Maruti Suzuki Ignis vs Hyundai Grand i10: Comparison Review:
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Hyundai’s Grand i10 has been battling the mighty Maruti Swift for about four years now. And while the Swift itself is taking a breather, and readying to bounce back in an all-new avatar - the Ignis has picked up the gauntlet for the moment.
To make things even more interesting, Hyundai has updated the Grand i10, giving it all that it needs to go up against the quirky Ignis. Now, on paper, it looks like the Maruti has everything that the Hyundai does, but with an added dose of flamboyance.
We put the seasoned pro against the funky newcomer to see which one makes for the better all-rounder. We take the most popular diesel versions for the comparison - the Ignis Alpha and the Grand i10 Asta. It's a close call, we know. Let's get right on with it, shall we?
While looks are subjective, everyone agrees, these two car’s approach to design is as different as chalk and cheese. On one hand, Hyundai has opted for a clean but sophisticated look, on the other - Maruti Suzuki has gone all out and slipped a lot of funky elements into the mix.
With the recent update, the Grand i10 looks posher. While the overall silhouette and dimensions remain unchanged, there are subtle design updates on this facelifted car that won't go unnoticed. The bright daytime running lamps, the updated hexagonal grille (with the 'cascading effect' detailing) do just enough to lend the Hyundai a fresh face. Updates on the side include a new set of 14-inch alloy wheels, whereas the rear gets a new bumper with a big slab of black plastic running across the width. Interestingly, that's a design trait the Grand i10 shares with the Ignis. Viewed from the rear the Ignis, is a hit or a miss. Everything else about the Maruti is also quirky, a bit rugged, but in a cute way. It has a more upright stance that looks more commanding, whereas the large 15-inch wheels (finished in black no less) and the projector LED headlights with U-shaped daytime running lamps are unique and attract a lot of attention.
Both cars are similarly sized. Break out the measuring tape, and you’ll note that while the Grand i10 is longer by 5mm (2765mm vs 2760mm), its wheelbase is 10mm less (2425mm vs 2435mm) compared to the Ignis. The Ignis is also 30mm wider and 75mm taller compared to the Grand i10, giving it a more upright and wider stance. Compared to the Hyundai, the alloy wheels are one size larger on the Maruti as well (14-inch vs 15-inch) and it boasts of a higher ground clearance too (165mm vs 180mm).
Long story short, the Hyundai is completely at ease blending in, while the Maruti wants to stand out. Speaking of which, the Ignis also gets a plethora of customisation options at the dealer level that includes roof wraps, body moulding colour and detailing for the spoiler.
Cabin, Space and Comfort
Maruti Suzuki Ignis
Just like the exterior, the designs on the inside are poles apart as well. The design quirks continue on the inside for the Ignis, made amply evident by the floating touchscreen, the funky auto air-con interface and with colour coded elements on the floor console and the door handle. The Grand i10 follows a design which might seem a bit dull to some. Hyundai has stubbornly stuck to its tried-and-tested beige and black colour theme, whereas Maruti has gone in for a chicer black-white combo. The only perceivable downside is that it will require frequent cleaning and upkeep, since the white half tends to get dirty easily. Also, the shut lines are more apparent on the white plastic trim. We wish Maruti offered a simple all-black finish for the top end variants on the Ignis too.
Hyundai Grand i10
One clear distinction between the two is the difference in perceived quality. Hyundai has taken the game to the next level in terms of fit, finish and material. The plastic on the dashboard and the door pad feel like the finer variety and there's not much to complain about the way the interior has been put together either. The Ignis' interior leaves a bit to be desired in the feel-good department. The harder plastic, thin door pads and the tinny sound the door makes on closing gives you the sense Maruti could've (and should've) done better here.
Maruti Suzuki Ignis
The Maruti fights back in terms of ease of access. The Ignis is taller by a full 75mm, which means you can simply 'walk' inside the car. Naturally, the seating position is slightly higher as well and you get to see the nose of the car from the driver's seat. This should come in handy for shorter drivers or new drivers who are considering the hatch as their first set of wheels.
Hyundai Grand i10
Both hatches are neck and neck when you bring ergonomics into the equation. Everything's within an arm's reach and you have to never stretch out to reach anything. Both cars get a driver seat-height adjuster that sadly is available only on their respective top trims. Tilt adjust for the steering is standard across the range for the Ignis, whereas the Grand i10 gets it from the mid-spec 'Sportz' variant.
Rear bench - Maruti Suzuki Ignis
Rear bench - Hyundai Grand i10
Speaking of space, the Ignis cashes in on its tall-boy design to liberate better headroom for the occupants. But, despite being the narrower car on paper, it's the Grand i10 that is better suited for ferrying around three passengers seated in the rear. Legroom is more or less on par, and you can slide your feet underneath the front seats in either as well. It's the Hyundai that has a slightly relaxed backrest angle, and better under-thigh support which should make it less tiring for occupants over longer journeys. On a related note, both cars feature nearly identical boot spaces - 256-litres (Grand i10) vs 260-litres (Ignis). The Maruti ups the practicality quotient with the 60:40 split for the rear bench. And that should make it more flexible and convenient, if and when you do need to carry extra luggage.
Boot - Maruti Suzuki Ignis
Boot - Hyundai Grand i10
The hatches are nearly on par when it comes to front seat comfort. We'd have to give this to the Ignis, though, since the Grand i10 continues to lack a very basic convenience feature - adjustable headrests. For six-footers, the tip of the integrated headrest just about reaches the base of the neck.
