Maruti Suzuki Jimny sub-4 meter 4X4 SUV in CarToq’s first drive review and off-road test [Video]

    Maruti Suzuki Jimny sub-4 meter 4X4 SUV in CarToq’s first drive review and off-road test [Video]

    The Maruti Suzuki Jimny has been a highly anticipated car since the brand showcased its 3-door variant at the 2020 Auto Expo. The 5-door variant, which was recently launched in India, appears to be an elongated version of the 3-door Jimny that is already available in global markets. We had the opportunity to test drive the car, and here are our thoughts.

    Also read: 10 DC Design cars & how they look in the REAL world: Maruti Swift to Mahindra XUV500

    A capable off-roader

    The Jimny’s solid axles make the SUV even more capable, and its short overhangs ensure that the approach and departure angles are wide enough. The approach angle is 36 degrees, the departure angle is 47 degrees, and the break-over angle is 24 degrees. With a ground clearance of 210 mm, we were able to navigate through some extreme challenges, including rock beds, slush, and narrow trenches, and we were impressed with its performance. The Jimny is fitted with Bridgestone Duelers, which are dual-purpose tires with thick side walls of 80mm, and they did a fantastic job during our off-roading. It also has a water-wading capability of more than 300mm.

    The Jimny is incredibly agile, weighing only 1210 kg, which makes it effortless to maneuver through terrains. The 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engine feels sufficient to power the Jimny through extreme terrains, without stressing the engine.

    We drove both the four-speed automatic and five-speed manual transmissions through the off-roading terrain and were pleased with the performance of both. While the manual transmission provides more control, the automatic transmission is also fantastic.

    Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, as both transmission types were equally capable during the off-road course. The Jimny is simply easy to drive on an off-road course, and the 4×4 transfer case can be used on the fly, making it even more effortless. If you have driven off-road before in cars like the Mahindra Thar or Force Gurkha, the Jimny feels much easier to drive, due to its size and weight.

    Is it a family car though?

    The Maruti Suzuki Jimny is more of a family car than its competitors, such as the Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha. The Jimny’s rear doors make the rear seats more accessible than the Thar and Gurkha, due to the extra set of doors. Additionally, a portion of the rear windows can be rolled down, and there are adjustable headrests for the rear passengers. The Jimny also has a decent boot size with 50:50 split seats and accessories screws that can be used to install off-road accessories or a small fridge.

    The Jimny is easy to drive on the roads, especially due to its size. It can be used as a daily driver, unlike the other off-roaders, which are massive and difficult to maneuver in slow-moving traffic. Lastly, the Jimny offers a decent list of creature comforts, such as a SmartPro infotainment system that can be used by family members to entertain themselves during a road trip.

    The Maruti Suzuki Jimny can be the only car in your garage, while the Thar and Gurkha cannot be the only car in your garage unless you are single or a couple who are ready to live with a few impractical designs.

    How does it perform on the road?

    Although the Maruti Suzuki Jimny rides on live axles, it is surprisingly not bouncy on the tarmac. The suspension is well-tuned, and apart from the usual body roll that is typical of SUVs, it feels perfect to drive on the tarmac. With the increased wheelbase, the Jimny is quite stable at speeds of around 80-100 km/h. However, since we only drove it on hilly roads, we cannot say for sure how it will perform on highways. The off-roading instructors, who extensively drove the car on the highways, told us that the Jimny feels stable at 110-120 km/h, which was satisfying to know.

    With the four-speed automatic, the Jimny feels much better at lower speeds. The automatic is finely tuned with the engine and works well. However, when you need to overtake at high speeds, you might feel that you are missing an extra gear. The same feeling of missing an extra gear will also occur when cruising at around 100 km/h, as the engine tachometer hovers around 3,000 rpm.

    With the manual, things become a little cruder. The tall gear lever causes massive vibrations, especially when starting the car. However, if you have driven older-generation cars, you will not find any problems with the manual. Some drivers who have only driven cars with short-throw gear levers may find it notchy, but it was not a problem for me.

    A good car to own then?

    A large part of your decision depends on what you are looking for in a car. If you are seeking novelty and a car that can climb any terrain, the Jimny will be the perfect car for you, especially if you have space for only one car in your garage. However, if you prioritize creature comforts, rear AC vents, and a plush cabin, the Jimny may not be the best fit for you. Instead, you may want to consider other cars like the Brezza and its competition.

    The Jimny is an excellent car if you enjoy off-roading, as it is designed for such activities and is also comfortable enough to suit families. However, the primary focus of the Jimny is not to make it a family car, but rather an off-roader that can also work as a family car.

    Also read: 10 DC Design cars & how they look in the REAL world: Maruti Swift to Mahindra XUV500

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