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Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

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Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza II?

Suzuki Jimny
17
77%
Daihatsu Feroza
5
23%
 
Total votes : 22

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Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

Disclaimer: Hopefully I'm not about start a thread of "Cruiser VS Patrol" epic internet fail-ness - a prior search revealed nothing.

I'm new here so intros first: my name is Ben, I'm 30, from Tassie, have had a long involvement in 4WD courtesy of my old man (learned to drive in an MQ Patrol, or a FJ55 if steering while on dad's lap at the age of 10 counts) and previously owned an early 90s 4Runner, which was a generally hateful vehicle and about the only thing I don't ever regret selling.

I am also quite possibly insane, because not only am I starting to prefer light beer over full strength, I'm also very seriously considering getting a mini 4WD.

The very condensed version of the story is this: my beloved old Mercedes 190D 2.5 has just suffered from terminal head damage, and due to a unique combination of parts cost and rarity (perfected by the Germans) plus an uncharacteristic burst of commonsense from myself, I won't be getting it fixed. Because I live in Tasmania, where public transport is rather lacking and utilised only by degenerates and hippies, I need another car pretty darn quick, especially as work is 54km away from home and I'm not very good at power walking.

As my girlfriend and I are keen fly fishers and enjoy camping - and her Lancer has about 5mm of ground clearance - I had planned to get a 4WD wagon or flat tray to allow us to access the good spots around the central highland lakes, and also tow or cart a pair of dirt bikes around eventually. I've really only got about $6K, maybe $7K at the most to play with, so my preferred choices (Troopy or Mercedes 300GD) are beyond my financial reach right now, and the idea of spending upwards of $4K-$5K on a clapped out 80s Hilux that's done more kays than the Apollo 13 command module seems like more trouble than it is worth. This car will be a daily commuter doing mostly A roads, a bit of city and a bit of gravel for at least the next year or so, so it also needs to be reasonably comfy on-road, easy on fuel, reliable and not constantly after my wallet in repairs.

Hence, a mini 4WD. Having dispensed with all the 'faux wheel drive' options, I've come down to the Feroza II (widebody) and the Jimny (Series 1 or 2), for the same reasons no doubt everyone else has; they're proper 4WDs. Ladder chassis, low range, nimble and very capable offroad.

What's available in the state within the next few weeks will invariably dictate what I end up with, but I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of others as to which would be the better option. My research has yielded the following:

Feroza pluses -

* Bigger engine, more power and torque
* Somewhat wider track
* In unmodified form I'm less likely to be called a hairdresser, or have my sex/sexuality questioned.
* Removable hardtop and sunroof.
* IFS will probably lend itself to better on-road handling.
* Will probably be a bit cheaper.
* Will possibly be a bit more spacious inside; am yet to sit in one but the Jimny's are certainly narrow inside.

Feroza minuses -

* Getting a bit old - last MY is 1997, most are '94-'96 and far from daisy fresh.
* Examples with less than 200,000km aren't common and command strong prices. Realistically, major engine work/replacement is a real possibility within 50,000km.
* Seems to be something of a cult car, so again prices are strong.
* Heavier.
* IFS not so good offroad. Diffs/axles need to be replaced in order to fit lockers.
* Daihatsu are no longer in Australia, parts can be expensive and/or hard to come by.
* Off-the-shelf 4WD upgrade parts aren't as quite as common.
* Not exactly the most common car about.
* A few weaknesses in the engine and transfer case apparently.

Jimny pluses -

* Newer... most MY '98s to '01s have done less than 150,000km, some even under 100,000km so better chance of 1-2+ years of troublefree motoring. Plenty about that have seen no offroading whatsoever, so better chance of finding something unmodified and unabused.
* Lighter.
* Smaller engine, more fuel efficient, more modern.
* Still a current model so parts and serviceability less of a concern. Pretty common, lots of examples about.
* Surprisingly wide range of 4WD upgrades available, including full ARB lockers, snorkels, bull bars, suspension, lift kits, the works.
* Coils and live axles - better for offroading and modifying.
* Spec on JLX models is good (air con, electric windows, remote locking etc. etc.) and are all more likely to be still working.
* Examples around the $6K with around 150,000km probably represent the best value ATM.
* Looks awesome lifted with big tyres and a bar...

