Its been over 1.5 years since the Maruti Suzuki Ignis made its market debut in India and slowly but steadily the market leader has managed to keep the sales momentum going strong. Maruti Suzuki Ignis was aimed at millennials and first-time buyers and was also rather positioned as a premium hatchback. Maruti Suzuki Ignis entered Express Drivers long-term fleet in November last year and is still my go-to car for city driving. It is the Zeta Automatic Petrol variant of the Maruti Suzuki Ignis that we had got and on may counts the car did manage to surprise me in the initial phase.
Let us get to the drive bits first, Maruti Suzuki is pushing its Auto Gear Shift (AGS) technology on all its cars and both petrol and diesel variants are now available with this AMT gearbox. I expected the tuning of the AMT gearbox to be slow in response, but Maruti Suzuki has come a long way and has tuned the AMT gearbox on the Maruti Suzuki Ignis very well.
The 1.2L petrol engine makes enough power to zip through the morning traffic. It holds the gear for a longer duration and also makes a nice peppy sound. However, its still a bit jerky especially at lower speeds. Every week I drove the Ignis for roughly about 200-250 kilometres and it did give me a mileage of about 14-15 kmpl.
Maruti Suzuki Ignis also features an instant fuel economy, which is a graph on your digital instrument cluster showing real-time mileage of the car based on your driving. The feature really works and if followed properly the mileage of the car went up to 18 kmpl in the city traffic. Maruti Suzuki claims a mileage of 19 kmpl on the petrol automatic version. Overall drive on the Ignis is fun and is an ideal car for everyday city driving.
The suspension of the Maruti Suzuki Ignis is a bot disappointing. It is very firm and not the most comfortable car over rough roads. However, the car is very stable and planted on high-speeds. I also used the Maruti Suzuki Ignis to shift houses and despite being a small car it is very spacious. The second-row seats can be folded easily and there was ample space for at least 4 big cartons and 2 small suitcases. However, most of the Ignis buyers are not going to use it for transportation purposes. The legroom and headroom of the rear seats is ample but due with width creates some problems and with three adults sitting expect shoulders to touch most of the times.
Now the other big problem is the price. Maruti Suzuki Ignis is sold through the NEXA channel and is a premium offering. The price of the Maruti Suzuki Ignis Petrol AMT starts at Rs 5.82 lakh and ranges to 7.04 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi). For all features including the DRLs, Automatic climate control, touchscreen infotainment system and automatic gearbox you need to shed over Rs 7.04 (Ex-showroom) which is too expensive. The lower variants, Delta and Zeta priced as per competition do not offer a touchscreen infotainment system and other features even on the top variant. Another big miss on these variants is the headlamp cluster does not feature LED DRLs like the top-end manual versions which make the AMT version look weak. Despite the absence of auto climate control, the A/C on the Ignis is very effective and manages to bring the temperature down inside the cabin quickly.
2018 Maruti Suzuki Swift also has the same issue of AMT variants (both petrol and diesel) missing out on touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control and LED DRLs. At Rs 6.34 lakh, Swift is still a better buy over the Ignis. Hyundai Grand i10’s AT version costs Rs 6.27 lakh and features DRLs and infotainment system. We haven’t driven the Automatic version of Hyundai Grand i10.
On the safety front, Maruti Suzuki Ignis is offering dual airbags and ABS as a standard offering. No screen sees no reverse camera but it does come with rear parking sensors that work well. It also gets security alarm system that is very sensitive and even a minor touch on the car while its locked will see the buzzer going out loud. This feature can really get annoying, on an average the buzzer on the Ignis went on for at least four times in a day. Rear wiper, speed-sensing auto door locks are other nice convenient features.
For a city drive, Maruti Suzuki Ignis is one of the better cars to drive, its compact size and powerful engine ensures a pleasurable drive, while it still does not justify the premium pricing, the increase in traffic and demand for petrol cars will see Maruti Suzuki Ignis as the first choice by many first-time buyers. Factory fitted customisation options provided by Maruti Suzuki Ignis is yet another USP that will attract young buyers.