Maruti, it seems, can do no wrong and is belting out one hit after another but potentially this could be one of its biggest gambles and successes yet. The Ignis is the answer from Maruti for our increasing appetite for crossovers or hatchbacks which look like SUVs. You can term the Ignis as a replacement for the Ritz but this one is different in many ways. Maruti has packed in a lot to make sure it will be a hit. Personalization, AMT with both engines and packed full with features, the Ignis seems to have it all. Just like other Nexa products, the Ignis has four trim levels- Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Apha.
Powertrain & Performance:
The engine options are the familiar 1.2 petrol and 1.3 diesel. The petrol develops 83 bhp and 113Nm while the diesel has 75 bhp and 190Nm. Standard is a 5-speed manual while an AMT is available on both diesel and petrol for the first time. In terms of fuel efficiency it is 20.89 kmpl for the petrol and 26.80 kmpl for the diesel- manual and AMT figures are same. It is the AMT that intrigued us the more and we have to say the diesel AMT is one of the picks of the range. Unlike the manual, lag is well contained and in the city with stop-go traffic the AMT makes driving easier. Shift quality is quite smooth with jerky shifts being kept at bay for most of the time. You you know its an AMT but for city use, this AMT is among the best we have encountered for this type of gearbox.
The petrol AMT is also fairly peppy and while not as sweet as the manual to drive, is pretty responsive and good enough for city use. Just like the diesel AMT, the jerks are wiped out and not as pronounced as some of the earlier AMT cars. The excellent 180mm ground clearance also helps it tackle our roads better plus its nimble and agile in the city (4.7m turning radius) with its light steering. As far as ride and handling goes it is one of the best cars below Rs 10 lakh from Maruti.
Build & Styling
Bland is no longer acceptable in small cars and the Ignis is an interesting design. We like it. It is compact with a 3700mm length but does not appear so with its chunky crossover inspired proportions. The wheel arches, roof rails and cladding gives it presence while the front-end is easily the best angle with the fantastic loking grille merged with those nicely designed headlamps. The side view is boxy and so is the rear but that is what elevates it from a mere hatch. Inside you will be surprised and it is among the best cabins yet from Maruti Suzuki.
Thanks to fewer shared parts with other Maruti cars, the distinctive design especially with the tablet like screen along with those unique switches and the steering wheel looks really good. Quality is better than rivals and also is very impressive. We like the driving position and there is a lot of space with excellent headroom. The rear has good space for two while three can be squeezed in. The 260l boot is decent too.
Features-wise you get the lot with the top-end getting a touchscreen infotainment system with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus you get push button start/stop, climate control, electric folding ORVMs etc. In terms of safety dual airbags and ABS with EBD is standard.
There is no doubt that Maruti has played this one perfectly. The Ignis offers a lot, notably its design with its crossover styling plus quality interiors with enough features and space. AMTs with both engines is an excellent idea with the diesel AMT being the pick of the range. There will also be many takers for the petrol though the best to drive is the petrol manual. Still we feel with the AMT, the Ignis offers a competent package and while it is not cheap we see no reason why this will not be a success.