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Is it "safer" to drive a Jimny 4WD than a Polo in WestFjords

California
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Is it "safer" to drive a Jimny 4WD than a Polo in WestFjords

We had taken a Suzuki Jimny 4X4 for rent, and was considering downgrading it to a Volkswagen Polo for better comfort and economic reason. But the rental agency is recommending a 4X4 only particularly for West Fjords...as there are many steep hills on old gravel roads

Ofcourse we dont plan to drive on any F road, and apart from driving from Keflavik to your guesthouse, we plan to also visit Örlygshafnarvegur and Bíldudalur, - so we are now confused, if we should stay with the Jimny or change it to a Polo.

Do you think it's "better" / "safer" to have a Jimny 4x4 instead of a Polo ? I know that I dont "need" a 4WD to drive in West Fjords normal roads, but the question really is, if I have a Jimny, is better / safer than having a Polo ? The Polo has a little more space, a better interior, and lower centre of gravity so I am inclined towards it... and I read somewhere Jimny is a not so good in handling turns which the West Fjords is full of... so Confused!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Is it "safer" to drive a Jimny 4WD than a Polo in WestFjords

Your rental agency is full of crap. A 2wd car is perfectly fine for West Fjords.

Gardabaer, Iceland
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2. Re: Is it "safer" to drive a Jimny 4WD than a Polo in WestFjords

A fully loaded VW polo (2 adults + luggage) has much lower road clearance than a jimny. Number one rule of safety is to drive according to road conditions (80km on narrow, winding, high altitude gravel road is not minimum speed, far from it). Örlygshöfn (where you'll read about my great grandfather ao.) and Bíldudalur should be manageable in a polo, but only if you drive at times on the gravel ridges. It takes skill and practice to do so and it's better to have experience in icy road driving and thinking of gravel as some form of ice (no yanking the steeringwheel or locking the breaks or you'll fly off the road).

California
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3. Re: Is it "safer" to drive a Jimny 4WD than a Polo in WestFjords

Unnar_M.,.. thanks, so would you recommend the Jimny instead ?

I'm just a "normal driver"! I have driven in fair bits of Snow in upstate New York for a few years, but not recently in Europe and I am a VERY safe person and will have a kid in the car (Ya I know it's cramped in a Jimny which was one of the issue with it)...

So if it paints a picture in your mind, pls help me choose the Jimny or the Polo ? Money is not a problem, comfort and safety is.

Thanks LoneVVolf also.

Gardabaer, Iceland
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4. Re: Is it "safer" to drive a Jimny 4WD than a Polo in WestFjords

The options kind of depend on your travel date. Mid - late summer would be quite alright for a polo until snow settles in.

Another option: Use the jimny only for the leg you'll need it and change to a more comfortable car in, Ísafjörður or Akureyri, or somewhere :)

Edited: 11 July 2014, 14:05
Icelander in...
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5. Re: Is it "safer" to drive a Jimny 4WD than a Polo in WestFjords

The Jimny is notorious for being one of the "worst handling car" around. It has about the same driving characteristics as a brick. Personally I would go for the Polo.

But, as Unnar says, the ground clearance is a big factor here, and these road are known to be quite rough at times.

But if you drive carefully, with the eyes on the road, Polo is fine.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Is it "safer" to drive a Jimny 4WD than a Polo in WestFjords

I just spent a week driving in the West Fjords. I drove a Hyundai i30 which is a heavier model of the brand...equivalent to a VW Golf. The roads and cleareance were not so much the problem. It was the wind. I was blown around a bit.. I would vote for the Polo over the Jimny.

Stodvarfjordur...
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7. Re: Is it "safer" to drive a Jimny 4WD than a Polo in WestFjords

You should newer rent a Jimny it is not a car..

Oosterhout, The...
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8. Re: Is it "safer" to drive a Jimny 4WD than a Polo in WestFjords

We also did the Westfjords with a Hyundai i30 a few years ago. Yes we had to go slower, but all the main routes were perfectly possible.

http://www.helenica.nl/iceland/westfjords/

Prescott, Arizona
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9. Re: Is it "safer" to drive a Jimny 4WD than a Polo in WestFjords

I find it interesting how a couple "experts" routinely disparage the Jimny as an unfit car for nearly any driving. I have a close friend who drove a Jimny from Madrid to Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia by way of the Wakhan Corridor through the Hindu Kush mountains. Crossed many rivers and drove thousands of miles on unimproved roads. Not only did okay, it did it flawlessly. Previous iteration of the Jimny were the first to the North Pole, held the highest altitude achieved by automobile for many years, and continues to do well around the world.

Edited: 14 July 2014, 21:59
California
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10. Re: Is it "safer" to drive a Jimny 4WD than a Polo in WestFjords

I dropped the Jimny for a VW Polo, dont know yet if its the right or wrong thing to do, but apart from the recommendations here (and also outside of here), Jimny's handling isnt good that doesn't discount it from the fact that it's a great car for offroading, but we will always be on roads (route 1 and 2 digit roads), so I am thinking that Polo will be more comfortable for us and the luggage than a Jimny.... and I dont "need" a 4WD

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