Features and Technology
Manufacturers have constantly upped the ante in terms of features in this segment, so there's no surprise then that both hatchbacks are loaded to the gills. The equipment list on these top-end variants includes all four power windows (with auto down for the driver), steering-mounted audio controls, automatic climate control, reverse camera and electrically adjustable wing mirrors. The Hyundai offers a bit more for the price, by offering a chilled glovebox, air-conditioning vents for the rear bench and electrically folding mirrors.
AC vents for rear passengers in the Hyundai Grand i10
On the infotainment front, both cars get a touchscreen audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The responsiveness, graphics ease of use and general user experience on the Ignis feels better. Also, unlike the Grand i10 it also gets in-built navigation. Moreover, the screen isn't as prone to smudges from fingerprints as much as the Hyundai's and the upright positioning makes it easier to use under the sun. Brownie points there, Maruti. However, the position of the screen on the Grand i10 brings it more in your field of vision, making it easier to take quick peeks when required. Also, where the Grand i10 has to make do with four speakers, the Ignis gets six. There isn't a day-night difference in the audio quality, but the extra pair of tweeters let you enjoy the guitar riffs and high-pitched vocals a little more.
Infotainment system of the Ignis gets in-built navigation as well
Let’s get what’s common out of the way first - both cars feel easy to drive. The steering is light, and the gear throws are short and positive which makes city usage less tiresome. The Grand i10 has the lighter clutch for less fatigue in stop-go city traffic. Also, in case you are upgrading from something that’s the size of the WagonR or the i10, getting comfortable with the dimensions of either car is super easy.
Even though of both cars produce 75PS and 190Nm on paper, they drive very differently. At city speeds, the Grand i10 feels incredibly easy and relaxed to drive. Even in higher gears at low speeds, just a tap of the throttle is enough to get you going. This is because the Hyundai develops its peak torque earlier in the rev range and continues to do so for a bit longer.
In the Ignis you have to shift down as the engine feels responsive only past 2000rpm. While the Ignis shows a considerable spike in acceleration as the tacho moves past 2000rpm, the Grand i10 makes progress in a relaxed, linear manner. Where the Maruti battles with turbo lag, the Hyundai sets off at a strong and steady pace immediately. This means you’d want to be in the Grand i10 while crawling in rush hour since the lag is better controlled. Find a gap in traffic, put your foot down, and it’s the Grand that picks up pace quickly - 30kmph to 80kmph in third gear took 7.93 seconds, whereas the Ignis took nearly a second extra at 8.80 seconds. But, once the turbo spools up on the Maruti, it lunges forward with some gusto. This won't be all that relevant in everyday driving though. For the record, from standstill, the Ignis clocks 100kmph in 12.85 seconds, whereas the Grand takes 0.36 seconds extra, hitting the ton in 13.21 seconds.
The Ignis also feels more eager to rev and that makes it feel a bit more at ease on the highway. Sudden overtaking moves require just a little less thought and effort when compared to the Grand i10. The Hyundai’s three-cylinder engine isn’t as punchy at higher rpms as Maruti’s four-cylinder engine, and it feels like it’s running out of breath much before the Ignis.
What compliments the punchy motor of the Ignis, is the suspension setup. At triple digit speeds, the ride is flat and there's no nervous bobbing. The larger 15-inch wheels can also be credited for this, as the Grand makes do with 14-inch rims. The Hyundai too shows quite a lot of composure at highway speeds, which is a welcome departure from what we’ve seen in the past. But, the setup is still on the softer side which means there's a bit of up-and-down movement over bumpy roads or when going fast. The upside to this is that the Grand eats potholes for breakfast inside the city, whereas the Ignis' stiffer springs give way to some thuds.
Neither cars are what we'd call corner carvers. The steering is better suited for squeezing in and out of traffic rather than tearing up the winding roads. If you have to, the Ignis feels more engaging - but not by much. Also, the eco-spec tyres squeal and protest as you battle body roll into the bends. On the contrary, the Grand i10's laid back nature wouldn't make you push it through the twisties. We enjoyed driving it calmly through the ghats, whereas we had to curb our desire to let our hair down with the Ignis.
Summing up, the Grand i10's new 1.2-litre motor feels a lot more polished compared to the outgoing 1.1-litre unit. That said, it hasn't managed to shrug off vibrations associated with a three-cylinder engine which are apparent at start-up and shut-down, but it is smooth when on the move and is much quieter too. The Ignis' 1.3-litre, four-pot isn’t as vibey on crank and switch off, and feels relaxed (albeit gruff sounding) in comparison. In terms of efficiency, the Grand took the lead inside the city returning 19.1kmpl (vs 15.87kmpl) whereas the Ignis was marginally more efficient on the highway at 23.08kmpl (vs 22.19kmpl).
If you intend on picking lower variants, the Ignis makes quite a pitch - especially since Maruti Suzuki offers dual airbags, anti-lock brakes and ISOFIX child seat mounts as standard across the range. The Alpha on the other hand, seems optimistically priced and the quality of the interiors don't feel at home in the swanky Nexa showrooms.
Make no mistake, the Ignis' quirks make it quite likeable. On the flipside, there's very little to fault the Grand i10 especially on the sense of premiumness and quality. It's quite possible that you'd get stuck in a tug of war between the heart and the head. For all practical purposes, the Hyundai is the better car - there are no two ways about it. It's more accommodating, is better equipped and offers just what you'd want from a hatch at this price point.