Introduced in 1985, Gypsy has a sturdy suspension system and a standard 4×4 drivetrain backing its off-roading capabilities. Built for the tough terrains, Gypsy is a preferred choice when it comes to rally and off-roading. The prowess derives power from a 1298cc engine linked to a manual unit that sends drive to a 4×4 system channelizing power to all four wheels.
Available at a price point of Rs 5.71 lakh to Rs 6.37 lakh, Maruti Gypsy line-up comprises three variants including soft top, hard top and ambulance variants. The off-roader gets a great suspension set up along with a standard 4×4 drivetrain that backs its driving ability on rough terrains. Mated to a five-speed manual unit, Gypsy draws power from a 1.3 litre, four cylinder engine developing decent power and torque output
EXTERIOR AND STYLE
The exteriors of Gypsy are simple yet powerful, which behold the traditional appeal of an SUV. It is a box-like structure that is fitted with driver’s side rear-view mirror, a spare wheel cover, front footstep assembly and a foldable front windscreen on the exterior.
The aggressive yet impressive fascia adds more expression to the appeal. Apart from the standard features, there are certain distinctive characteristics in three different variants of the Gypsy. The Hard Top version of the car features fabric upholstery and a fibre-reinforced plastic top, while the Soft Top version has a foldable windscreen and a removable canvas top. The Ambulance version of the car is not for public use and is widely used in hospitals.
INTERIOR AND CABIN
The interiors are very basic.No power nothing.A big let down. They will remind you of an era we have left.The grey boring plastic,with minimum equipment leaves a lot to be desired. But frankly,for a serious enthusiast(like me) they don?t matter much.Want comfort?Buy an Alto or the Esteem!The Gypsy is only for serious mud pluggers.
There is the 3 spoke sporty steering wheel which tries to create a sport off-roader image and clear instrument panel.But the quality of the interior is good,as on a Maruti. Really speaking,I love the Gypsy so much,that these seem minor points to haggle on.The doors however aren’t as solid as they should be and has that typical Maruti clang that would shame a premium small car like the Palio. The steering is of the recirculating ball type. The steering box is mounted on the chassis and the motion transferred to the wheels via drag links and tie rods. Under normal driving conditions, except for checking lubricant, the system requires little attention.
The vehicle seats eight or five,depending upon the configuration you have ordered for.By the way,you cannot find a Gypsy in a MUL showroom.You have to book one.Since majority of the Gypsy sales come from institutional buyers and law enforcement autorities,MUL doesn?t produce it for ordinary citizens and that makes it a bit special car to be seen in, among the boring and common gaggle of small cars.
The Gypsy, which has discs in front and drums at the rear, comes with hydraulic brakes but with no power assistance. Though the brakes are quite effective, the pedal requires slightly more effort. Brake pads should be checked regularly for wear, ideally when the car is being serviced and put up on a ramp. An indication of worn-out brake pads is a grinding sound when the brakes are applied.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
Maruti Gypsy is derived from Suzuki “SJ” series of compact off roaders. In India it was introduced in December 1985, this is a three door wagon body type, four wheel drive vehicle. It is powered by a 4-cylinder 940cc gasoline engine producing 45 BHP of power. The Gypsy’s which first rolled out of maruti Suzuki had a tag “MG410” which stood for “Maruti Gypsy 4 cylinder 1.0 liter engine” and globally Suzuki produced the same engines codenamed F10A. This was mated to a manual four speed gear box which had a transfer case to four-wheel drive system. The four-wheel drive system had 4wd-H (four wheel-drive high) and 4wd_L (four wheel-drive low). This had adequate power to conquer the rough Indian terrain, but people complained about that the Gypsy was quite underpowered on the highways. The Gypsy was offered with locking mechanism which locked the front axle to the hub when four wheel drive was engaged. The locking mechanism could be freed when four wheel drive was not engaged, this provided with better fuel consumption figures.
The suspension set-up was pretty simple which used leaf-springs. This provided the vehicle with the best ground-clearance, but had a flaw of uncomfortable ride, the SJ series of Suzuki’s vehicles are known for this flaw which even Maruti didn’t try to mend.
Over the years there were three variants of the Gypsy which rolled out, the first one was the Gypsy which was produced in the years 1985 to 1994, this had a narrow track. Then Maruti Suzuki rolled out the Gypsy MG410W 1994 to 2000, this was a wide track vehicle which the front and rear tracks of the vehicle was increased to 90mm when compared to the old vehicle.
In June 1996 maruti Suzuki swapped the engine from the ‘Esteem’ which was much more powerful. It was an all aluminum 8-valve G13BA engine which had a displacement of 1.3-liters. This was much more efficient and a lot powerful, producing 65 BHP of peak power, mated to a 5-speed gearbox. This was the “Gypsy King”.
In 2000 Maruti Suzuki rolled out the Gypsy King, this witnessed a slight change in the front grill and had a Maruti logo up in the front. This new beast housed a new G13BB MPFI-16 valve, 4-cylinder 1298cc engine which produced 80 BHP of power at 4500 RPM. This vehicle is unbeatable off-the road even till today.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The four-wheel-drive system is among the simplest mechanisms that can be found in today’s market and despite that, the system is very efficient and has given the Gypsy mountain goat abilities. Put her into four low and the Gypsy goes over even the most savage of terrains, biting the soil with poise. The diaphragm spring clutch can withstand high rotational speeds and acts as both a clamping spring and release lever. Furthermore, the steering damper inhibits any undesirable or oscillation of the vehicle’s steering mechanism making it safer and easy to drive on uneven roads. However, the steering is not power assisted and you will build some biceps while parking. The ride is far from comfortable and you feel every bump of the road. The rigid suspension however limits body roll but handling is old school.
The Maruti Suzuki Gypsy is an off-road vehicle, which has been used for years by our police and defence forces. This purpose built 4X4 vehicle is powered by a 1.3 L multi-port fuel injected petrol engine that generates 81 hp at 6,000 rpm and 103 Nm at 4,500 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox with a mechanical 4X4 transfer system that can switch from 2-wheel drive to 4H or 4L as per the terrain in front of the driver. Kerb weight of the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy is 985 kg for the soft top and 1020 kg for the hard top which gives this SUV a ‘go-anywhere’ capability. Owing to its inexpensive maintenance and good off-road capabilities, the Gypsy is recommended and preferred by many off-roaders.