Maruti Ignis Long Term Review
The design of the Ignis is definitely out of the box having a funky styling
I love the idea of using a small car for my daily travel because honestly there's just too much traffic in Mumbai and it makes less sense to lug around a large car everywhere. While I have been using the Hyundai Elantra CRDI AT for my day-to-day trips, decided to try out the Ignis diesel MT for a while to see whether it is something that can be termed as a near-perfect city car. While I like small cars, I also like having a good equipment list and with automakers launching loaded variants of their small cars, it isn't surprising to see hatchbacks with features that were once found in only C-segment sedans.
So one fine day, arrived a blue Maruti Ignis Alpha 1.3 MT with black alloys, roof and ORVMs. A lot of people find the Ignis' styling quirky or ugly-looking but I personally really like the design and find it quite funky. Maruti offers tons of customisation options for the roof graphics, alloy wheels, ORVMs, interiors, etc. and I like the way our test car is specced. It doesn't look over-the-top and still has a sporty essence to it. Visually, the Ignis is quite small in size, especially from the rear quarter angle.
I have driven the Ignis multiple times in the past and knew what to expect inside. Since ours is the Alpha trim, it comes loaded with all the features like automatic climate control, touchscreen SmartPlay infotainment system which gets Apple CarPlay, Voice Commands, etc. Overall, I'm impressed with the equipment list. The cabin itself is quite small and isn't that spacious. The front seats are large but I found the cushioning to be very soft and this tends to get slightly uncomfortable over long drives. I have sat in the rear seat only once and there's a reason why I didn't get in back there again - decent space but limited comfort.
The suspension set up of the Ignis is on the bouncier side and more of this bounciness is felt at the rear where it gets uncomfortable for passengers over bad roads. In fact, a lot of people aren't a fan of the ride quality and this is one of the more significant downers of this hatchback. The handling is fairly good and there isn't much body roll too. The steering gives out average feedback but another grouse is that it doesn't self-centre just like some of its siblings like the Dzire, Ciaz and Baleno. Strange!
The 1.3-litre diesel offers strong performance and is fuel-efficient too
The familiar 1.3-litre DDiS engine powers the engine and it is offered in the 75 PS tune similar to the Swift, Baleno and Dzire. This is a well-known engine and its reliability is top notch. What I dislike about this engine is the massive turbo lag which requires you to shift gears more frequently. This aside, power delivery is good once the turbo starts spooling and the Ignis pulls cleanly from 2000-4500 RPM. The mid-range has a very good rush of pep and the Ignis has no qualms in touching speeds well over the ton.
Fuel efficiency is another plus point of the Ignis. On a sedate long drive, I've easily extracted more than 20 km/l which is excellent. The vehicle is still continuously averaging out at 17.1 km/l which isn't bad at all and I'm super happy with the cost savings that come with it. The gear shifts are also very slick and the clutch is equally light. The brakes on our test car were performing optimally initially but Maruti promptly got the car serviced wherein the discs were skimmed and this has led to a noticeable improvement in braking performance.
So after driving the car for about 2500 kms, this is what I feel. The Maruti Ignis is a very good package and while it doesn't pack in the kind of space that the Baleno has, I feel this is made for a different target audience. It is quite peppy to drive, extremely fuel efficient, looks cool (subjective) and is loaded to the brim with features. While I reckon Maruti has been a bit optimistic with its pricing, I think the Ignis makes sense for people who want a compact runabout that is inexpensive to run and doesn't disappoint on the equipment front.
* Compact footprint
* Grabs eyeballs in a jiffy
* Funky design
* Feature-loaded interior
* Umpteen customisation options
What's Not So Cool
* Poor rear seat comfort
* Turbo lag in the low end
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