Jimny minuses -

* .... but looks a little girly stock standard. Not as bad as a RAV, Vitara, CRV or anything Korean though.
* Narrow inside and out. On road handling is average at best apparently. Interior width is pretty tight; I'm not particularly tall (5'10ish) but am quite broad in the shoulders and felt like the door was right up next to me. Because it was.
* Less powerful engine. I wonder how it will cope 2 up, full of camping gear in the back and with a loaded bike trailer or small alu dinghy on the back.
* Very small fuel tank, so not the greatest of ranges. That said I live in Tasmania, so heading in any particular directions means I'll drown in the ocean before I run out of fuel. Makes me think I should design and sell a long range fuel tank, and get rich being the first one too ;-)
* Realistically I won't be able to spend any less than $6K to get something halfway decent - prices seem to vary a lot between $6K to $8K for the 98s to 2000s.

As I mentioned before, for the next year or so at least this will be my one and only car, so it will spend 95% of its time driving on sealed roads versus 5% doing only mild 4WDing. During this period I don't plan on doing any serious 4WD based modifications other than some sort of bull bar to fend off the wallabies (already damaged two cars because of them, stupid animals), some driving lights and possibly some slightly more offroad capable AT tyres as a lot of the tracks I'll be doing are quite rocky and rough. I'd welcome any suggestions for a tyre that improves upon the stocker's offroad capability without messing too much with the fuel economy, ride and road noise.

After a year or so I'll hopefully be able to get a second car just for the onroad commuting, and then would seriously look the car into a more capable off roader; bigger tyres, body and suspension lift, diff locks and so forth. Not really interested in rock climbing or purposely going out and getting bogged in 15ft of mud, but there are a heap of great tracks to awesome trout spots in the Western Lakes and other cool places I'd like to see one day.

So far I'm leaning towards the Jimny, simply because I think I'll get a fresher car for the money I have to spend which should suit my needs both immediately and in 2 years time. Bear in mind I've not test driven either car yet and haven't had a chance to sit in a Feroza, so all this is based on extensive reading here and elsewhere on the interweb, and thus I may be wrong (it happened once before, back in 1976... ;-) ).

Anyway, I'd really like to hear of people's experiences and thoughts on the whole matter.

Cheers, Ben.

Unread postby headwerkn » November 17th, 2010, 10:28 pm


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

before you decide I strongly sugest you dive one of each.

I was thinking about a Jimny.....great little things but the word.....RRRINGADINGDIINNG......... says it all.

At 100Kmh......they are reving quite high.

There is a reason why there are quite a few low mileage late model jimnis arround......people buy them and after a while they realise the simply can not cope with the RINGADINGDING on the highway.

Arround a farm or on an island or just to and from the shops they would be fine but if you are doing any amount of 100Kph work, there are better things.

The dihatsu is a very much stronger and heavier vehicle if ya want to be a bit more butch go the rocky the diesel version..wont be fast though.

I ended up going hilux......totaly different choice.

cheers

Unread postby whizzo » November 17th, 2010, 10:51 pm


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

Feroza is old & outdated with very little aftermarket support.

Jimny is newer & has quite a large option of aftermarket accessories.... hell ARB even do air lockers for them, pretty sure ARB never bothered with the Feroza along with most.

FYI Whizzo, the Suzuki's 4wd's haven't gone RINNNNGADINNNGDING for quite a long time, the last one was an LJ80.... Yes they're a revvy engine but with Suzuki's motor bike background they know how to build a good revvy engine.

Check out outerlimits4x4.com for stuff on the Fez & Jim, & auszookers.com for all things suzuki.

