The Jimny is an iconic SUV in Suzuki’s portfolio-it’s a small, light and frugal SUV that hold its own against the much more expensive Jeep Wranglers and Land Rover Defenders on tough, inhospitable terrains.
In short, it’s a true-blue SUV that could potentially fill the gap in Maruti’s portfolio that opened up once the equally iconic Gypsy retired after soldiering on for nearly 30 years. In fact, the Gypsy was a long-wheelbase version of the 2nd generation Jimny.
First launched in 1970, Jimny underwent its latest, 4th generation update in 2019. It is powered by the familiar 1.5-litre petrol engine that drives Ciaz, Ertiga and the XL6 in India. It produces 100 bhp and 130 Nm of torque and is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. A 4-speed auto too is available.
While the power figures are nothing to write home about, Jimny weighs only a shade over a tonne even though it is based on a ladder-frame chassis and gets a 4×4 drivetrain with a transfer case that offers 2H (2WD-high gear), 4H (4WD-high gear), and 4L (4WD-low gear) gearing with Suzuki’s AllGrip technology. All of that combined give it remarkable off-road capabilities.
It also does quite well in the city though is not a great highway car. It has its quirks though—you really have to turn and turn the steering to change directions—this has been done to make the steering millimetre accurate for when you go off-roading.
The looks hark back to tradition SUV ethos: it’s tall, squarish and quite lovable with those round headlights. The overhangs have been reduced to minimum to improve approach and departure angles. It’s cute and sharp—the Mini Cooper of SUVs.
There is a lot to love about Jimny—there is nothing like it, anywhere. And that, in itself, is usually a good argument to bring it to India. But here is the thing: Jimny has 3 doors and can’t seat 4 adults comfortably, at least not for long. Maruti anyways has Brezza though it’s no off-roader.
So that’s Jimny for you which Maruti Suzuki is showcasing today at the Auto Expo 2020 though it has not yet committed to bringing it to India. Suzuki is also said to be working on a long wheelbase version of the Jimny, which will make it a lot more practical as an everyday car. The long wheelbase Sierra trim of the Jimny is expected to be showcased later this year. Do you want it? Does it get you excited? Let the folks at Maruti know…who knows they might just do the unthinkable!