If it's got four wheels and motive power, Raunak's on board. He's been writing about cars for the better part of a decade now, and as far as life's truths go, Raunak's sole focus has been on unearthing how those machines move you. His ultimate dream is to get a few laps in on the famed Nordschleife, even if it's a dream he's already lived. No one said anything about living the dream just the once, correct? Raunak's decidedly unfussed about the specifics of a car, so long as it gets him going and he's able to pen down his thoughts, which he'll be doing a fair amount on the pages you see right here.
Maruti Suzuki has to be lauded for taking the plunge and giving the people what they desired. Image: Anis Shaikh
Maruti Suzuki’s hotly anticipated five-door Jimny SUV has finally been launched in India. If you were to take the plunge, the Jimny will cost you anywhere between Rs12.74 lakh and Rs15.05 lakh (ex-showroom, India). For the uninitiated, the Jimny SUV has existed in international markets so far, but given the amount of hype it has generated here in India over the past few years, and especially after it was showcased at the Auto Expo, Maruti Suzuki has decided to fully commit to the SUV and launch it in India.
The one we get—the five-door variant—is specifically developed for India and will be produced at the company’s Gurugram plant. Powering the Jimny is a single-engine option—a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine that puts out 105hp and 134Nm. For the kind of SUV it is and the segment it’s in, these are modest figures, at best. Maruti Suzuki has, however, paired the petrol engine with two transmission options. There is a five-speed manual or a four-speed torque converter to pick from. The Jimny’s true essence, however, lies in its ability to conquer rough (and non-existent) terrain. In this regard, Maruti has ensured its competence by giving the Jimny Suzuki’s AllGrip Pro four-wheel-drive system with a manual transfer case and low-range gearbox with ‘2WD High’, ‘4WD High’ and ‘4WD Low’ modes. Complement that with a rough-ready ladder-frame chassis, a 3-link rigid axle suspension and an electronic traction control system, and you have an SUV that’s well and truly capable off the beaten path.Maruti Suzuki Jimny primarily goes up against two competitors in the Indian market—the Mahindra Thar and the Force Gurkha. Image: Anis Shaikh All the same, Jimny is not devoid of creature comforts either. You will find a decently-sized nine-inch infotainment system, automatic climate control, cruise control, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlamps, and a lot more. Even the safety kit is well-covered thanks to the presence of six airbags, ESP, and hill-hold assist, all offered as standard, which is impressive. Also read: How Maruti Suzuki lost out on India's SUV boom and, with it, market share As for its positioning, the Maruti Suzuki Jimny primarily goes up against two competitors in the Indian market—the Mahindra Thar and the Force Gurkha. At first glance, the Jimny does come across as slightly expensive in comparison to its rivals. The Thar starts a good Rs2.2 lakh less than the Jimny, and it also has a two-wheel-drive option to boot (which the Jimny doesn’t). It is also far less torquey compared to the Thar (134Nm playing the Thar’s 300Nm), which is not ideal, especially if you are planning to kick around in muck on a regular basis.
Price in India
Zeta (Manual Transmission)
Alpha (Manual Transmission)
Alpha (Manual Transmission) dual-tone
Zeta (Automatic Transmission)
Alpha (Automatic Transmission)
Alpha (Automatic Transmission) dual-tone
That said, it would not be a surprise to see Maruti absorb those downsides by virtue of already having collected a large number of bookings (30,000+ at last count) and the general hype around the Jimny and its undeniable legacy. A point that has to be noted here is also Maruti Suzuki’s vast dealership network and low cost of ownership, which is bound to sway a considerable number of buyers its way. Overall, the Jimny may not look like an overwhelming winner now that the prices have been announced, but Maruti Suzuki has to be lauded for taking the plunge and giving the people what they desired.