Unread postby ghost_face_killer » November 17th, 2010, 11:20 pm


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

Yeah I've heard that they're pulling some reasonable rpm at 100-110kmh (Tas highway speed limit is 110kmh) though then again so would anything with a 1.3L engine. I'm not expecting S-class levels of refinement. If the noise got annoying I'd properly look at doing some soundproofing in the doors, etc. A mate lined the inside of his G-Wagen's roof and doors with high density foam (lighter than that lead sheet stuff car audio guys use to deaden panels) and that quietened down the cabin a fair bit.

If it is any consolation, the old Merc with its 5 cyl diesel and 4 speed auto was revving hard at highway speeds too and sounded like a tractor on speed, despite all the soundproofing, so I'm kinda used to the noise (and slowness). You can always just turn up the stereo! Or better yet, embrace the noise and put a 2" exhaust on to make it noiser!! ;-)

Unread postby headwerkn » November 18th, 2010, 12:16 am


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

My vote goes to the Jimny. Suzuki know how to build cars that are fun to drive.
Mainly it has to do with parts availability and age though. The zook wins on these features.

headwerkn wrote:Jimny minuses -

* .... but looks a little girly stock standard. Not as bad as a RAV, Vitara, CRV or anything Korean though.


Have you been smoking crack? The vitara look more girly than a Jimny?!?! Other way round my friend! The simple solution is to grow a beard. There is noting more manly than a big 'grizzly adams' beard.

mike ;)

Unread postby schmik » November 18th, 2010, 6:46 am


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

I also vote for the Jimny. I used to go camping and 4wd'ing a lot with my mate and his Jimny:

Image


The major gripe was lack of power. It's unfair to compare it to the 4.0L AMC straight six in the jeep but this is what i saw: It went most places the wrangler went however it did rev reasonably high on the highway, but doing 100-110klm/hr didn't seem to faze it. My mate used to complain about soft sand and i remember having to keep an eye on my rear view mirror on the beach because the jeep just lumbers along in any gear in the soft stuff but the jimny would dissapear into the distance if i wasn't watching. He also complained about stopping on soft sand and he had to use low range to get moving as high range didn't have enough guts. A couple of times when we went bush and did some rock work the jimny's lack of low end power showed as the clutch got a bloody good workout as we could smell it burning regularly.

The only other issue i think he ever had was when we drove through a waterhole 2-3ft deep and it became stuck and he had to put into reverse to reverse out. It drove funny for a while but i think he changed the gearbox & t-case fluids and it was fine after that.

Otherwise extremely reliable and i was very sad to see it go. My mate wanted more space and sold it for a diesel 60 series landcruiser.

cheers

Unread postby Jeeps » November 18th, 2010, 12:54 pm


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

Yep,

go the zook.

Rob

Unread postby 02-SR5 » November 18th, 2010, 4:28 pm


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

Go the Zook.

Daihatsu parts can be gotten through a Toyota dealer but the wait is how long ?

Foroza's had a tendency to through the harmonic balancer to like the RD28's do.

Dave.

Unread postby Dave_STR » November 18th, 2010, 7:42 pm


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

get a jimny.
have owned a widetrack feroza with 31's and was slower than my 2.8 diesel lux and as everyone knows thats damn slow.
fuel economy on the fez was also poor at about 15l/100k compared to 10l/100k lux.
almost nothing available bar rear springs and snorkel for the feroza versus just about everything for the jimny.
if you want decent fuel economy and want to modify your 4b for better offroad ability then get the zook.
another option if you want to remove the roof like the feroza is a coily sierra 97/98?

Unread postby 90LUX » November 18th, 2010, 7:52 pm


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

Is it even possible to be slower then a 2L or 3L powered Hilux.

Thats the slowest diesel I have ever driven.

Dave.

Unread postby Dave_STR » November 18th, 2010, 7:58 pm


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

Cheers everyone for your replies. I'm definitely thinking the Jimny is the way to go now - just a matter of finding one for the right price now. They seem to be a bit thin on the ground here in Tas, certainly for reasonable money.

