Maruti-Suzuki in India is currently at an all time high, with mostly all its recently launched models being in high demand. The Baleno and the Vitara Brezza have made a big name for themselves and are currently bestsellers in their segments. The S-Cross also has been selling steadily and the Ciaz has been very well received. Riding on this success, Maruti-Suzuki has launched another car model positioned between the best selling Swift and the highly successful Baleno – The IGNIS.
Maruti-Suzuki is targeting the funkily trendy-looking Ignis at the Millennials. Millennials being those born between 1982 and 2002. They are the ones who have grown up with all the latest gadgets and technology. Ignis means Fire in Latin and the Suzuki Ignis has been around in the overseas market since its first generation in 2000. The current Ignis was first showcased at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015 and was then codenamed as the Suzuki iM-4. The final production version and the name Ignis was officially given to it at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show and the car started selling in the Japanese market in 2016. For India, the Ignis was first showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo in Delhi and has recently been launched just a few days back for the market.
The Maruti Suzuki Ignis is being sold via the company’s premium dealership NEXA and becomes the 3rd car model to be sold via this channel after S-Cross and the Baleno. We drive the strikingly unique and funky-looking new car from India’s largest carmaker Maruti-Suzuki on the East Coast Roads of Chennai to get you this extensive road-test review.
At first look, the Maruti Suzuki Ignis appears daringly different and very eye-catchy. You will be forced to give the Ignis a second look and many more due to its rather uncanny and unconventional, but extremely funky looks. It appears like a tall boy design from some angles. It also looks like a Micro SUV from other angles. But something surely makes this car stand out from the other models in the segment because of its uncharacteristic design. The design language is more like a crossover or a micro SUV. The face of the Ignis comes with a slim grill, styled with slim chrome lines laid on the black mesh design back grill.
The face gets its unique styling with the large rectangular headlights. These headlights come with neat-looking white LED day time running lights and LED projection illumination. The sides of the headlights come with the same mesh design as on the center grill. The front bumper is flat in design and comes with a large air dam in the middle. Round fog lamps placed on the bumpers come with chrome inserts running around them along with black grill housing. The bonnet is left clean in design and gels well with the overall styling.
The styling on the side profile is largely Crossover-like, with sharp flared wheel arches that look beefy and muscular. It comes with unpainted wheel arch cladding and running board cladding, flat door panels along with angularly cut styling on the rear quarter glass, 175/65R spec large 15-inch Bridgestone tyres mounted on sporty black multi spoke alloys. The Ignis gets unique 3 line angular indents on the C-Pillar that looks like the Adidas logo. The sides of the bonnet also get a slim fake air intake in black. Body-colored grab type door handles look neat and clean while the wing mirrors come mounted with LED turn lights. The window frames get blacked out masking.
The rear profile of the Ignis is a mixed bag. Some may like it and some may not. The styling is flat and angular with the rear windshield placed at a sharp angle and angular-shaped tail lamps that extend themselves on to the tail gate. The rear bumper is placed low and has a large unpainted part in between its profile to give it the dual tone effect. The roof gets a stalk type radio antenna placed on the rear section. The exterior styling is uncannily different and never seen in our market before. The paint quality and fit finish is excellent and the Ignis like the Brezza, comes in dual tone paint options with a blacked out roof.
Like the very different outside, the cabin area styling is also designed differently. The interior styling feels very fresh and unseen on any Maruti cars before this. The dashboard comes in dual-tone color with the top section in black and the bottom part in beige color shades. The dashboard is designed well with flat styling to it. The AC vents on the extreme corners come in a round shape and also get unique carbon-fiber skin around them. The middle AC vents come in rectangular styling with a dash of chrome on them to make them look premium. The steering comes in a all new 3-spoke styling with integrated audio, phone connectivity control buttons mounted on it. This steering can be manually adjusted for height but there is no reach adjust on it.
The instrument cluster is very well-designed and an easy to read unit, with two round dials for the RPM and speedo along with a LCD muti-function display placed in the right corner. The cluster gets a bright green grid design lighting on the top. The LCD MFD reads out outside temperature, local time, average fuel consumption, overall fuel efficiency, drive range, doors open or close warning, trip and ODO reading etc. The center dash is the highlight of the dashboard styling with a 6 inches full color touchscreen infotainment system. This is the same unit that also does its duty on the Baleno, S-Cross, Brezza and the Ciaz.
