Would You Buy The Five-Door Jimny?

I’ve decided, even though I haven’t driven one yet.

Those in India looking forward to the five-door Jimny must know that the SUV is presently on a showroom-hopping trip nationwide. It’s a tactic that carmakers have started to adopt to get a better feel about the initial impressions. Anyway, I, too, WAS amongst the same lot. The keyword there is in capital letters. Why? Well, I recently checked out the Jimny at a showroom in NOIDA, and that’s when it all happened. Here’s the list of my takeaways:

The Good

1. Cutesy and rugged. It looks like a tiny terminator or a poor person’s G-Wagon!

2. Standard 4×4. Probably the biggest selling point, especially for those who yearn to tackle tough terrains.

3. Comfy front seats. Enough space for even above-average-sized Indians.

4. Plays the nostalgia card well. Reminds the occupants of the iconic Maruti Suzuki Gypsy.

5. Decently equipped. Six airbags, an infotainment system, a rear-view camera, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and Hill Hold/Descent Control are all standard features.

6. Quiet engine. Kept the motor running on idle, and there wasn’t much noise.

The Bad

1. Appalling fit and finish. The untidy welds visible through the wheel arches, for instance, are such a sore sight. Another one that ruined the day was the flimsy metal bar that just about managed to keep the bonnet up. Also, if you can, try this: push the fender inwards with your thumbs. It’ll feel like you’ve got superpowers to bend metal.

2. Small wheels. At the very least, Maruti Suzuki should have provided at least 16-inch wheels with fatter, all-weather rubber. But that would have affected the brand’s utmost priority for every vehicle – mileage.

3. Uncomfortable rear seats. Although the backrests with adjustable headrests are okay, the seat base is a joke. The under-thigh support is terrible, meaning long journeys will be anything but enjoyable. And things will only get worse when sitting behind a six-footer.

4. Negligible storage space for knick-knacks. There are two bottle holders, both wedged between the front seats. Regarding the glove box, there’s just enough room for the car’s paperwork to settle in. The thin door pockets are useless. You can’t even get a pair of sunglasses (without the case) in them.

5. No height adjustment for the driver’s seat. Since I’m reasonably tall, I could see the car’s extremes ahead. However, shorter people will really struggle to get good judgement.

6. Space for four at a pinch. And that’s applicable only if those heading for the rear seats can get through the tiny opening.

7. Barely a boot. There’s hardly any room for a medium-sized suitcase, let alone a large one. And folding the rear seats doesn’t result in a flat floor.

Final Words

I think of the Jimny as a toy for adults. With its rugged underpinnings (hopefully!), forging rivers and climbing hills should be fun and relatively easy. The head-turning looks will keep the owners excited as well. However, it is NOT a family car. It falls short on several fronts, especially practicality and comfort. Even the quality of materials used is below average. And because of those reasons, I’ll pass.

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