• Auto
  • March 28, 2019

Maruti Suzuki Ignis Performance & Test Drive

Maruti Suzuki Ignis Overview

Maruti Suzuki has been on a roll. It’s almost like the run its Korean counterpart was having until last year – where every product launched was a blockbuster. Now it may be premature to call the Ignis one yet – and indeed it will remain a niche product when compared to the likes of the Swift or Baleno. But what the Ignis does is it gives us Maruti’s best small car yet.

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The Ignis replaces the Ritz in Maruti Suzuki’s lineup. And like that car (and its junior avatar – the WagonR) the Ignis is indeed a tallboy. It was misconstrued to have been a subcompact SUV when it first broke cover as the iM4 concept at Geneva in 2015, and has now come to market as the ‘premium urban crossover’. But let me assure you it is a hatchback – and a well-designed one at that. Like the Ritz, the Ignis is not roomy in real terms and yet gives you a great sense of space. The cabin is smartly designed and very upmarket compared to that previous model’s – and even compared to the Baleno in many ways. I keep bringing the Baleno into the equation since both cars will sell side-by-side out of the Nexa network. Book a test drive for Ignis in Tryaldrive.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis Look

At 3700mm in length, the Maruti Suzuki Ignis is a compact hatch. But it isn’t exactly what you would call small. It is longer than a Renault Kwid and Honda Brio (by 20mm) and the KUV 100 (by 25mm), but it is smaller than Hyundai’s Grand i10 (by 65mm). It is clearly taller than both the hatches, but in terms of overall height it still isn’t as high and mighty as the Mahindra, which sits 40mm taller. While they all aren’t direct competitors it is interesting to note that the Ignis has the longest wheelbase here and that does wonders for its stance. Riding on 15″ wheels with 175/65 section tyres, this compact hatch looks planted and confident.

While the basic design sets the tone, the exterior design creates a quirky blend of ruggedness and coolness. The square-jawed look and its upright front makes it look un-hatch like. The face is characterised by a single frame grille that envelopes the LED DRLs and, in a first for the segment, the LED projector lamps too. Down below, the geometric shape for the air dams increases the sense of tallness and adds to the quirkiness of the design. Smaller details like the rubberised strip on the side of the bonnet harks back to Suzuki’s classics, in this case the first Vitara! Sweep your gaze down the sides and the Ignis creates a statement with its floating roof. The blacked-out A and B pillars connect it to the Swift too. The kinked window line helps make it distinctive. The flared wheel arches, the light cladding along the wheel arches, and the side sills (albeit only for the Zeta and Alpha variants) give it a sense of toughness too.

One contentious aspect of the design is the expanse of metal that forms the C-pillar: three shark-like gills stamped into the metal there trying to make it more palatable. Nonetheless, along with the high-set boot, the Ignis looks a bit awkward from this angle. The rear is the least pleasing part of this design. The tail lamp design looks a bit dated and seem a bit out of of place, especially when juxtaposed with the headlamps at the front. From the rear, the Ignis looks a bit disproportionate as it narrows at the top and the roof line slopes downwards. This sensation is exaggerated as the flared wheel arches give it a wide stance low down. One cool touch is the plain black plastic section on the rear bumper, which will let you get out of light bumps without losing any paint.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis Comfort

On the inside, you’ll notice how clean and seamlessly the design is. The Ignis’ cabin features an airy, functional and minimalistic layout for the cabin.

The dashboard itself seems to have been styled like a clam with the upper and lower half separated by a thin slit in the middle that houses the AC vents and a little storage space. The Delta variant and above get a two tone black and white dashboard, which this looks nice and techy. But, bear in mind that white interior trims tend to get soiled quite easily.

What’s really likable is the fact that we’ve never seen a cabin like this in this class. For example, there’s isn’t any centre console as such. The Delta and Zeta grades get a 2DIN music system, while the Alpha variant gets a free-standing 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the air-con controls sit independently below. Automatic climate control is exclusive to the top-end Alpha grade, while the others get a manual HVAC system. That said, there’s plenty of storage space between the front occupants, so practicality hasn’t taken a backseat for the sake of aesthetics.

The steering wheel is entirely new as well and gets mounted controls for audio and telephony on the Delta and above. The instrument cluster is all-new too and features two analogue dials along with one digital MID to the right. The MID is quite detailed too and includes two trip meters, the time, ambient temperature display, instant and average fuel economy displays and more.Check for Maruti Suzuki Ignis in orsp

This is a small car, but it is quite spacious. Thanks to the tall boy design, headroom is in plenty and there is enough legroom and knee room on offer too. However, the rear bench may be a little cramped for 3 occupants. What’s more, the rear doors open really wide, making ingress/egress easier. There’s a good amount of boot space available too (260-litres) and short weekend trips with the family and their luggage can be managed with ease.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis Gearbox

The Ignis is available with a familiar set of engine options, yet has something unique to offer too. Both, the petrol and diesel motors are shared with the Baleno, and while a 5-speed manual gearbox comes as standard, both engines can be had with a 5-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) as well, though the option is only offered on the Delta and Zeta variants.

Petrol

Powering the petrol Ignis, is the familiar 1.2-litre K-Series engine, that produces 83PS of power and 113Nm of torque. The engine has proved its mettle in cars like the Swift, Dzire and the Baleno – and it feels no different in the Ignis. The motor is smooth, refined, and loves to be revved!

