Maruti Suzuki Jimny AT long term review; 8,400km report

Easily fits into tight parking spots; boon in a city like Mumbai.

Our long-term Jimny turned out to be way more special for me than I thought. No, I am not referring to its off-road capability having wowed me, rather it’s managed to do something that I haven’t been able to do with any other car for years – get my mom to drive. It’s special because my mum hasn’t ever driven before this. On my recent visit back home to Nashik, mom was really impressed with how compact this SUV was and instantly said, “I would love to drive this one.”  Without a delay, I drove her to an open field and let her have a go. Of course, I was in the passenger seat to assist her, and surprisingly, after just a brief explanation about the controls, she drove it like a pro! Something that’s been on mom’s checklist as well as mine for quite some time.

Long travel suspension deals with rough roads brilliantly.

She was all smiles after her first drive. In fact, she had a big smile plastered on her face even before she drove it thanks to its cute-as-a-button looks; the Jimny manages to turn heads even months after its launch. There’s no denying that it looks smart, especially in the Kinetic-yellow variant that we have with us. Looks aside, there’s a lot more that is likeable about the Jimny. Its compact dimensions, for one, are something I really appreciate, especially in Mumbai’s chaotic traffic. Combined with good all-around visibility and a high driving position, it is a breeze to drive through the city on my daily commute. The suspension setup is a big highlight for me though, and I appreciated it a lot more on my drive to Nashik that’s riddled with a zillion potholes. It simply managed to flatten broken sections of road and made rumble strips feel like they didn’t exist; it’s really very compliant.

Rear seat belts need to be buckled in to stop warning chime even when seat’s not occupied.

Not everything’s perfect though. There are certain things that I am not a fan of, like the turning radius; it takes too many turns on the steering to make a U-turn, which feels odd given the Jimny’s diminutive size. The 1.5-litre petrol engine combined with a sluggish 4-speed automatic gearbox is also a bit of a buzzkill, especially on the highways. Overtaking takes a lot of effort, anticipation and patience. Thankfully though, the gear lever features an overdrive on/off switch, which helps in holding a lower gear for longer, thereby making overtaking a tad bit easier. With its 40-litre tank capacity, the Jimny is not exactly a mile-muncher and needs a fuel top-up roughly every 300-350km. On my Mumbai-Nashik-Mumbai trip (333km), it managed a fuel efficiency of 11.8kpl, which is not great given that I didn’t exactly drive it hard.

Mom was all smiles after her first drive.

I am not complaining though. All said and done, it’s a fun car, and fun isn’t rational. Fun stuff puts a smile on your face and makes you want more. I wonder if my mom is up for some serious off-roading soon. 

Also see: 

Maruti Suzuki Jimny AT long term review, 2,700km report

Maruti Suzuki Jimny long term review, 5500km report

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