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Suzuki Jimny Shows Lada Niva and Dacia Duster Who's Boss in an Uphill Drag Race

If a full-blown off-roader like a Jeep Wrangler is above your price range, you can tone down for a more budget friendly variable. You won’t conquer the Australian outback or wade through the marshes in Mississippi, but you’ll get enough clearance for a proper off-road adventure. For the ultimate budget off-road uphill drag race, Mat Watson of CarWow put the Lada Niva against the Suzuki Jimny and the Dacia Duster.
Lada Niva vs Jimny Vs Dacia 10 photos
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To determine the best budget off-roader, Watson compares the three off-roaders through various challenges. 

The Lada Niva comes with a 1.7-liter naturally aspirated engine making 85 HP and 130 Nm of torque. It’s also the lightest of the three and weighs only 1,285 kg. Despite having zero safety ratings, its sales remain unchanged close to half a century later. It also comes with a low-range gearbox and a central locking differential. The Lada costs £17,000 in the UK.

The Suzuki Jimny, on the other hand, comes with a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engine making 101 HP and 130 Nm of torque. The Jimny comes with a two-wheel-drive set up, and according to Watson, but you can set it into a four-wheel-drive lock or low-range four-wheel-drive. The Jimny costs £20,000.

The Dacia Duster comes with a 1.5-liter turbo diesel making 115 HP and 260 Nm of torque ,paired to a six-speed manual gearbox. It is all-wheel-drive, but doesn’t have a central locking differential. It retails at £20,000 in the UK.

The first challenge was an uphill drag race. Off the line, the Jimny shoots up the hill without a glitch. The Lada came in second (driver error) after Watson fumbled switching through the gears. The Duster was last, struggling to get uphill. According to Watson, the Duster was slowest up the hill due to the stability control feature. It cut off the power after its back went sideways due to skidding. 

They do a rematch, and the Duster comes in second after the Suzuki Jimny’s commanding win. It’s a photo finish for the Lada.

The cars are put through other challenges, including a maneuverability test, slippery slope downhill drive, steep slippery uphill drive, ground clearance test, and approach and departure angles challenge.

The Suzuki Jimny garnered the most points through the challenges. The Duster was second, and the Lada Niva came in last.

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