Mud and ruts are the ultimate equalisers.
You won’t find two off-roaders more different than the Suzuki Jimny and the Mercedes Benz G-Class. And yet, there are many ways in which these machines are virtually identical, not the least of which being a full-frame construction topped with a boxy body that’s simultaneously macho and adorable. Comparing the two seems like an act of futility – the big, six-figure G-Class is awash with technology and graced with prolific power, whereas the diminutive Jimny is as analogue as a vintage record player and quite frugal, both in terms of power and price.
Fans of both models, however, know these two machines have a bizarre connection that goes beyond a boxy shape and four-wheel-drive. Our Motor1.com colleagues in Italy desk understand this, and they lined up both machines for a long-overdue comparison. Yes, the big Merc is faster and infinitely more refined, but this test focuses on off-road capability and to be blunt, the Jimny is a legitimate contender.
Gallery: Mercedes G-Class vs Suzuki Jimny
On paper, the Jimny makes do with approximately 102 bhp (76 kilowatts) while the Mercedes has, well, considerably more. The G-Class also has considerably more weight – over twice as much as the 2,645-pound (1,200-kilogram) Jimny. Chalk that up to the Merc's intricate independent suspension, a trifecta of electronic locking differentials, and a wide array of technology that includes a slick-shifting nine-speed auto. Meanwhile, the Jimny tackles terrain the old-fashioned way with a five-speed manual transmission, solid axles, and a big honking lever to engage low-range mode.
How do these differences translate to off-road action? In short, both machines are ready to survive the apocalypse, and both can make the driver smile while doing it. On identical terrain, our Italian team likens the Jimny to kayaking down a fast-moving stream, whereas the G-Class merely cruises along a calm river. Different driving experiences for sure, but each one is absolutely capable of conquering the elements in its own way.
Hit the video at the top of the article for all the interesting details of this Motor1.com comparison. If you don’t speak Italian, no problem – just click the closed caption button on the video for subtitles, and if you want to see the original article, hit the source link below. It’s definitely an off-road adventure for the ages.