Yes, it can be quite a hoot to drive too, thanks to the Ignis’ low 865 kg kerb weight. The 5-speed manual is slick-shifting, with a positive action backed up by a light clutch. There’s just the right amount of punch in the low- and mid-range, which makes the petrol-powered Ignis quite a city slicker. The automated manual transmission (AMT) does a swell job of swapping cogs, too. The shift-shock and head-nod gremlins are kept well within check, as the gearbox goes through the gears. There’s a manual mode as well, but we rarely used it. The transmission keeps the motor on its toes, and doesn’t hesitate to drop a few gears if you go right-foot heavy.

Diesel

The 1.3-litre DDiS190 engine finds itself in the engine bay of the diesel Ignis. Output is rated at 75PS and 190Nm, which seems aplenty for a car the size of the Ignis. The characteristic turbo-lag under 2000rpm remains the only sore point of the engine. Get the turbo spooling, keep the motor in the meat of its powerband and it impresses. Once past 2000rpm, it pulls cleanly (and strongly) to its 5200rpm redline. What’s more, it gets an ARAI-backed efficiency of a whopping 26.80kmpl (Petrol = 20.89kmpl).

The bigger talking point, though, is the diesel-automatic combo. The Ignis is the only diesel hatch under Rs 10 lakh, to sport an automatic transmission paired to an oil-burner. The engine-gearbox combo is the same we’ve seen on the Swift Dzire AGS, but there are a few tweaks to the gearbox software to make the experience a tad slicker. Just like the petrol, the AMT shifts through the gears quickly, and you wouldn’t notice a shift till you look down at the MID. What does take some getting used to, is the fact that the Ignis diesel AMT continues to lunge forward for a second or two after you have lifted off the throttle.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis Rideing

The Ignis’ suspension setup is a bit on the firmer side. Small potholes and undulations are absorbed well, but the sharper ones will result in a few thuds. If you don’t slow down over the larger ruts, the slightly taut damping can get a bit uncomfortable like in the Baleno. But as a result of this, handling is not bad at all.

The car feels very nimble and it changes direction pretty quickly. This along with its compact dimensions, makes it a real riot to drive inside the city. We didn’t get to thoroughly test how well it handles corners at higher speeds thanks to the almost straight route we followed on the East Coast Road in Chennai. But from what we could tell, there is some amount of well-controlled body roll during quick direction changes at high speeds. We’ll have to wait till the road test to find out just how good it is around the twisties. High speed stability however, is very impressive especially considering the skinny tyres it’s running, while the brakes, which are progressive in nature, offer good performance and feedback.

Where it does fall short though, is with the steering. The electric steering in the Ignis is quite lifeless, and is probably the weakest link when it comes to being connected to the driver. It takes a while before you get used to the vague feel of the steering. It doesn’t weigh up very well at high speeds either, making sudden direction changes a bit unnerving. That said, its light weight makes it very convenient to use in the city, which is where this car will mostly be driven.Apply car loan for Maruti Ignis at Fincarz.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis Safety

In terms of safety the Ignis comes with ABS, dual front airbags and ISOFIX seat anchorages as standard features across the range. So full points to Maruti for that! However, it does miss out on a bunch of safety features offered in the Euro-spec car like four more airbags and the dual camera brake support system. This system uses two cameras to detect objects in front of the car and applies the brake automatically in case of an emergency.

With respect to creature comforts, the top-end Alpha variant comes with a decent amount of kit like the segment-first LED headlamps with DRLs, automatic climate control, keyless ignition and the touchscreen infotainment system which now supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Unfortunately, the AMT won’t be available in this variant. It will be an option on the Zeta variant and the one below that, called Delta.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis Price in Bangalore

Maruti Suzuki Ignis On-Road Price in Bangalore ranges from 5,45,202 to 9,03,088 for variants Ignis 1.2 Sigma MT and Ignis 1.3 Alpha MT respectively. Maruti Suzuki Ignis is available in 11 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Maruti Suzuki Ignis variants price in Bangalore. Check for Ignis price in Bangalore at Carzprice.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis Bottomline

It’s one of the few cars in the affordable segment that has character. It’s a fun little car in every way, and there hasn’t been a car so far in the sub-10 lakh price range that’s put a mischievous smile on my face the way this one did. In fact, it’s one of the few cars in this price bracket that I really, really want to own. Then of course, the price comes in, and I’m forced to sink back in my seat.

The top-spec petrol variant with a manual transmission, which is the one I’d buy, costs Rs 6.69 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. It’s quite steep especially when you consider that the top-spec Baleno petrol costs just Rs 50,000 more and offers the same amount of kit and also more room. It’s a similar story with the top-end diesel variant as well, which costs Rs 7.80 lakh.

The petrol Zeta variant with the AMT costs around Rs 40,000 less than the top-spec manual. And it’s only in this respect that the Ignis makes more sense, as the Baleno CVT costs around Rs 1,30,000 more. But if you’re willing to make a compromise on creature comforts like climate control and a touchscreen infotainment system for the fun of a manual gearbox, the petrol Zeta variant, which costs Rs 5.75 lakh, is something I’d recommend. It’s still a bit expensive, but like I said, we’re a generation that won’t hesitate to spend a fair amount of money if we like what we see.

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