2023 Maruti Suzuki Jimny First Drive Review: Should Mahindra Thar Be Terrified?

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Boxy SUVs are not a thing of the past. They can still make grown men weak. However, only a few of them are available in the Indian market. After breaking the covers at the 2023 Indian Auto Expo, the 2023 Maruti Suzuki Jimny has joined the bandwagon. It will be launched in the country soon, and then, we will have at our disposal the prices of the 4th-gen Jimny in its long-wheelbase format. Interestingly, we got our hands on the off-roader to drive it on the roads and streets around Dehradun. So fasten your seat belts to get a sense of what it’s like to spend time with the 2023 Maruti Suzuki Jimny.

2023 Maruti Suzuki Jimny review: Attractively boxy

At first glance, the Maruti Suzuki Jimny looks attractive. The more it is viewed, the more it succeeds in showcasing its design best. While the overall design is similar to the 3-door Jimny sold internationally, the India-spec car is a 5-door variant. Hence, it is longer, and gets an additional pair of doors, along with a smaller rear quarter glass. With the increase in length, it has acquired proportions, without being decidedly disproportionate.

The Jimny measures 3,985 mm in length, 1,645 mm in width and 1,720 mm in height. In all respects, it is a compact vehicle. However, the design hides its minimal footprint, making it look bulky in person. The front end gets circular headlamps, a chunky bumper and a clamshell hood. The straight pillars also emphasize on the boxy look. The 15-inch wheel looks small on paper but fits in well with the dimensions of the car. Also, the alloy wheel design is aesthetically pleasing.

The boxy rear section is in sync with the design language. In fact, it makes the rear-3-quarters of the Jimny look impressive. The spare wheel is mounted on the tailgate, and it looks like an SUV in every way. In addition, the rear windscreen also gets a washer and wiper along with a defogger. There are a total of 4 parking sensors and tail lamps in the bumper. While the overall design is outdated, it gives the Jimny a cool look. Hence it gets high marks in terms of looks.

2023 Maruti Suzuki Jimny Review: Impressive Inside?

The Jimny’s doors slammed shut with a loud bang. Similarly, the interior feels solidly laid out. The dashboard design has a lot of gypsy-inspired elements, embracing a sense of pedigree and familiarity. The design is basic, but the circular analogue pod for the instrument cluster accentuates the gypsy connection. The steering wheel is a familiar unit, the same one in use on many other Maruti Suzuki cars. Thankfully, it also gets tinted glasses, which are required in counties where aftermarket window tints are banned.

As for the feature list, the dashboard gets a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment unit, which interestingly comes with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. On the left side, there is a grab handle, which is soft to hold. In addition, the Jimny comes with automatic climate control. While the overall interior theme is black, it still feels spacious. The Jimny also gets a USB charging port and a 12W power socket. Also, the power window switches are mounted on the center console. However, the rear doors have power window buttons.

On the other hand, the door pockets of the Jimny are not spacious at all. In fact, the back doors are not found. There is not enough space available in the car to keep knickknacks. The driver’s seat is comfortable, but lacks height adjustment. Plus, the rear seats are good for two adults. Fitting three would be a task. The seat squab also feels short, providing minimal under-thigh support. The 208-litre boot is spacious enough to swallow a couple of bags. Also, the second row can be folded flat to increase the boot space.

2023 Maruti Suzuki Jimny review: Capable trotter

Powering the Maruti Suzuki Jimny is the K15B engine displacing 1.5L working volume in the 4-cylinder architecture. It produces 105 bhp and 134.2 Nm of peak power and torque respectively. The Jimny is claimed to deliver 16.94 kmpl with the 5-speed manual gearbox and 16.39 kmpl with the 4-speed AT. The engine is mated to a low-range transfer case, which sends power to all four wheels.

The four-wheel drive mechanism uses solid axles at both ends with coil springs. Well, the ride is sorted on all surfaces. The Jimny can handle rough terrain with ease as compared to its rivals. Also, special thanks go to the brake-locking axles and 210 mm of ground clearance. The SUV defies most of the laws of automotive physics with its small size and HT tyres. How? Power / torque to weight ratio. The articulation is also very good, providing grip to all the wheels for the most part. In fact, the steering wheel is quite responsive for this type of setup.

Simply put, the Jimny impressed us with its off-road and on-road capabilities. Yes, triple digit cruising is possible. The only problem we might come across is the antiquated 4-speed automatic. It is very good on off-road tracks. However, on the road, it does feel the need for the extra gear. Also, the manual is better, but the gear shift feels a bit rubbery.

2023 Maruti Suzuki Jimny review: Lusciously sweet

The pricing of the Jimny will certainly play an important role in its success. Thus, it is difficult to comment on this front, as the prices are not out yet. If the price is good, the Maruti Suzuki Jimny has the potential to drive a lot of potential buying into the sub-4 meter compact SUV space shift towards the Jimny. After all, it looks cool and funky. It comes with a host of features and doors and seats for four. Mechanically, it is designed to run and cover distances even when the roads are vertical. So, if you were planning to bring the Jimny home, you will have nothing against it except for its dimensions.