As the aircraft hovered above Chennai, the sky was littered with clouds which appeared like popcorn. Someone sitting higher up than all that popcorn had set the thermostat to a pleasant 26 degrees for an otherwise not so balmy Chennai. So after touchdown, I was on my way to sample what visually looked like Maruti’s most entertaining new age package till date after the Swift. Here’s what we returned with after spending a day and a bit of an evening with the new Maruti Suzuki Ignis. Will this be their next high grossing blockbuster? Read on…
The Ignis has gone on sale with a choice of two engine options. A 1.2-liter VVT petrol and the 1.3-liter DDIS diesel. Both of them being tried and tested motors. In this Urban Crossover, the petrol manages to develop 82 bhp at 6000 rpm and 113 Newtons at 4200 clicks. The dirty fuel powered motor on the other hand pumps out 75 bhp at 4000 rotations and 190Nm at 2000 rpm. Spoiling you for choice, Maruti is offering both motors either paired to a 5-speed manual or an AMT system with as many ratios.
New Maruti Suzuki Ignis Engine And Performance
Other than the fact that all of us do love the convenience of convenience, a lot of us manage to roll up our sleeves and fight their lazy self. If you belong to the latter category, the Maruti Suzuki Ignis in its manual guise will reward you in Gold for the sweet sufferings your left limbs experience, especially the one that sips petrol.
Paired to a slick shifting box, the 1.2-liter motor offers fantastic driveability and takes off feeling healthy, right from the word go. Off the line, a very little amount of clutch pedal trickery is required to get that motor to sing. However, once past that, it can blurt out a fruity symphony right till 6200 rpm, electronics throttling the motor’s neck at that point. Combustion is at its sweetest in the mid-range though, where all you need in the city are those joyful 2nd and 3rd ratios to swiftly ant through a rubber and metal maze.
Out on the open road, slicing through the gates while mashing the pedal results in some aurally rewarding, swift progress. However, it is best to upshift between 4000-5000 rotations, as beyond that, the power curve flattens. We were having a laugh along the coastline on the East Coast Road, sometimes pointlessly downshifting with heady blips, just because it was so much fun.
Our time spent with the Diesel powered, manual geared Ignis was brief. However, it was easy to figure that although it powers a rather featherweight athlete, inside the Ignis, its characteristics have been altered over the years. Gone are those days when the same engine would pack a juicy punch after 2000 clicks. Now, it seems tamed and well mannered throughout its powerband. Initial driveability has improved and as a reminiscence of the past, you still feel a mild kick in the seat at the 2k rpm mark. For a diesel, it still remains rev happy though, and the only reasons we’d pick this over the petrol would be in favors of economy and if the car will spend most of its time on the highway. Gearshifts on this one too are positive, smooth, working in harmony with a light on your foot clutch pedal.
That man inside the gearbox (AMT)
He continues to stay there. But he’s in a jolly mood when he’s fed with petrol. And since power isn’t confined to a particular rev range like it is in the diesel, the AMT system merges well with the engine’s nippy characteristics. There’s a brief pause before upshifts for sure, but downshifts at many points matches manual intelligence and efforts. And as long as you’re just ambling along, being gentle on the throttle, shifts are smooth and somewhat seamless too. Although when you dig the pedal, the system gets playful, can hold a gear right till the redline in manual mode, but the upshift will cause a typical headnod. Convenient, yet almost as much fun as the manual, minus the clutch pedal.
Paired to the 1.3-liter diesel engine, the AMT system’s leisurely character comes to the fore. Although here too, if you’re making steady progress, shifts are somewhat nod and pause free. But then if you decide to make a move on, it takes a long pause before calling for a lower gear. Being heavy on the right pedal makes the system hold a gear, surpass the ideal leverage point of this torquey motor and instead makes it rev till its upper echelons in haste.
Thankfully, there’s a manual mode which offers some control to your left arm, allowing you to shift at an ideal rev point. Misers will hate the fact that this system refuses to shift into 5th at speeds less than 55-60 kph, unless the engine is rotating at more than 1500 clicks. The AMT system on both variants gets a ‘Creep’ mode which comes on when you come off the brake pedal and sets the car in turtle motion. A boon in bumper-to-bumper scenarios and unique to Maruti’s AMT systems.
