Maurti Suzuki Omni was first launched in 1985 and can rightly be called an important part of our automobile history. The car has grown over time and has been built bit by bit to suit the requirements of those who love the car. Maruti Suzuki Omni is adorned by many and over 40 per cent of the buyers are said to have repurchased the car. Another fun fact about Maruti Omni is that the car was the second vehicle to be launched by India’s favourite passenger car maker, Maurti Suzuki, the first vehicle was Maruti 800. The microvan comes in two versions: Family version and Cargo version. Whatever the version is, Maruti Omni uses a front mid - engine rear wheel drive layout. This unique aspect helps maximising cabin space and also helps in providing maximum traction.Coming to the details of Omni, the van comes in five types of vans that include the Omni 5 seater, Omni 8 seater, Omni Limited Edition, Omni Cargo and Omni Ambulance. The car comes in LPG and petrol variants. The variants include Maruti Omni LPG Cargo BSIII W / immobiliser, Maruti Omni LPG STD BS III 5 Str W / immobiliser and the petrol variants are Maruti Omni MPI Cargo, Maruti Omni MPI Std, Maruti Omni E MPI Std and Maurti Omni MPI Ambulance. The car has an engine capacity of 796cc, which is the same as Maruti 800. The engine displaces about 32.8bhp at 5000 rpm and with a 3-cylinder, 12 Valve multipoint fuel injection engine, the car produces a maximum torque of 62Nm at 3000 rpm. Though it is underpowered, the microvan returns a mileage of 14.7kmpl in the petrol version and the LPG trims returns about 10.9 kilometer per kg. The van is not particularly a family car but it runs well as a taxi and cargo pick-up, as this car is not about comfort but all about practicality.
Maruti Omni misses out on a lot of fun of driving especially because of the high front seats with a wide steering wheel. One can feel the nervous steering which brings down the driving and ride quality. The NVH levels are on the higher side and the walls are thin which results in increased noise levels. The Omni is a very basic car and gets drum brakes at the rear while the front wheels get disc brakes. These are the only electronic aids that it gets for braking assistance. The car can touch the 100 kmph in about 20 seconds and the top speed that it can achieve is 126 kmph. The car is little tall and has a narrow wheelbase which can result in balancing problems at times and it can easily break the traction and move sideways, especially at high speeds and curves. All versions of the car have sliding doors and hatches at the back.
Coming to the competition, Maruti Omni is compared to Maruti Eeco and Tata Venture. Venture does work better than the others but looking at the price quotient and maintenance, the latter two work better, after all a Maruti petrol option is more reliable than a diesel Tata car because the former would definitely have lower maintenance costs. Though Omni is not a very appropriate model to be compare with the Eeco and Venture, since the company has been playing Omni very strategically therefore it has found a strong and successful position between the others.
Maruti Omni Mileage
Editor's Take : The Omni has always been a fuel-efficient van and one of India’s largest selling mini van.
If we talk about that one reason which results in Maruti holding the top most position in the passenger car market it would undoubtedly be the mileage that Maruti cars return in the Indian driving conditions. The other reasons would be simple and cheap maintenance and efficient after sale servicing. Maruti Omni, the microvan is powered by a 796cc multipoint fuel injection, 3-cylinder inline layout, 2 valve engine. The kerb weight of the car is about 785 kgs which is quite light for a vehicle that can hold up to 8 adults comfortably and is sized at a length of 3370mm, a width of 1410mm and a ride height of 1640mm. All the above mentioned reasons together result in an efficient performance by Maurti Omni and the same can be verified in terms of the mileage returned by the car. The mileage returned by the petrol version of the van in the city is 10.7 kmpl and on highways is 14.7 kmpl. The average returned by the LPG fuel powered Maruti Omni is 10.9 km per kg . The fuel economy for the car is pretty good and receives accolades.
Power of Maruti Omni
Editor's Take : India’s highest sold 796cc petrol engine powers the Omni and the power it produces for the price tag is decent.
Maruti Omni is undoubtedly underpowered with its 0.8-litre engine with a displacement of 796cc. The maximum power output for the Maruti Omni is 32.8bhp at an rpm of 5000 and the maximum torque produced by the van is 57Nm at 2500 rpm . The car is efficient in all other terms including the mileage, therefore the power is disappointing. Maruti cars are known for their mileage, maintenance and service, however mostly all of the cars in the Maruti Suzuki line-up lack on the power front. These cars are known for their city drives and convenience which means one does accept and compromise on the power issue quite easily.
Maruti Omni Colours
These colors are available with all variants of Maruti Omni
Metallic silky silver
Metallic Pearl Blue Blaze
Acceleration & Pick-Up
Editor's Take : The acceleration produced by Omni is good only if kept in the correct gear. The four-speed transmission is a bit rubbery as well.
