Can the Maruti Jimny be the only car in your garage? Owner explains

The SUV will take you back to what the cars in the 90s used to feel, with the amenities of the cars from today.

BHPian prashant316 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.


I gave my initial impressions of the car after driving on stock tyres and changed to the 215 Yokos in post #1740 (Maruti Jimny Review) among some other important observations.

This post is after driving about 2000 km on a mix of highway, city and off-road conditions.

I use the Jimny as my daily and only car and will attempt to break the experience down for people who may be considering the same. Please bear in mind that I write this post in a direct context with just any other car of a similar price bracket.

The Driving experience

First things first. If you are someone who has the ‘need for speed’ in life, you may want to look elsewhere. This car does not like to be revved hard. And if you do, you are only going to be greeted by loud engine noises and uncertainty in the mind. Speeds over 100kmph on busy highways require you to remain far more attentive on the road than an equivalent crossover. This is mostly due to the boxy design that makes it aerodynamically equivalent to a brick along with the steering that keeps you guessing what it’s going to do next. At speeds, there is always a slight play in the steering and it took me a while to get used to the amount of turn required to change lanes without much drama. The steering will constantly need minor adjustments at medium and high speeds to keep the car in line.

However, once you have momentum and are used to its steering and suspension, life will become easier and you can maintain speeds. Building speed though, is not its forte.

I definitely miss the feeling of having a turbo from my previous cars and more gears. The lack of gears keeps the car on very high RPMs at high speeds causing it to lose steam especially when you need to execute and overtake on highways and also keeps the fuel efficiency on the lower side. Couple that with a 40L tank and your range hovers between 350 and 450kms only. Cross-country drives will see a lot of fuel stops.

In the city, things are more manageable. Though here too you can feel a lack of immediate power delivery when you need it.

Since I have AT 215 tyres, the braking performance has improved over the stock tyres and so has the higher speed stability. At the same time, the harshness has increased and the comfort of the ride has decreased ever so slightly, but noticeably. The car is now slightly more bouncy on the speed breakers.

Off the road though is where all complaints dissolve into nothingness. Not only does the car gobble up any terrain like a mini tank, but it also makes it feel extremely easy on the inside. The car has the uncanny ability to really diminish the difficulty of an obstacle to the point where I did not feel challenged at all. The AT tyres added to the advantage as well. Loose soil was not a problem and there was hardly any wheel spin or digging at any point. Something I could not say for the stock tyres.

The Being Driven experience

This wasn’t made to be a comfortable cruiser. But the 3 door was converted to a 5 door to make it more practical and slightly more comfortable for its passengers. If compared to a Thar and Gurkha, I think Jimny is miles ahead in being kinder to the passengers. It will come close to the regular crossovers in some aspects, but in most, it is still a compromise.

The front seats are just about wide enough to fit me comfortably and I am an average-built person. Healthier passengers and drivers may find long distances a pain over time.

You are also likely to miss lumbar and thigh support on both front and rear. I reckon it is the 2-3 hour mark where you will start feeling the discomfort in the car on long journeys. Also, the suspension is slightly more jumpy for the rear passengers since I have changed the tyres to AT.

My car is also equipped with roof rails and they start creating a booming sound after 110kmph. At 120 and above it’s really loud. The good thing though is that you are hardly ever going to be comfortable driving it over 120.

Due to the body-on-frame chassis and suspension characteristics, I suspect passengers prone to motion sickness will have a harder time in this car. It will be a throwback to the Sumo days. However, this is yet to be ascertained.

The Practicality

5 doors and a usable boot already make it more practical than an equitable off-road focused vehicle. But that only brings it to par with your regular crossover to some extent.

You are likely to find yourself equipping the car with add-ons inside to increase storage spaces, handsets, and other things to make your life easier.

It was after driving the Jimny that I realised the importance of basic creature comforts in a car that is now taken for granted. I am still looking for soft padding on the driver-side door armrest where I end up resting my elbow many times only to be left in some pain due to the hard plastic after a while.

Question to other Jimny owners – Do you also find a large amount of water flowing down the windscreen on braking during or after rain?

The Functionality

Since the car is equipped decently with modern features, there really aren’t too many complaints here. Though for its price, certain things are a bit too basic.

The overall music system is a real disappointment for me. The 4 speakers are feather-light when held and produce only 20 watts at peak. But the real challenge is the head unit itself. The HU is rated at about 15 watts. So just a simple speaker upgrade will not do the job for people who enjoy the experience of sound in their cars. This car requires you to invest decently in an audio system upgrade for someone like me.

I can only imagine the downer in the Zeta variant which does not have the surround sense software.

The screen itself is absolutely straight. It took me a while to get used to it and made me realise the importance of those screens that are slightly angled towards the driver. And now i know why manufacturers promote this fact too. You will find yourself reaching out to the screen at certain times to change music or use Maps.

The Auto headlights are extremely eager. They light up even under the shade of trees and take longer to turn off. And since they are also synced with Google Maps, they seem to sometimes confuse the system especially while crossing under a bridge or a tunnel as the lights still remain on for longer and all this while the Google Maps remain in dark mode in broad daylight. I have found it easier to not use the Auto headlight in my driving. In contrast, the same feature on Kia works so seamlessly and brilliantly that I have never touched that stalk on the car.

But I am glad that the screen size is decent and I don’t feel a lack of any major features. it is up to time with modern cars.


All of what I wrote above may lead you to believe that I am ranting about the car. And I am to some extent. But that is mostly because of what I have been used to driving for so many years. The Jimny is a massive departure from the likes of a turbo-charged hatchback and other 160+hp cars that I have mostly been driving which redefine the automotive driving experience on the roads.

When I think about it, the jimny does not redefine anything. Instead, it is an ode to what cars used to be with a modern satori. It will take you back to what the cars in the 90s used to feel with the amenities of the cars from today. The car will roll and pitch and move like an old Sumo / Scorpio upon stopping but it will also connect your Android / Apple phone wirelessly. The car will veer slightly to one direction on hard braking and raise your heartbeat a little but it will do so with the safety of 6 airbags and ESP and ABS.

I will actually liken this car to owning a Cooper S a Mustang or an M car. Those cars are not perfect for your everyday driving experiences. They will want to break your back at every speed breaker and every motorcycle that goes near your rearview mirror will remind you of how close you came to spending a fortune on replacing it. But once you are in their respective territory, they hold a league of their own and you will not be able to put a price tag to the ecstatic smile they impart.

In its own territory, the Jimny will shine as bright as the proxima century and give you a smile that you cannot put value to. Not only you, in my experience it seems to put a smile on other roadgoers too who still ogle at it every time it’s on the road.

Not to mention, you can get so many mods done to the car. Things like remapping, turbo kits, throttle controllers, suspension, brakes, tyres and more are available in the market. This is among the few cars that have the ability to let you express yourself in your own way. Given the choice, each Jimny owner can make their Jimny set slightly apart from the others as per their choice. And there are very few cars in our market that I can say this about.

So should you buy it as your daily? I think, if you find yourself curious about the following points, then you should buy the Jimny:

If one of these resonates, you will find yourself slowly learning to live with its quirks. If none of these resonates, you will find yourself living in a compromise with this car.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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