New Maruti Suzuki Ignis Ride And Handling
For its size and weight, the Ignis rides and handles well. It might be lightweight, but the chassis’ high speed behaviour is positive and composed. It is slightly let down though by a disconnected, tuned for ease steering system, which maintains its behaviour even at high speeds. In the city though, it works effortlessly, allowing you to exploit the eager nature of the chassis. The steering system on diesel variants do get that much needed weight though, which does a lot of good to your confidence when the vertically resting needle starts climbing.
Since our driving route was carved on well paved roads which pointed straight at all times, an elaborate test will reveal how the Ignis fares around bends. However, it is firmly sprung, and around the occasional sweeping corners we encountered, it went about its business without tilting much towards the Port or the Starboard. Has the makings of a fun little hill climber, this car. The Ignis rides with a firm demeanor and feels taut. Through the odd pothole, or over a few undulations, it absorbed them well. The diesel variant rides on an even firmer setup to compensate for the weight, but overall, we like how handling has trumped over ride this time, even when the Ignis rides on low-rolling resistance 175/65, 15 inch rubber.
Braking performance felt adequate when the anchors were dropped and the system brings things to a halt in a progressive manner. Although we would’ve liked some more feel at the pedal.
New Maruti Suzuki Ignis Interiors And Features
Step inside the Ignis and you’d surprise yourself by the amount of space that has managed to sit inside such a compact shell. The front dashboard has been punched hard towards the engine and doesn’t pout much. Its lower surface curves neatly towards the inside to leverage additional legspace, while the flat, horizontal layout provides good sense of space.
Quality of materials is above average. Don’t believe us, just look at those stalks.
Once you open the door, a colour coded center console that matches the exterior paint greets you. It even has three matching slats to go with the ones found on the C-pillar. The cylindrical door handle too paints itself in the same shade. A new steering wheel design makes its debut on the Ignis and feels good to hold. It gets switches for telephony and audio control, and looks savvy, courtesy of those silver finished bottom spokes. It only can be adjusted for tilt though.
The instrument cluster gets EDM inspired illumination, where a large vertical speedometer is flanked by a rev counter on the left and a multi-information TFT screen to its right.
Switches to toggle between the information on the MID miss their spot on the wheel though and find space on the dashboard instead.
Circular AC vents nestle inside a faux carbon fiber housing at the extreme ends of the dashboard, while chunky horizontal units are separated by a floating infotainment system.
We found the midddle-right AC vent directly blowing air on our left palms and chilling it to the bone. Thankfully, air flow direction can be controlled.
Top-spec variants get the Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatible touchscreen system, while the lower ones make do with a buttoned system with an orange display in the same housing. Audio quality through the OEM speakers is good and music is largely distortion free even at high volume levels. Audiophiles will need an upgrade though.
Infotainment screen also doubles up as your eyes at the rear
The AC controls take the cake for being the most attractive part in the cabin. Settled in a mini boombox styled housing, it gets aircraft style switches which urge you to operate them pointlessly.
Although lower variants get a basic, rudimentary dial system. Below the AC controls are circular flaps which hide a 12V/120W electrical socket and USB/Aux-in ports.
The front chairs offer great bolstering, however, have been cushioned on the softer side. Nevertheless, they offer a comfortable place to be in, where the driver’s seat can be adjusted for height.
Here’s the surprise. One look from the outside and you’d think the rear seat would be more like a bus stop bench. But No. It isn’t. Even when the front chairs are in a position to seat 6 footers in comfort, another similar sized human body can be comfortable seated behind, without his/her knees fouling with the backrest. There’s a fair amount of thigh support too, and although not lavish, and except the limited headroom, the rear seat is surprisingly comfortable. Really!
Boot space with the parcel tray totals up to 260 liters, which isn’t bad, considering that the rear backrest can be bent forward in a 60:40 ratio to open up additional cargo space.
New Maruti Suzuki Ignis Design And Styling
It certainly doesn’t. But it is. The front is very today, courtesy of those U-shaped DRLs, stitched around a boxy unit that houses a projector setup on higher models. The single piece honeycomb patterned grille is outlined by chrome and does well to augment the car’s wide stance up front.