The infotainment unit is mounted like a Tab on a protruding thick glossy black finish frame with a dash of chrome lining around it. This is an highly advanced system that comes with MP3/CD, FM/AM Radio, USB and AUX connectivity, Bluetooth phone connectivity and also with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features. The unit also has a inbuilt GPS system. This system can read out your messages, take voice commands, read out audio books when connected to Apple or Android devices. This display also becomes the screen for the rear view camera while reversing. The touchscreen unit comes standard on the top-end fully loaded Alpha variant, while the other versions get manual audio head unit along Bluetooth, USB and AUX connectivity. Audio quality on both these units were excellent and the user interface on the touch-screen unit is one of the best in the segment currently.
Just below the infotainment system screen is the cockpit styled toggle control unit for the single zone climate control. The non Alpha trims come with manual control AC unit. The center console gets the transmission shifters and lots of storage bins in front of it. It comes with body-colored inserts, the inside doorgrabs too, come in body-colored shades. Seats get printed black fabric upholstery with the driver’s seat getting manual height adjust. The front seats are very comfortable and offer excellent all around visibility. The rear seats get 40-60 split features and come with two adjustable headrests.
Rear seating is comfortable and offers good back rest incline. Leg room, head room and shoulder room is excellent and a lot more than on the Swift. Three adults can sit in the rear comfortably, while two can sit with lots of extra space to spare. The Maruti Suzuki Ignis gets a boot space of 260 litres, allowing a lot of shopping bags or your luggage to fit in when needed. It gets a very well appointed cabin which is as trendy and different like it’s exteriors. The build quality and use of materials is also good and is high on comfort.
Engine – Drive – Transmission:
The Maruti Suzuki Ignis comes powered with one petrol and one diesel engine options. The 1.2L VVT Petrol engine comes with 83 PS of power and 113 Nm of torque while the Diesel option comes with the tried and trusted DDiS 1.3L motor that has 75 PS of power and 190 Nm of torque on it. Both the Petrol and Diesel options come with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed AMT, making it the first diesel small car from Maruti to get a AMT transmission. Maruti claims an overall mileage of 20.89 kmpl for the Petrol and 26.80 kmpl for the Diesel Ignis.
We drove the Petrol AMT and the Diesel Manual. Here is how they felt on the move. The AMT transmission on the Ignis is a highly refined unit. On the move, the typical AMT lag is evident at the start, but once the car gains some momentum, the power delivery feels very peppy and the gear shifts are very smooth and jerk-free. The cabin is well insulated from engine noise and road noise. The ride quality is good. At low speeds you do feel some adulation, but at high speeds the ride quality is rock solid. The steering feedback is positive and lively. The brakes have a good, positive bite to them and feel reassuring. The Ignis comes with ABS and EBD as standard and that helps a lot in the braking department.
We also drove the diesel Ignis with the manual transmission. This is the best-selling engine and has tons of torque and power under its belt. The 5-speed manual gear box has good positive shifts. The Ignis is a lighter car (940-960kgs) than the Swift and the power to weight ratio works in its favor. We did a top speed of around 160 kmph on the ECR Highway, and the Diesel Ignis felt rock solid and very confident at this speed. And with a claimed fuel efficiency of 26.80 kmpl, this would be my pick if I would have to choose one. The suspension setup is tuned on the harder side. Bad roads and bumps are absorbed nicely. Handling is very sharp and precise as is on the petrol version.
With the Ignis, Maruti-Suzuki has shown that it is ready for the future and will be launching all the latest global models in India. The design and styling on the Ignis is trendy and futuristic. The exteriors and interiors are very different than the rivals in the segment. It comes with the tried and trusted petrol and diesel engine options and manual and AMT automatic transmission options. On the equipment list, the Ignis gets all the goodies and much more that you may ask for. The top spec Petrol Alpha manual is priced at Rs. 6.69 lakhs and the top end Diesel comes in at Rs. 7.80 lakhs, making them a very good option if you are looking for a super trendy and stylish car in that segment.
Also Read: Maruti Suzuki Ignis Variant-wise Price List
Maruti Suzuki Ignis Photo Gallery:
Photography by Dr. Anand Narvekar