Maruti Ignis Expert Review

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Introduction

Maruti Suzuki’s Ignis is a compact crossover; simply, a hatchback with some SUV like traits. This small Maruti is designed to appeal to the youth and has been styled and designed to be attractive and affordable. With India expected to have one of the youngest populations by 2020, manufacturers are scrambling to create fresh products and a new purchase and ownership experience for the younger audience. Despite arriving late to the segment, Maruti has proved with the Vitara Brezza that they understand the pulse of the Indian market. Now Maruti is ready to win over both, young and SUV-crazed buyers with the all-new Ignis. Design, technology, safety and practicality, Maruti has tried to balance these aspects carefully in the Ignis.

Pros
  • All LED headlamps
  • Spacious cabin
  • High seating position.
  • Healthy ground clearance
  • Wide range of engine and gearbox options
  • Higher inbuilt safety and safety features
Cons
  • Light colour plastics in the cabin likely to get dirty quickly
  • Hard plastics used in cabin
  • No automatic gearbox option on top end variants
  • Centre console of variants without touchscreen look a bit awkward

Exterior

Love it or hate it the Ignis’ design, you can’t ignore the Ignis. On the size front, it isn’t imposing or intimidating. The Ignis is, in fact, shorter than the Swift in terms of length and is just as wide. It is, however, taller and has a larger wheelbase too. The biggest draw here is how unique and distinctive it looks compared to any other Maruti or anything on the road overall. There is an overall square and upright stance to the design that gives it a rugged feel.

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Up front, it sports a quirky front grille that envelops the fascia like a mask. Everything from the headlamps and badge sits flush in the front grille, with the clamshell bonnet sitting tall above. Chrome strips give the Ignis some flash value, but these are offered only on the top two variants. Also, the LED headlights, a feature that cars several segments above don’t offer, are available on the top end Alpha variant.

The Ignis has a tall-boy stance nut gets beefy cues like flared wheel arches and a chunky C-pillar. It’s a funky retro-modern blend and while you get a stylish and spunky set of 15-inch wheels (alloys on Zeta and Alpha, steel on lower variants). The lower two variants do without the rugged looking cladding for the wheel arches and side sills too. The chunky C-pillar has three slashes on it - a throwback to the Suzuki Fronte Coupe which, incidentally, was a body-style of the Maruti 800’s forefather.

Like the front, the rear too has an angry look, but it isn’t intimidating thanks to the Ignis’ petite proportions. A plus-sized set of tail lights, along with a black insert in the rear bumper make it distinctive and practical too.

The Ignis will be available in 9 colour options, including 3 dual-tones. Maruti Suzuki will also offer the iCreate customization packages, so owners can personalise their Ignis to their taste. In terms of dimensions, the Ignis is 3,700mm long, 1,690mm wide, 1,595mm tall and its wheelbase measures 2,435mm.

Interior

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.

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.

Performance

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.

The petrol is the 1.2-litre K-Series unit that produces 84.3PS at 6,000rpm and 113Nm of torque at 4,200rpm, while the diesel is the Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre DDiS190 motor that makes 75PS at 4,000rpm and 190Nm of torque at 2,000rpm.

We will update this space once we’ve had a chance to drive the Ignis and get you the first impressions. However, with claimed efficiency figures of 20.89kmpl for the petrol and 26.80kmpl for the diesel, it’s evident that the Ignis’ powertrains come with the promise of great frugality.

Safety

Built on the Fifth Generation Platform, the Ignis has a lot of safety built into its platform. The Ignis is said to be compliant with upcoming Indian crash test norms. It is also designed keeping pedestrian safety norms in mind. Maruti Suzuki is offering the Ignis with dual airbags, ABS with EBD and ISOFIX child seat mounts as standard across all variants. Opt for the Delta grade and you get a security alarm too, along with adjustable rear headrests. The Zeta grade adds rear parking sensors, plus a rear defogger and wiper, while the top-end Alpha variant gets a reversing camera too.