Table of contents:
- Comparison of technical characteristics
- Engines and transmission
- Driving performance, cross-country ability and handling
- Comparison of configurations and prices
- Service costs
- Appearance, dimensions
- Salon and trunk
- What is the best choice?
- Other options
2023 Author: Charles Youmans | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-20 18:41
Among compact frame SUVs in our country, such cars as the Japanese Suzuki Jimny and the domestic Niva 4x4 are traditionally popular. Both cars have long become classics of the genre. They are distinguished by their simplicity of design and the minimum number of options. But at the same time, the cars are reliable and have increased cross-country ability. In addition, they have a recognizable, simple and square design with no frills. But, if the domestic SUV is traditionally popular with hunters, fishermen and rural residents, then the Japanese are often acquired by connoisseurs of minimalism and simply lovers of such simple and reliable cars with a recognizable appearance.
Niva 4x4 2020
Both cars are considered real legends in their class. During their entire existence, they have undergone only minor changes. The machines are very similar to each other, despite the fact that the Japanese are much better equipped than the Russian. In 2020, both SUVs received another restyling. But at the same time, the innovations again turned out to be insignificant and mainly affected the interior design. Therefore, to answer the question: "Which is better - Suzuki Jimny or Niva 4x4?" it won't be easy again.
Comparison of technical characteristics
The dimensions of these small frame SUVs are about the same. The length / width / height of Suzuki Jimny is 3645/1645/1705 mm, and Niva 4x4 is 3720/1680/1640 mm. Thus, the Russian car is slightly longer than the Japanese one. But at the same time, the first car is slightly higher than the second. True, these differences are not very striking and practically do not affect driving performance. Like all true SUVs, these vehicles have an impressive ground clearance. In this case, the clearance of the Japanese is 210 mm, and the Russian is 220 mm. This difference is almost imperceptible and does not affect the cross-country ability.
Despite the fact that these cars do not differ in increased comfort, they still have a minimum set of useful functions. At the same time, the Japanese SUV is better equipped, which has some modern safety and comfort systems. But over time, the Russian car also acquired a power steering, electric windows and some other options.
Engines and transmission
In 2020, both manufacturers are still not ready to please fans of these models with a rich selection of power units. In both cases, SUVs are produced with only one type of engine. An SUV of a famous Japanese brand can be bought with an engine that has the following characteristics:
gasoline, volume 1.5 liters, power 102 hp
Russian cars are offered to everyone with an engine with such indicators as:
gasoline, volume 1, 7 liters with a capacity of 83 horsepower
Thus, Suzuki should be somewhat more powerful and faster than its domestic opponent. Interestingly, its fuel consumption is somewhat less than that of Lada.
The first car is produced with both a manual transmission and an automatic transmission, while its rival is presented on the market only with a manual transmission. The machines also have a transfer case.
Both SUVs have frame construction and four-wheel drive.
Driving performance, cross-country ability and handling
Both SUVs are frame, equipped with axles and a suspension typical for cars of this class. Its elements are quite reliable and designed for significant loads when overcoming off-road conditions. True, some Suzuki Jimny owners note the weakness of certain suspension elements. But it is possible that this opinion is subjective and caused by the careless operation of the vehicle. Suspension repair in the first case can be expensive, while in the second it will not require significant financial costs.
Thanks to their design, the cars have excellent off-road properties. They are ideal for trips to nature and summer cottages. There is practically no comfort in them, which makes them uncomfortable for long trips. But at the same time, the Japanese car is a little more comfortable than the Russian one. Inside it, bumps and bumps are felt a little less than in the Niva 4x4.
The machines have very modest performance indicators. Therefore, on the track, they cannot boast of speed and excellent acceleration. But these cars were also created for a completely different purpose. In addition, at speed in them you feel noticeable discomfort from shaking and frankly noisy interior. True, the Japanese SUV is a little quieter and more comfortable than the Russian one. And it handles slightly better, thanks to more precise suspension settings and the presence of a minimum number of electronic assistants. According to experts, this car is also safer. The Russian SUV has practically no such systems. He handles much worse than his Japanese rival. He is not very obedient in corners and on slippery roads when driving at a sufficiently high speed.
Also, the use of these cars as everyday vehicles is highly controversial. They are not very comfortable and do not have the modern systems and devices to which almost all current motorists are accustomed. At the same time, their fuel consumption is quite low, while for a car from Japan it is quite frankly small for its class. Therefore, operation in an urban environment will not be too expensive. But this will not add convenience to passengers and the driver.
