Maruti has launched the Jimny at a price of Rs. 12.74 Lakhs
- Fantastic ride quality
- Refined powertrain
- 4×4 as standard
- Five doors are practical
- Retro styling turns heads everywhere
- Some basic equipment missing
- Large turning radius
- Narrow dimensions make it a strict 4 seater
- Could do with more power
- 5 speed MT & 4 speed AT feel out of place in 2023
“Retro is the new cool” is a mantra very much in vogue with the automotive industry today. We have seen many a models that aim to recapture the market by marrying nostalgia and practicality. This formula, for a large part has been quite successful. Naturally, then Maruti who still holds a humongous half of the indian market had to get in on the action. This has manifested into the arrival of the new Jimny 5 door. But has the formula been done right? Let’s find out.
Maruti Jimny Design & Dimensions
Classic SUV proportions are the theme of the Jimny’s design. Simple straight lines and boxes have been used to give it a rugged aura. The circular headlamps, five-slat grille and the tailgate-mounted spare wheel all come together to make a simple and functional, yet very appealing styling. The Jimny also comes across as a friendly and cheerful design in the company of rivals who try to appear macho, butch and aggressive. It is a good sea of change to see elegance and functionality take over from aggression once in a while.
This, is the 5 door Jimny which Maruti has specifically developed for the Indian market by stretching the wheelbase and adding two rear doors. Considering this fact, they have done a commendable job to make it feel completely natural. The wheelbase is now longer, at 2590mm has freed up space for the rear seats while the length is just a tad below 4 metres at 3985mm. This means the Jimny measures roughly as much as a Baleno length-wise! The height and width of the car has also been kept at a moderate 1720mm and 1645mm respectively which give it a very compact footprint.
Maruti Jimny Interiors & Features
Climb inside the Jimny and you will be greeted by interiors which look unimpressive at first. However, fiddle around a bit and you realise they gel well with the minimalistic and functional theme all around the car. The hard plastics on the dash, large knobs and buttons, an upright stance all come together to offer a basic, yet purposeful experience. As with other Maruti siblings as well, you see a lot of part sharing as well. Space is at a premium however, owing to the compact dimensions outside the interior also feels a bit cramped. As a result, the 5 door Jimny is a strict 4 seater which hinders practicality in a lot of situations.
In terms of kit, Maruti has given a decent equipment list which includes a 9.0 inch Smartplay Pro+ infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay, Keyless Entry and Go, Projector LED headlamps, Electric folding ORVMs, cruise control, automatic climate control etc. These go a long way in making life easier. Some equipment, however, is missing such as a dead pedal(for MT), height adjustable seats and an auto-dimming IRVM. There is also a surprising lack of cupholders throughout the interiors!
Seat comfort is decent with the front seats being supportive with good bolstering, although leather seats would have felt a bit nicer. In the rear seat, thigh support is something that can be worked upon by Maruti. Despite the size limitations though, there is ample headroom and legroom for the occupants.
Maruti Jimny Performance
The Jimny 5 door gets powered by a 1.5L naturally-aspirated K15B petrol motor which makes 103HP and 134NM of torque. This can be had with either a 5 speed manual transmission or a 4 speed torque converter automatic. Curiously enough, Maruti has not used the newer K15C motor due to a focus on performance and the ability to be mounted longitudinally. Maruti is not offering a diesel with the Jimny and a CNG version is also highly unlikely to be developed. Being the offroad oriented vehicle it is, it also gets 4×4 as standard along with a low range transfer case, Brake Locking Differential, Hill Descent Control, ESP, Traction Control.
Crank the engine and you immediately notice the refinement of the powertrain. NVH levels are low and though some vibrations are felt in the pedals, they are extremely mild and not discomforting at all. On the go, the engine feels quite peppy at low speeds with a linear build-up of power. Although at highway speeds you definitely notice it struggling during overtakes. The notchy shifts of the 5 speed manual transmission paired with the tall ratios also hinder your progress and leave you wishing for a bit more oomph. On the MT, the clutch feels very light and easy to operate. The availability of the 4 speed automatic is a huge plus for most users today and the added convenience is a boon in the city. Though there are only 4, it is our pick of the lot due to the well spaced ratios.
The ride quality on the other hand, is nothing short of fabulous. The Jimny eats potholes for breakfast and even larger bumps are dismissed with such confidence, you might as well not notice! The secret behind this is the 15 inch alloys shod by massive 195/80 profile tyres. Talking of handling, the Jimny does handle quite well but body roll is prominent as well. Steering feedback is good, but let’s face it, the Jimny is a tall off-roader and should not be thought of as a corner carver.
Off the road, the Jimny is simply a marvel, trudging along like a mountain goat and making easy work of any obstacle thrown at it. the approach, departure and breakover angles of 36, 47 and 24 degrees respectively aid this and the very capable Suzuki AllGrip Pro four-wheel-drive system also gets major credit for this.
Maruti Jimny Verdict
The Jimny adheres to the formula then- it is practical and capable with a fair bit of nostalgic styling thrown in as well. The compact dimensions, the simplicity and focus on functionality are undoubtedly at the core of the Jimny’s ethos. Pair that with the insane ease in tackling off-road obstacles and the oh-so-common traffic jams in our cities today, it then makes for a perfect car, right? Well, not really. The Jimny has its share of faults but it does something that few others can viz. appeal to your heart and that is truly the only reason you need to put down your money on it! In a sea of crossovers and technology, the Jimny brings something different to the table- emotion. Rest assured, it should happily trudge along with whatever is thrown at it for years to come.