The Suzuki Jimny off roader has a lot of strengths off the road, and the legendary capability of the machine has been showcased time and again, at various off road courses. But on the road, the little off-roader isn’t the quickest turning cars. The moose test that was recently conducted on the Suzuki Jimny saw the off roader flunk it spectacularly, and the reason for this is quite easy to figure.
The Suzuki Jimny – like most off roaders such as the Jeep Wrangler and the Mahindra Thar – is designed with a slow/less responsive steering. The steering is kept intentionally slow in order to make the vehicle a lot more controllable off the road, at crawling speeds, where a fast steering will be too twitchy for the driver to get the lines and angles right. Also, a vehicle with a high center of gravity such as the Jimny needs a slow steering to ensure that it doesn’t roll over at higher speeds.
Now, coming to the moose test, where the driver needs to make quick direction changes, the Jimny’s slow steering means that the test driver needs to make very large and quick steering direction changes. This is unsettling the vehicle and making it hard to control at higher speeds. So, the Jimny remains controllable only in the whereabouts of 60-65 Kmph, becoming unstable and hard to control at higher speeds. The only thing that is keeping the vehicle on the road without going out of control is either 1. An extremely skilled driver or 2. Safety features such as ESP and rollover mitigation working overtime to keep the Jimny from rolling over, or 3. the first and second factors working beautifully together.
So, the moose test demonstrates that the all-new Suzuki Jimny is a vehicle that’s meant to be enjoyed at lower speeds off the road rather than go corner carving at higher speeds. This makes sense as the vehicle is built for a single purpose – performing well off the road. Launched last year, the Suzuki Jimny is in very high demand in many international markets, so much so that Suzuki is considering creating a new production line outside of Japan to cater to the burgeoning demand. The off-roader is currently available with two engine options, a 660cc-3 cylinder turbocharged petrol motor and a 1.5 liter-4 cylinder naturally aspirated petrol on the Sierra trim.
The new Suzuki Jimny, in its fourth generation worldwide, sits on a ladder frame chassis and gets all-new suspension at the front and rear. A four wheel drive transfer case with high and low ratios is standard across the off roader. 5 speed manual and 4 speed automatic gearbox options are offered. While there has been some talk of Suzuki moving some part of the Jimny production to India, we’re yet to see any action on the ground. For now, there’s no word of Maruti launching the new Jimny in India even as the Gypsy is all set to be discontinued in the next few months.