SUVs continue to be popular amongst car buyers in India and among SUVs, mini SUVs such as the Maruti Suzuki Ignis and the Tata Punch have been racking up sales numbers. This is owing to its compact size which makes it a perfect vehicle for the city, and the upright seating position gives drivers a sense of confidence.
In this segment, the Maruti Suzuki Ignis and the Tata Punch are popular choices, given the extensive service network both carmakers have established, the features they offer in a small package, and most importantly, their pricing. However, there will soon be a new kid in the block to take away a chunk of sales from the Ignis and the Punch — the Citroen C3.
Let’s compare the Maruti Ignis against the Tata Punch and the soon to launch Citroen C3 in terms of design, dimensions, features, and engine specifications to see which of them packs the most bang for the buck.
Pricing – Maruti Suzuki Ignis vs Tata Punch vs Citroen C3
The Maruti Suzuki Ignis is priced between Rs 5.35 lakh and 7.72 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi, while the Tata Punch is priced from Rs 5.82 lakh to 9.48 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. We can expect the Citroen C3 to be priced in a similar bracket given that the Ignis and the Punch are its key competitors in the segment, while the higher-spec C3 can borderline the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza as well.
Ignis vs Punch vs C3 – Design and dimensions
All three vehicles have distinguishing styles. The Maruti Suzuki Ignis features a squarish front fascia with large headlights and a chunky grille. Towards the rear, the design continues to give the Ignis a broad C-pillar and again, squarish tail lamps. The Ignis is more of a tall hatchback than an SUV and Maruti Suzuki calls it an Urban SUV.
The Tata Punch draws its design language from its older siblings, the Nexon, Harrier, and the Safari. It has DRLs in place of traditional headlights while the main lights themselves are placed lower. The squared-off wheel arches and plastic cladding give the Tata Punch a go-anywhere stance. Towards the rear, however, Tata could have made the design more appealing, as the tail lamps look shrunken when taking into the Punch’s overall design theme.
The Citroen C3 reminds you of the C5 Aircross with a beefy front end. The sleek DRL and headlight setup adds to the C3’s SUV-ish appeal while the plastic cladding and faux skid plate add to it. However, when moving toward the rear of the C3, it loses its SUV design to a tall hatchback look with the wrap-around tail lamps. Overall, the Citroen C3 is a good looking vehicle.
|Model||Citroen C3||Maruti Ignis||Tata Punch|
|Length||3,981 mm||3,700 mm||3,827 mm|
|Width||1,733 mm||1,690 mm||1,742 mm|
|Height||1,586 mm||1,595 mm||1,615 mm|
|Wheelbase||2,540 mm||2,435 mm||2,445 mm|
Amongst the three vehicles, the Citroen C3 boasts the longest wheelbase and length, which translates to better leg room and space, while the Tata Punch is the widest and tallest, which means better head and shoulder room.
Interior and features
In terms of features, all three vehicles will get the basics such as air conditioning, front and rear power windows, keyless entry, steering-mounted controls, and other basic comforts. The Ignis and the Punch get a 7.0-inch infotainment system with navigation and smartphone connectivity.
Some key differences between the two are that the Punch gets a 6 speaker Harman sound system, automatic climate control, connected car tech, a TFT instrument cluster, and a cooled glove box. The Ignis also gets 6 speakers, but the audio quality on the Harman sound system is better.
The Citroen C3 is expected to get a digital instrument console, a touchscreen infotainment system, vertical air vents, leather finish on the flat-bottom steering wheel and gear knob, and more. We will know more details closer to its launch in July.
Engine specifications – Ignis vs Punch vs C3
All three vehicles are available with a petrol engine only. The Maruti Suzuki Ignis gets the 1.2-litre petrol engine seen in the Swift and Dzire, mated to a 5-speed manual or an AMT gearbox. The Tata Punch is offered with a 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated engine again, mated to a manual or an AMT gearbox.
The Citroen C3 will be offered with two engine options — a 1.2-litre NA petrol and 1.2-litre turbo petrol. The engine will be mated to a standard 5-speed manual gearbox, however, we can expect a 7-speed DCT with the turbocharged variants.
|Specification||Citroen C3||Maruti Ignis||Tata Punch|
|Displacement (litres)||1.2 NA /1.2 Turbo||1.2 NA||1.2 NA|
|Power||81 bhp/109 bhp||82 bhp||85 bhp|
|Torque||115 Nm/190 Nm||113 Nm||113 Nm|
|Mileage||19.8/19.4 kmpl||20.8 kmpl||18.9 kmpl|
The Citroen C3 in its naturally-aspirated form is the least powerful amongst the three, however, the turbocharged version of the C3 makes it more powerful than all the vehicles in this segment, including the Renault Kiger and the Nissan Magnite.
Which one should you buy — Ignis, Punch, or wait for the C3?
The Maruti Suzuki Ignis is the safest bet in the segment as Maruti is a well-known brand with the best service reach in India. The Tata Punch is new to the market, but looking at its sales in May 2022 (10,241 units), the choice cannot be wrong, given Tata’s reputation for expertise in building SUVs.
So what about the C3? Citroen is a new brand in India, but globally, Citroen is a well-known brand when it comes to passenger vehicles as well as in the World Rally Championship — they know how to build good vehicles. The only hurdle with the C3 will be its service network, as the brand will not be able to keep up with Maruti Suzuki or Tata Motors.
However, once Citroen establishes a decent network in India that covers big cities first and smaller towns soon, Citroen can sell good numbers. But if we take the service network equation out of the way, the Citroen C3 is a vehicle for those who love nothing but a well-built crossover.