Below that sits a massive bumper, where circular fog lamps occupy space in a chrome environment at each end. Partitioned in three, a prominent intake grille takes center stage, surrounded by a mesh patterned finish for the other two blocks.
Stealing the show on the sides are seriously bloated wheel arches and an angular window line that is underlined by a sharp crease that kinks upwards near the C-pillar.
Fellow journalists said it looked like an Adidas logo. To me, the three slats on the rear quarter panel looked like they had been picked from a Russian machine that flew in the 80s.
Oh and we love how the alloy wheel pattern matches the DRL’s design.
The rear is where the Ignis somehow reminds us of tha Alto and the Ritz in the same space. The rear glass, tailgate and those lights, when looked at head on, do look contrastingly narrow compared to the flat, wide front.
Then those flared arches, which also swallow the rear bumper remind of the Ritz. But then move sideways, and you start appreciating the Fastback like angle of the tailgate which makes the whole thing look dense, tightly packaged, like the front of an MSFV.
Maruti’s pro-fun, pro-new, pro-bold approach is instantly visible in the Ignis’ design. It looks alive, is expressive and if it had a mouth, maybe it could talk. Rare for a car of this segment to stand out like this during times when everybody wants to play safe.
Given the fact that this generation thrives on individuality, Maruti is betting big on personalisation. So if you aren’t happy with the looks of the car alone, there are roof wraps, colour options for ORVMs, spoilers, fog lamp garnishes, and interior packages you can pick from.
We are glad that the Ignis doesn’t skimp on safety, and comes with dual airbags, ABS+EB, ISOFIX mounts and Suzuki’s TECT (Total Effective Control Technolgy)as standard on all variants of the car.
New Maruti Suzuki Ignis Buying Advice
The Ignis is a bold move in these bold times. Times which call for something as conventional as paper to be replaced by technology. Times when the might of magazines and the powerful aroma of newspapers is fast being outglowed by the brightness of a little screen. When not even the authority of a crisp currency note is able to hold the flame against this wave. And with this car and their new approach, Maruti has caught that pulse well.
No longer will you be dictated or directed by some grey haired advice to settle for the safe and sane four wheeled choices the country’s biggest car maker provided. The Ignis will appeal to the melanin in your hair on its own. For the ones who’ve got grey already, this is a great dye, one you’ve got to try.
New Maruti Suzuki Ignis Prices
- Ignis Sigma Petrol: INR 4.56 lakh
- Ignis Delta Petrol: INR 5.17 lakh
- Ignis Zeta Petrol: INR 5.63 lakh
- Ignis Aplha Petrol: INR 6.47 lakh
- Ignis Delta Petrol (Automatic): INR 5.72 lakh
- Ignis Zeta Petrol (Automatic): INR 6.17 lakh
- Ignis Alpha Petrol (Automatic): INR 7.01 lakh
- Ignis Delta Diesel: INR 6.28 lakh
- Ignis Zeta Diesel: INR 6.75 lakh
- Ignis Alpha Diesel: INR 7.54 lakh
- Ignis Delta Diesel (Automatic): INR 6.83 lakh
- Ignis Zeta Diesel (Automatic): INR 7.30 lakh
- Ignis Alpha Diesel (Automatic): INR 8.08 lakh
New Maruti Suzuki Ignis Technical Specifications
|Number of Cylinders||4||4|
|Max Power (kW@rpm)||61@6000||55.2@4000|
|Max Torque (Nm@rpm)||113@4200||190@2000|
|Type||5 MT / AMT||5 MT / AMT|
|Front Suspension||McPherson Strut|
|Rear Suspension||Torsion Beam|
|Power Steering Type||Electrical|
|Turning Radius||4.7 m|
|Tyre Size||175/65R 15|
|Kerb Weight (kg)||825 – 860||940 – 960|
|Length x Width x Height (mm)||3700 x 1690 x 1595|
|Wheel Base (mm)||2435|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||180|
|Boot Space (With Parcel Tray)||260 L|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||32 L|