Under the hood Maruti Omni gets a 796cc engine and the kerb weight of the van is also pretty light which results in a very responsive performance quotient. The minivan can zip from 0 – 60 kmph in about 10 seconds and can touch the top speed of about 126 kmph . The car is quite zippy but there is a lot of imbalance that can also be felt, especially when it is being driven at high speeds and during cornering. This balance issue is because of the narrow wheelbase in comparison to the height, thus resulting to a disproportionate figure. The microvan on an overall front, drives pretty well with its front mid-engine rear wheel drive layout that helps in providing maximum traction. Another point of concern with regards to the speed of the car is that it comes with no other electronic aids for braking assistance except the disc brakes at the front wheel and the rear drum brakes. Now if we are to talk about safety, the only features present in the car in terms of safety are side impact beams and 3-point seat belts.
Maruti Omni Exteriors
Maruti Omni was launched in the year 1985 and ever since then the car has virtually not been changed except for a few cosmetic changes. The Omni is a complete van with its two rear sliding doors, rear hatch tail gate and an almost box shaped body. The headlamps being used for Maruti Omni are now clear lens units with black plastic surrounds. The front indicators are integrated into the front bumpers. The rear windscreen is large in area surface and the tail lamps get the clear lens variety as well. The front bumpers are made up of thermoplastic. The looks are another very important reason why the car is not used much by those looking for a car to drive around the city with their family. In comparison the competition for Omni, Maruti Eeco gets similar looks with a bigger bumper and 13-inch tyres along with very similar body graphics to Maruti Omni. The side view mirrors for Eeco are also black along with the bumpers, again just like Maruti Omni. The headlamps are almost straight rectangles and the tail lamps are vertically stacked, both get clear lens as well. Tata Motor's Venture on the other hand, looks different and is perfectly rectangular, suiting its name. The looks in comparison to both the Omni and Eeco are more upmarket with body coloured side view mirrors, chrome grille at the front and tail lamps that are shaped like Christmas trees. The tail gate also gets some chrome and the van gets 14-inch tyres, which is more than both, the Eeco and Omni.
Maruti Omni is smaller in size as compared to the Maruti Eeco and Tata Venture. Maruti Omni has a length of 3370mm and the width is 1410mm. What makes the car a little disproportionate is the narrow wheelbase in comparison to the ride height. The wheelbase of the car is 1840mm and the height is 1640mm . The car is smaller as well as pretty light with a kerb weight of 785 kg. Maruti Eeco on the other hand has a length of 3675mm and width of 1475mm. The height of Eeco is 1800mm and the wheelbase for the van is 2350mm. Tata Venture, the other van in the segment is bigger than the others with a length of 3950mm, width of 1565mm and the height of the van is 1858mm. The ground clearance for all the vehicles is equally good with the Omni receiving a clearance of 165mm and Eeco and Venture coming with 160mm.
Maruti Omni Interior
Editor's Take : The instrument panel design of the Omni is about two decades old and hence the styling looks aged. However, this is the most comfortable five-seater that is sold at this price.
Maruti Omni comes with 5 seat and 8 seat options . The upholstery is in a dual tone theme now, which makes the interiors a little better as compared to the previous grey coloured ones. The steering wheel used in the car is one of the oldest units. The new Omni is a little better constructed in comparison to the older ones that had wires dangling here and there within the cabin. The 8 seater Omni is a bit cramped and for personal use one should necessarily go in for the 5 seater. The van gets reclining front seats, floor carpets, dashboard with cup holder and some utility space for keeping items here and there around the cabin. The sliding doors make it very comfortable for the passengers to fare in and out.
All is fine with car for those who are looking for the bare minimum and a low cost family car which also provides for perfect transport solutions. The driver however may face tough times in the car at times because of the uncomfortable driving position. The number of features in the car are on the sparse side though the space in the car is fantastic, ensuring good headroom and legroom. Overall despite all pros and cons, Maruti Omni is considered to be a value for money vehicle by most of those who have driven it and owned it for a period of time. The car has few comfort features and faces a lot of issues on the safety front but it is very low maintenance, which helps one forget all flaws up to quite an extent. The interiors are not of a very high quality and one can safely say that the Maruti Eeco features a little better quality in comparison to the Maruti Omni. Venture by Tata Motors on the other hand gets cooler interior designs as well as comfort level. There is ample space for passengers in all the three but comfort levels are what differentiate them truly and rightfully.
