Maruti Suzuki Jimny AT long term review; 10,000km report


I was recently asked by a lifestyle magazine what my favourite cars from what’s available in India are, and this is what I said: “My dream 5-car garage from what is currently available here would be a Suzuki Jimny that I’d keep in Goa; it’s pretty useless in the city but brilliant off-road and it’s cute as a button. The last of the mid-engined V8 Ferraris that Pininfarina designed – a 458 Italia, though I’d have to buy that used now. The retro-cool Porsche 911 S/T would have to be a part of the fleet because it’s simply focused on pure and attainable driving pleasure and not ridiculous rocketship performance. A Mini Cooper for the city, and then to relax, a Range Rover.” 

Three-door lock/unlock buttons are handy and a surprising rarity for Maruti.

Yes, the tiny, plucky Jimny made it to my 5-car garage. I never thought it would. Wind it up and it soon runs out of power, so overtaking needs a lot of planning; the drivetrain is noisy to the point where friends have asked if the gearbox needed some oiling or if all 4x4s sound like this; and the turning circle is terrible, so manoeuvring in the city or parking in tight spots is a chore. But look at that list again and you’ll see a roster of imperfect cars, albeit all of them are full of charm and character, and that essentially is what the Jimny is.

Power window switches split up and blend into the background on the centre console.

Character isn’t something abstract. To me, it comes from a strong trait that enables specific capabilities and the ability to get noticed. The Jimny has character because it’s got genuinely fantastic go-anywhere capabilities and it can really smother anything our terrible roads throw at it. You can sail over potholes where other SUVs would struggle and it does so while looking cool. It’s cute as a button and simply makes you and everyone around smile. So you not only find yourself forgiving its foibles, you end up loving it too. To the point where my wife decided to buy a suitcase in a colour matching the Jimny’s neon yellow paint shade. “It doesn’t matter that we have to give the Jimny back; until then, this looks so cool,” was her reasoning. While I’m on about luggage, I have to say the boot can accommodate a lot. Stand them up and you can carry two suitcases. 

Its cool neon paint makes you do strange things, like buying colour-matched luggage.

Very strangely, it rained last month in Mumbai and made one hell of a mess of all the dug-up roads. Luckily for me, I had the Jimny, and for it, this was simply another walk in the park. So, while most took a 1km detour or tiptoed through a dug-up stretch near my home, I went by easily. And it’s this aspect that I really love about the Jimny. Over the many potholes and ruts that litter the city, you can simply keep going; most of the time I don’t even lift off the throttle. The suspension is really that good at the bad stuff. So yes, like I said before, it’s a car I’d keep in Goa and use to go off the beaten path. Maruti says that with its four doors, the Jimny is an everyday car too. I disagree there: you’d really have to be committed and I guess blindly in love for that. But if your love for the Jimny hovers around the ‘deeply in love’ mark, then it’s a fantastic second car. 

Also see: 

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

Maruti Suzuki Jimny long term review, 5500km report

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

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