The Maruti Suzuki Jimny is expected to launch very soon
The Maruti Suzuki Jimny is expected to launch very soonMaruti Suzuki

Maruti Suzuki Jimny: Top five reasons it should be a sales success in India

Here are five reasons why the Maruti Suzuki Jimny should be a bestseller for the carmaker

The Maruti Suzuki Jimny 5-door was unveiled at the Auto Expo earlier this year, alongside the Maruti Suzuki Fronx, and the SUV will likely be launched very soon. Bookings for the Jimny are now open and while we haven’t driven the SUV yet to deliver a definitive verdict, the Jimny has been on display at select Nexa dealerships across the country and here are five reasons why it should be a sales success for Maruti Suzuki

Maruti Suzuki Jimny lineage

Remember the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy that used to be sold in India? That was actually the second generation of the Jimny sold globally, and enthusiasts continue to hold the Gypsy in high regard. With its rugged underpinnings and superb off-road capability, the Gypsy went on to become a favourite of the defence forces. It also went to dominate in the Indian rally scene, and Maruti Suzuki only fuelled the fire for the Gypsy’s popularity with its motorsport effort which included rallies like the Desert Storm, the Dakshin Dare and the Raid de Himalaya. Like the Gypsy, the new Jimny could also follow in its spiritual successor’s footsteps thanks to its compact proportions and off-roading capabilities.

Maruti Suzuki Jimny customisation

Regular buyers don’t really buy a car with the intent of customising it, but if the story of the Thar is anything to go by, potential buyers will be definitely attracted to the potential of modifying their Jimny. Maruti Suzuki will likely offer a set of OEM accessories to make your Jimny stand out and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Bigger alloy wheels, off-road bumpers, winches, mesh grilles, all of these will make a big difference to the appearance of the SUV. This being a Maruti Suzuki also means that there are a healthy dose of bolt-on parts already available for the drivetrain as well to liberate more power from the 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated K15B engine. Wouldn’t you want to see the new Jimny on a rally stage?

Plenty of switchgear shared with other Maruti Suzukis
Plenty of switchgear shared with other Maruti SuzukisMaruti Suzuki

Maruti Suzuki Jimny dimensions and cabin space

Visually, the Jimny does look like it is much smaller than the Mahindra Thar, but comparing the dimensions does suggest that they're closer to each other than you might realise. The length of both the Jimny and the Thar is the same (at 3985mm), but the Thar is wider and taller than the Jimny. However, the Jimny has a longer wheelbase and this results in a roomier cabin. The seating position in the Jimny gives you a commanding view of the road, and the compact footprint means that you could drive a Jimny in traffic with relatively greater ease as compared to a Thar. Clearly, the Jimny likely aims to target a clientele that spends more of its time in the city, and this positioning could work in Maruti Suzuki’s favour.

Adequate space for four passengers
Adequate space for four passengersMaruti Suzuki

However, the downside of this compact footprint is that you’re always going to be in close proximity to your passengers. This is particularly felt in the rear seat, which is only good enough to seat two passengers. Maruti Suzuki themselves have not provided a seat belt for passengers in the middle, clearly indicating the Jimny is best suited for four occupants. Head room was more than adequate for your writer (I am five-foot nine) though people over six foot tall might not find it satisfactory. Boot space with all the seats up is a claimed 208 litres, which makes it more usable than the three-door Mahindra Thar which does not offer much in the way of a boot. This should be addressed soon with the introduction of the five-door Thar, but until then, the Jimny is the more practical of the two SUVs.

Better departure angle than the Thar's
Better departure angle than the Thar'sMaruti Suzuki

Maruti Suzuki off-roading ability

Off-road ability is a core part of the Jimny’s DNA, and the Jimny boasts some impressive statistics in this regard. The Jimny’s departure angle is better than that of the Thar’s (50-degrees to the Thar’s 36-degrees) but the longer wheelbase does mean that the ramp breakover angle and the approach of the angle of the Thar (at 26.2-degrees and 41.2-degrees respectively) is more superior to the Jimny’s. The Thar also has a better ground clearance than the Jimny’s (226mm to the Jimny’s 210mm), but like the Gypsy before it, the Jimny should redeem itself off-road thanks to its narrower dimensions which can be a boon when off-roading.

Expect the Maruti Suzuki Jimny to undercut the Mahindra Thar
Expect the Maruti Suzuki Jimny to undercut the Mahindra TharMaruti Suzuki

Maruti Suzuki Jimny pricing and positioning

This is where the Jimny has a chance to really edge ahead of the Mahindra. The most affordable Thar variant (the RWD) is priced at Rs 10.54 lakh, with the most affordable 4x4-equipped Thar being priced at Rs 13.87 lakh. As of now, we know that the Jimny will be offered only in the 4x4 guise with both a manual as well as an automatic transmission, and it would only benefit Maruti Suzuki to undercut the Thar’s pricing when launching the Jimny. The introduction of the Jimny as a halo product will also add the pizzazz back to Maruti Suzuki’s lineup, just like how the very first Swift did all those years ago. More importantly, it will also force more manufacturers to take notice of this relatively-niche segment and give rise to more competitors, providing enthusiasts more options when looking for a lifestyle vehicle.

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