There’s a method to Maruti’s madness. With the Ignis, the company has not cut corners, and has created a premium urban compact vehicle for the millennials. It combines unconventional design, seamless smartphone experience, is loaded with technology, sets new safety standards, and gets numerous personalisation options. We drive this attractive car on the equally scenic East Coast Road near Chennai.
The company says the exterior of the Ignis is inspired by the inherent desire of the millennials to be distinct. The design reflects the same. The car has a confident stance with expressive wheel arches, black alloy wheels (in the top-end variants), and wheels placed at extreme corners. The front is a single-frame grille with inset headlamps and LED DRLs, and chrome has been used on the front grille, headlamps and fog lamps. Dual-tone exterior colour options are trendy.
The cabin is unlike any of the Maruti vehicles. The floating-layered dashboard design, in black and ivory, and the cockpit-styled console panel set its cabin apart. Another first is the EDM-inspired illumination in the speedometer. (EDM is short for electronic dance music, a broad range of percussive electronic music genres made largely for nightclubs, raves and festivals.)
The car looks small, yet there is ample space in the cabin, especially the front legroom and headroom. The front seats are very supportive and long-distance drives should be fun and easy in this car. The rear, however, is cramped; moreover, the rear seat has very little thigh support. Clearly, this is a car for the millennials who love to drive. Boot space is good (265 litres), and it can be expanded with a 60:40 rear seat split.
In the top-end variants, the look, feel and positioning of the infotainment system, akin to a tablet plugged to the car, add a lot of style to the cabin. The infotainment system offers smartphone connectivity experience with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Mirror Link, the three technologies millennials use a lot. In fact, the Ignis is the first car in the Maruti Suzuki portfolio to offer Android Auto.
There are two engine options: 1.2-litre VVT petrol delivering maximum power of 61kW@6000rpm and torque of 113Nm@4200rpm; and 1.3-litre DDiS 190 diesel delivering maximum power of 55.2kW@4000rpm and torque of 190Nm@2000rpm. The petrol has a claimed fuel-efficiency of 20.89kpl, while the diesel returns 26.80kpl.
The cabin of the petrol model is surprisingly quiet. The company says the use of pendulum engine mount system, and the use of acoustic insulation and absorption materials around the cabin and engine compartment have ensured low NVH levels. The diesel has its distinctive noise, some of which seeps inside the cabin. The Auto Gear Shift (AGS) technology is available on both petrol and diesel trims.The view from the driver’s seat is excellent; a high eye point helps the driver in easy manoeuvrability, both within the city and on the highways.
The Ignis comes equipped with dual airbags, seatbelts with pre-tensioner force limiter and ABS with EBD as standard fitments. It also gets ISOFIX Anchorage, a child seat restraint system, as standard in all variants.
There are unique personalisation options, with concepts like roof wraps, colour options in ORVMs, spoilers, wheel cladding, rear and side skid plates, fog lamp garnish, interior styling and more, which are available at an extra cost.
The price of the petrol starts at Rs 4.59 lakh, going up to Rs 6.69 lakh. The price of the diesel starts at Rs 6.39 lakh, going up to Rs 7.8 lakh. The prices for petrol AGS are Rs 5.74-6.30 lakh, while for diesel AGS are Rs 6.94-7.46 lakh. The Ignis, clearly, is a premium urban compact vehicle for the millennials. It should not be used a chauffeur-driven car, buy it only if you love driving.
(Some of the technologies and features mentioned in this review are only available in the top-end Alpha variant.)