I've had a chance to test the Feroza yet but I did take a new Jimny for a quick test drive earlier in the week, overall it's a good little truck. The onroad handling is no worse than any narrowish 4WD; it's not as planted as a 100 series 'Cruiser but no more nervous/vague in corners at speed than say my old 4Runner. Little 1.3L engine moves it with enough urgency and it winds out to a 110kmh in a reasonable amount of time. At speed I didn't find it buzzy/whiny/drony, though it does pull some serious RPM at 110kmh, about 3,800 rpm. Fortunately I'm not going to have to do quite as much highway kays now so it shouldn't be an issue. The engine is surprisingly quiet actually, though there was a little driveline whine somewhere, faint and quite high pitched, possibly just the car running itself in as it only had 67km on the clock.

Cabin space is tight and other than not being able to put my right arm along the top of the door like I usually do it is pretty comfy. As my girlfriend said, I could just wind down the window though ;-) The steering and controls are all light and pretty direct, I thought the gearshift was a bit rubbery in its feel, not really vague but just not in quite the same league as your usual Jap hatch. Then again, I've never known a manual 4WD that shifted like one so again, it's hardly a big deal.

My questions now:

1. Does putting in a high flow air filter, snorkel, extractors and a 2" exhaust liberate much in the way of extra power from the engine? Even worth the effort?

2. What's a typical lifespan for the engine if not subjected to massive offroad abuse? Was talking to my father about it, he reckons engines that size rarely last much past 200,000km without work. Can they be freshened up without spending a fortune, or do most people drop something in a bit bigger once the original engine needs work?

Re: the Vitara... to my eyes the Jimny looks less girly than the Vitara, not by much though, but I will withdraw my statement re them being a faux-wheel-drive, didn't realise they had low-range too. Kudos to Suzuki for still believing in the transfer case in 2010

Cheers, Ben.

Unread postby headwerkn » November 20th, 2010, 12:31 pm


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

1. Does putting in a high flow air filter, snorkel, extractors and a 2" exhaust liberate much in the way of extra power from the engine? Even worth the effort?

Proberly not on the hwy. But it will help if you are towing and going up hills. I it will breath a lot easier and you wont have to change down gear as much.

Rob

Unread postby 02-SR5 » November 20th, 2010, 12:37 pm


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

If you get a Jimny, just get one with the newer engine. The older ones loved blowing head gaskets.

Owning a Feroza, I'd still rather it than the Jimny, but parts are sometimes a bit difficult. Not that ever been stuck for one, but I always fear. Alternator is also placed very poorly.

Other than that, excellent car which I have taken on some serious offroading and despite the IFS and not great down low torque, it gets me everywhere fine. It has one very tough chassis too.

Currently on a project to better protect the alternator.

Mine has 280,000km on its original engine and it doesn't use a single drop! Goes to show they last a long time even when made to work offroad hard, as long as they aren't stupidly abused.

Unread postby Superfresa » November 21st, 2010, 4:24 pm


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

Superfresa wrote:If you get a Jimny, just get one with the newer engine. The older ones loved blowing head gaskets.


What's the story here? Realistically a '98-'00 is all that's going to be in my budget... :confused:

Unread postby headwerkn » November 21st, 2010, 11:10 pm


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Re: Suzuki Jimny or Daihatsu Feroza?

To the best of my knowledge, the original 1.3 is the same unit as the Sierra before it but fuel injected. G13B... I think its called. Notorious for blowing head gaskets. The newer model appears to be free of this problem according to my google research.

Ultimately the fragile nature of this engine, from my truck searching experience, compared to the stronger Daihatsu engine, was an important factor that made me go for the Feroza, and to date personally I don't regret it. It's a lot more understated than the Jimny but it's a good little truck in my experience. Mind you I'd love to own a Jimny with the newer engine one day.

Unread postby Superfresa » November 21st, 2010, 11:58 pm


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