Watch: turns out the 2019 Suzuki Jimny doesn't like the moose test
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The 'moose test' — also known as the 'elk test' — is a manoeuvre designed to showcase how stable a vehicle is when it's forced to make a sudden swerve to avoid an object. No actual moose (meese?) are harmed in these tests.
Off-roaders, SUVs, and utes have long struggled at the moose test due to their high centre of gravity. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback notably failed the test back in 1997; while in more recent times, the Toyota Hilux came under scrutiny for failing independent tests.
And more recently still, the Suzuki Jimny had a crack at the challenge with noted European testers KM77.
As we've touched on in the past, the trajectory of the Jimny has been interesting to say the least. The old-school micro-off-roader has commanded huge demand in Europe for its go-anywhere capabilities and cute, rugged looks. But simultaneously it's struggled to set a high benchmark in safety tests.
A 3 star Euro NCAP safety rating set last year was recently followed by a 3 star ANCAP rating in January. Although that didn't stop an international team of motoring journalists from nominating it as a 2019 World Car of the Year finalist.
With its latest moose test, the Jimny can proudly proclaim that it passed. But, it wasn't by much.
As shown in the video, KM77 test the Jimny at both 76km/h, 72, km/h, 71km/h, and 68km/h with mixed results. Many modern vehicles can breeze through the test at that top speed, but the Jimny failed. It then failed again at the more achievable speeds of 72km/h and 71km/h.
Aggressive body-roll that slowly translates from the contact patch on the ground and up through the Jimny's body-on-frame structure appears to be its biggest vice, with the SUV's lean enough to overpower the outside wheels into understeering in the second phase of the test.
Thankfully for the little Suzuki, it passed the test at a relatively slow 68km/h — cocking its inside rear wheel into the air as its electric aids tried to retain some kind of composure, the suspension buckling underneath.
To give the Jimny its dues, it's the only ladder-chassis SUV left in its size class. Combine that with its tall standard tyres and ride-height, and it's no surprise that it would struggle through the moose test. Much like the Mustang, expect the Jimny to sell in big numbers regardless of these shortcomings.