Comparison of configurations and prices
To make the comparison of Suzuki Jimny or Niva 4x4 as complete as possible, you should also evaluate the configuration and prices of these cars. The Japanese is sold on the Russian market in two versions - GL and GLX. The domestic SUV has one more configuration. It is offered in versions such as: Standard, Classic and Luxe. In addition, Lada has several additional versions and packages that can provide the car with some options that customers need. Such stages are relatively inexpensive.
The Japanese SUV is significantly more expensive than the domestic one. Even in the smallest configuration, it costs about 1,300,000 rubles, while the Niva can be purchased in a cheap version for about 530,000 rubles. This difference is very large despite the fact that the equipment of the Japanese car is only slightly better than the Russian one. True, it is considered safer and more comfortable. But, according to many experts and ordinary drivers, the cost of the Japanese is noticeably overstated. There are already many more comfortable, modern and safer SUVs on the market.
Suzuki's maintenance cost is quite high considering the characteristics and features of this car. At the same time, the car is quite reliable and rarely bothers owners with significant malfunctions. Of course, under the conditions of competent care. The Russian SUV will cost significantly less, despite the fact that, according to some drivers, its breakdowns occur much more often. But at the same time, the cost of spare parts for this car is very low. In addition, AvtoVaz reports that now the Niva has become noticeably more reliable and of better quality. But is it so - time will tell.
Configuration and prices Suzuki Jimny
|#||Equipment||Model years||Cost, rub.||Drive unit||Transmission||Engine, cc cm||Max. speed, km / h||Power, max., H.p. (kW) at rpm|
|1||1.5 MT GL||2019 -||1 589 000||Full (4WD)||Manual transmission 5||1460||145||102 (75) / 6000|
|2||1.5 AT GL||2019 -||1 649 000||Full (4WD)||Automatic transmission 4||1460||140||102 (75) / 6000|
|3||1.5 AT GLX||2019 -||1 799 000||Full (4WD)||Automatic transmission 4||1460||140||102 (75) / 6000|
Configuration and prices of Lada Niva
|#||Equipment||Model years||Cost, rub.||Drive unit||Transmission||Engine, cc cm||Acceleration from 0 to 100, s||Max. speed, km / h||Power, max., H.p. (kW) at rpm||Combined fuel consumption in l / 100 km|
|1||1.7 MT Classic||November 2019 -||572 900||Full (4WD)||Manual transmission 5||1690||17||142||83 (61) / 5000||9, 9|
|2||1.7 MT Luxe||November 2019 -||589 900||Full (4WD)||Manual transmission 5||1690||17||142||83 (61) / 5000||9, 9|
|3||1.7 MT Luxe + Conditioner||November 2019 -||628 900||Full (4WD)||Manual transmission 5||1690||17||142||83 (61) / 5000||9, 9|
* - information on prices is for reference only. Check with your local dealer for the exact cost.
SUVs are characterized by compact small sizes, which are practically the same with minor differences. Also, the appearance of the cars is in many ways similar, despite the fact that the design of the Japanese was revised many times. Its last changes took place quite recently. At the same time, the domestic Lada now looks almost the same as when it first appeared on sale in the 70s of the twentieth century.
In general, cars are characterized by a classic square design for its class without any frills. They look pretty basic and somewhat old-fashioned. In them you will hardly find current trends and design delights.
The Japanese front attracts attention with a massive radiator grille with large vertical stripes, painted black. There are also fairly large air intakes at the front. The headlights of the car are round and large. The hood is quite massive and has several stamped stripes, which give the car even more rigor and clarity of shape. Round headlights and a similar bonnet structure are also inherent in its Russian opponent. But, unlike its rival, the Niva has a radiator grille with horizontal stripes. The radiator is also painted black. In addition, the domestic SUV has a small front bumper made of metal. Suzuki Jimny has a plastic bumper and quite massive.
At the bottom of the body, the Japanese-assembled car has a small black plastic body kit, which is not a design delight, but an excellent protection of the paintwork from damage. The Niva 4x4 does not have such an overlay.
From the side, the cars seem square and simple, a bit like army off-road vehicles. On the doors and fenders, there are stamped lines that give the bodies even greater simplicity and severity. The cars have relatively small side mirrors. At the same time, they are somewhat larger for Suzuki than for Lada. Therefore, the visibility of this car is slightly better. In addition, the Japanese has wheel arches that are wide enough and noticeably protruding beyond the dimensions of the body.