In terms of comfort features, Maruti Omni has few. Except a cup holder or two here and there, old school meters, mediocre quality glove box and a rather simple dashboard is what we see in Maruti Omni. Air conditioning is also missing in the van. The two tone upholstery makes the car look a little bit better in terms of looks especially when being compared to the older grey coloured interiors of the previous versions of the Maruti Omni. Omni Limited edition however, flaunts some features like a CD player which supports an auxiliary port, 4 speakers and new seat covers . The other trims however are rather simple with no entertainment system or any other fancy functions or attributes . The glove compartment gets a lock.
Maruti Omni Engine and Performance
Editor's Take : The three-cylinder 800cc engine of the Omni has also been propelling M800 and Altos for about 26 years. Most of us who drive would have driven this engine at some point in our life.
Maruti Omni is powered by a 786cc, 4 stroke cycle, 3-cylinder 4 valve in-line motor . The engine delivers a power output of 32.8bhp at 5000 rpm and produces a maximum torque of 57Nm at 2500 rpm. This gasoline engine returns about 14.7 kmpl and complies to the Bharat Stage IV emission norms. The LPG trim for Maruti Omni is powered by a 0.8-litre, 4 stroke cycle water cooled engine that is capable of returning about 10.9km/kg. The engine is best suited for city driving and is chirpy with the capability to zip from 0 to 100 kmph in about 20 seconds. The top speed it can reach to is 126 kmph. The car has a really small turning circle which is about 4.1 meters which makes it a pretty good drive in the city . The suspension systems in the car are Leaf springs with shock absorbers and the front wheels get the McPherson Struts. The suspension system rather results in a moderately pleasing ride. The NVH levels of the engine are pretty high and the thin walls of the body result in a some issues as the street noises percolate inside the cabin as well.
Maruti Omni gets 145 R12 LT 6PR radial tyres that help the car balance well . The car is compact in size and light therefore the small wheels provide enough grip to the car with the road. Radial tyres have a stiffer tread therefore it helps with braking at a shorter distance and this tread also helps with cutting down on the fuel consumption. This stiffer tread is due to the dual steel belts that result in lesser slips, lesser internal loss and greater resistance to wear and tear. The radial tyres also help in maintaining great stability along with maintaining turnprecise steering.
Braking & Handling
Editor's Take : Being a mini van, the focus of suspension tuning is more on the ride than handling. The Omni has good braking.
The braking system in Maruti Omni is pretty basic with disc front brakes and drum rear brake types . Besides the basics there are no other electronic assistances in terms of the braking system. The car has a very small turning radius of 4.1 meters which makes it a pretty good drive in the city. At higher speeds we can feel the drive becoming a little shaky and nervous. The steering is the old school design and is not cut out for very comfortable handling.Maruti Eeco is a little better than Omni but the handling is quite similar to that of the Omni. Eeco rides well even with a cabin full, however the NVH is still not well controlled and the levels don’t let you forget that the engine is right under your seat. In terms of driveability one can still feel the nervous steering. Tata Venture on the other hand is decent when it comes to driveability but the handling is a problem at times. The NVH levels however are better than both the Maruti vans.
Handling & Safety
Editor's Take : The Omni gets seat belts for all its passengers. That’s the only safety feature it offers.
In terms of safety there is not much that Maruti Omni has to offer. The car gets front ELR seat belts that allow the passengers to have a free movement while wearing the belt but at the same time in times of emergency, the retractors lock and help in keeping the passenger safe. The rear seats get static seat belts. The van also gets side impact beams but that is all. In fact it is said that it was due to the lack of safety features in Omni that resulted in the launch of the Maruti Eeco. The latter gets a collapsible steering column, side impact beams along with the 3 point seat belts. The third in the segment is Tata Venture which gets much better safety features than the other two . The Tata van gets reverse parking sensors, engine immobiliser, side impact protection beam along with front crash reinforcement, collapsible steering column and shield lock. Apart from being a diesel vehicle, safety features as well add to the list of advantages for Tata Venture.
Stereo & Accessories in Maruti Omni
Editor's Take : The Omni doesn’t get power windows or even a stereo. However, factory-fitted AC Omnis are available.
The limited edition Maruti Omni gets a CD player with the auxiliary port and 4 speakers . Looking at the target consumers and keeping the price of the vehicle intact, the van has got only the very basic features that helped the company keep the prices to a minimum.
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Pros & Cons
Maruti Omni Pros :
Mileage, space especially in the 5 seater trims
Maruti Omni Cons :
Sways a little at high speeds due to disproportionate and height and wheelbase ratio, old design, lack of safety and other features.
Maruti Omni Price
Maruti Omni Variants Price
Maruti Omni prices were updated on 04 May 2013