Some cars in India which are or were sold in the Indian market just don’t need an introduction. One such car is the Kidnapers car, Yes! Maruti Omni. This is the car which is considered as the nightmare for the children as the movie industry here made it so. Maruti Suzuki Omni is coming through the years since 1984. The car ruled the microbus segment throughout its life span, here is how the Kidnapers van did it.

How Maruti Omni came into existence

1948 Van
1948 Maruti Van

The First-ever Maruti Omni hit the roads back in 1984, just after the launch of the iconic Maruti 800. The car was powered by the same engine as the Maruti 800 which is a 796cc inline-three engine.

In the early days, the microvan from Maruti was called just the ‘Van’ and it wasn’t later in the year 1988 that the name was changed to ‘Omni’. Nearly after a decade, the ‘Omni got a facelift which was just cosmetic changes in the year 1998. Couple for more facelifts arrived before the Omni got discontinued. Let’s have a look where this all started.

The First Maruti ‘Van’ | 1984

1948 Van
1948 Maruti Van

Suzuki enters the Indian market with collaboration with Maruti and introduces two cars. One being the Maruti Van. The Van was powered by a 796cc engine. The motor produced about 38bhp and 62Nm of peak torque. The Van came with a 4-speed manual transmission. since then the Van/Omni never got an engine change.

1948 Van
1948 Maruti Van Interior

First Facelift | 1998

1998 Omni
1998 Maruti Omni

Nothing much had changed in the past years in the Maruti Omni except a name change from ‘Van and some cosmetic changes. The facelift boasted of a new front with square headlights instead of round in the earlier variant.

The engine remained the same except this time around the van got EFI system instead of the carburettor. The microbus got some changes including a slot for the stereo system. Thankfully the van got a fuel gauge.

"1998 Omni
1998 Maruti Omni

Second Facelift | 2008

"2008 Omni
2008 Maruti Omni

The next change happened nearly after a decade in the year 2008. Yet again there were just cosmetic updates on the inside and the outside.

Upgraded headlights with clear lenses grey strip running across the two headlights were the updates in the new Omni. The then-new van god a new dashboard with a new steering wheel and some better quality materials.

"2008 Maruti Omni
2008 Maruti Omni

The Maruti Omni left behind a legacy

The cost was the reason behind not getting frequent upgrades. Introducing a facelift increases the cost and the Van was known for transporting people from a point to another at the minimum cost possible. All the Maruti Omni throughout their life were available in either 7-8 seater variants. The Maruti was popular amongst the taxies and school vans in India. Hence, facelifts were needless. Truly, the Omni enjoyed its lifespan talking especially the children from the school to their homes (Those were the days).

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