A Japanese-made car at the back attracts attention with a spare wheel attached to the tailgate. The car has small rectangular taillights built into the bumper. The rear bumper, like the front one, is unpainted and protrudes somewhat beyond the dimensions of the body. For a Russian, the back cover is also not painted, but is made of metal. Domestic SUV, when looking at the rear, draws attention to itself with huge chrome letters with the brand name on the trunk lid. Its taillights are quite large and rectangular in shape.
The compact SUV of the Japanese brand is sold on alloy wheels of the branded design. In the maximum configurations, casting is provided for Niva as well. In inexpensive versions, it is available only with stamped discs.
Salon and trunk
Cars have a simple and somewhat outdated interior design. For its decoration, inexpensive materials were used, the quality of which in the first case is slightly better than in the second. At the same time, SUVs have practically no sound insulation. True, the Japanese car seems to be quieter than the Russian one. The cabin is quite cramped and there is practically no comfort at all. The back is very cramped. Despite the fact that it is believed that three adult passengers should fit on the sofa, only two can sit there with relative comfort.
The Jimny dashboard is extremely simple and angular. It has round deflectors, which are now considered old-fashioned. With the same simplicity of tidy for a Russian, his deflectors are rectangular in shape, which seems to be a more modern solution. In both cars, the basic functions are adjusted by buttons and keys located under the speaker system. The Japanese have slightly more such settings than the Russian. But their control is not so convenient, since the keys are located very close to each other. In addition, Suzuki has a multifunction steering wheel, which the Niva does not.
The Japanese SUV is equipped with a multimedia system with a minimal set of functions, but with a small touchscreen display. For a Russian car, only a simple radio tape recorder is available, which does not differ in functionality and good sound. And then it is put only in expensive trim levels. In the initial version, the car is sold only with audio preparation.
The car seats have good lateral support and are equipped with a minimum number of adjustments. The back sofa is small and cramped. The chairs are finished with inexpensive fabric of dull shades.
The trunk of a Japanese car is very small. It has a volume of only 85 liters versus 265 liters for a domestic SUV. Therefore, the first car was completely not designed for the transport of goods. In the second trunk, you can put the most necessary things. In both cases, the size of the luggage compartment can be significantly increased by folding the rear passenger seat.
What is the best choice?
Despite the fact that the cars are very similar in size and functionality, it is not easy to compare them. After all, they are in different price categories. Therefore, most likely, motorists with different needs and interests will buy them.
Japanese-made cars are often bought by true connoisseurs of the brand and recognizable SUV design. These are the buyers who are willing to pay for it at a price that experts today consider too high. A domestic car is most often purchased by those who need a simple and inexpensive passable SUV. The car is cheap to repair and maintain. Despite the fact that it is often susceptible to various minor malfunctions, serious breakdowns are rare. At the same time, repairs are extremely simple and inexpensive, which cannot be said about its rival, for which the cost of spare parts is sometimes quite high.
Russian cars are often bought for hunting and fishing, and are appreciated by many summer residents and rural residents. It is most popular among middle-aged and older men who are well acquainted with the Soviet automobile "classics". Such drivers do not accept modern technology, they do not need increased comfort. They focus on simplicity and functionality. A Japanese SUV can be interesting for those who also prefer off-road driving, but are more demanding in terms of comfort and quality. Indeed, this car has more modern options and capabilities.
Both cars are typically male and designed for calm drivers. They are not at all suitable for fast driving on the highway. It is also uncomfortable to travel on them. And in the city, such SUVs, with their rather low fuel consumption, seem to be completely impractical. For city driving, there are many more comfortable and equipped cars, including SUVs. In addition, for those who are not connoisseurs of the Suzuki brand, buying a Jimny can often seem strange, since today there are many other cars in this price category and in this class that have modern equipment and meet current safety requirements.
However, the question of choice is a personal matter for everyone. But when buying these cars, it is worthwhile to carry out a high-quality anti-corrosion treatment. SUVs rot very quickly. At the same time, the domestic Niva is more susceptible to corrosion than its foreign rival.
Alternatively, you can consider another well-known Russian SUV UAZ Patriot. It has the same excellent cross-country ability and costs about the same as the Niva. But at the same time, the car has large dimensions and large capacity. It is somewhat more comfortable than the options presented in the article. This SUV is also devoid of many modern options and is prone to corrosion.