn’t surprise us that the Jimny didn’t do much to ensure the safety of pedestrians (just look at the thing), its 84% score for child occupant protection did. ANCAP said that its ability to accommodate a range of child restraints in the rear seats, as well as providing great levels of protection in both frontal & side-on impacts contributed to that impressive performance.