Maruti Jimny vs Grand Vitara: An In-Depth Off-Road Exploration

Maruti Jimny vs Grand Vitara: An In-Depth Off-Road Exploration


When enthusiasts delve into the world of off-roading, Maruti Suzuki's Jimny often steals the spotlight as the quintessential go-anywhere vehicle. However, amid the fervor for the Jimny, the Grand Vitara, equipped with its capable all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, often stands in its shadow. In this extensive exploration we embark on a comprehensive comparison between the Maruti Jimny 4X4 and the Maruti Grand Vitara AWD subjecting both SUVs to a series of off-road challenges to uncover the nuances of their respective performances.

Maruti Suzuki has carved a niche for itself in the SUV market, catering to a wide range of preferences, from compact off-roaders to family-friendly SUVs. The Jimny celebrated for its robust 4WD drivetrain is a natural choice when the discussion turns to off-road prowess. However, the Grand Vitara equipped with an AWD system often remains underrated in this context. To unravel the true capabilities of these SUVs, we set up a head-to-head off-road challenge pitting the Jimny against the Grand Vitara in a diverse set of obstacles.


Rock Crawl: The first challenge involves navigating a rock crawl, where ample ground clearance and a suspension tuned to avoid underbody damage are imperative. Both the Jimny and Grand Vitara successfully traversed this obstacle. The Jimny, with its higher ground clearance, provided the driver with more freedom, while the Grand Vitara required a more cautious approach to prevent scraping its bumper on the rocks.

Climbing The Hump: This challenge focuses on climbing a steep hump from a deep pit, demanding proper traction and sufficient torque. In dry conditions, the Jimny showcased its prowess by reaching the top effortlessly in rear-wheel-drive mode, with minimal wheel spin. Switching to 4-High further demonstrated the Jimny's capabilities. The Grand Vitara, a default front-wheel-drive SUV, required engaging the AWD system in Snow mode. It faced challenges with dropping revs and stalling, necessitating slipping the clutch to maintain momentum. The Jimny's controlled approach in 4-Low showcased its capability, while the Grand Vitara struggled with revs and stalling, ultimately overcoming the challenge with strategic clutch maneuvers.

Down The Hill: Assessing the hill descent control feature, particularly on a wet path, is crucial in the downhill challenge. The Jimny's compact size made it more manageable than the Grand Vitara, which, with its less impressive approach angle, demanded careful navigation. Despite engaging the hill descent control, both SUVs experienced sliding and struggled to maintain control due to the steep and wet incline. However, both descended safely.

 Maruti Jimny vs Grand Vitara: An In-Depth Off-Road Exploration - photograph
Maruti Jimny 4X4 

Nature’s Speedbreaker: Nature's speedbreaker involves substantial bumps that present articulation challenges. Engaging the Jimny in 4-High allowed it to smoothly overcome the bumps with minimal strain on the engine. The Grand Vitara, locked into snow mode for AWD, faced challenges on the first bump, repeatedly stalling. The second bump, akin to a significant speedbreaker, posed no major issue for the Grand Vitara, which bottomed out but navigated it smoothly through the soft mud.

The Step Up: This challenge features a slippery incline with two steps and obstacles on either side. Momentum, line choice, and preventing sliding are critical. The Jimny, with its nimble size, navigated the incline successfully after understanding the line and utilizing momentum. The Grand Vitara, being larger, struggled with traction, slid towards a large rock, and eventually had to abandon the attempt to avoid collision.

The Slush Pit: Slush pits, especially when filled with water, pose risks. Surprisingly, both the Jimny and Grand Vitara traversed the slush pit without any issues. The Grand Vitara's AWD system demonstrated its effectiveness by providing the right amount of power to each wheel, ensuring stability and a straight path through the slush.

 Maruti Jimny vs Grand Vitara: An In-Depth Off-Road Exploration - macro
Grand Vitara 

With the challenges concluded, a clear verdict emerges. The Jimny, with its proper 4X4 drivetrain, sharp approach and departure angles, and lightweight construction, establishes itself as the superior off-roader. However, the Grand Vitara, designed as a regular family SUV with all-wheel-drive capability, earns respect for closely following the Jimny in this demanding off-road course.

The Jimny's nimbleness and off-road-centric features make it an undeniable champion in this comparison. Its ability to tackle obstacles with ease, whether in 4-High or 4-Low, underscores its hardcore off-road capabilities. On the other hand, the Grand Vitara, while not reaching the Jimny's heights, impresses by holding its ground. It successfully navigates challenging terrains, showcasing the potential of a family SUV in an off-road setting.

Areas for Improvement: While the Jimny clearly dominates, it's worth noting areas where the Grand Vitara could enhance its off-road performance. Swapping regular highway tires for all-terrain tires could significantly improve traction, allowing the AWD system to showcase its full potential. Additionally, a more potent engine would address the noticeable shortfall in power during incline climbs. Maruti Suzuki could consider these tweaks to elevate the Grand Vitara into another highly capable off-roader in their lineup.

In the realm of off-roading, the Jimny rightfully claims the crown with its purpose-built design. It embodies the spirit of a true off-road warrior, equipped with the features needed to conquer challenging terrains. The Grand Vitara, while not surpassing the Jimny, deserves commendation for its performance. As a family-oriented SUV with all-wheel-drive capability, the Grand Vitara admirably faces off-road challenges, showcasing versatility beyond its intended urban use.

Maruti Suzuki, with strategic improvements such as all-terrain tires and a more powerful engine, could transform the Grand Vitara into a formidable off-road contender. This comprehensive exploration highlights the strengths and areas for enhancement in both the Jimny and Grand Vitara, providing valuable insights for enthusiasts and potential buyers alike.