For a brand that relies mainly on conventional products, the Maruti Suzuki Ignis is a sure-shot way of setting itself apart. The sub-Swift hatchback breaks stereotypes and does so in a fashion that remains yet to be bettered by the competition. If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd but don’t want to leave Maruti Suzuki’s wide sales and service network, the Ignis can be the one for you. And more importantly, as a product itself, the Ignis doesn’t have too many negatives, either.
There’s nothing quite like the Ignis on the hatchback market right now, and that’s saying something. The upright stance, full-of-character appearance, bright DRLs, and funky alloys set the car apart. And if you aren’t satisfied with all that, there’s a list of customisation options available, too. For most ,the rear takes some getting used to, but in reality, it’s not a bad design at all. Even in the lower-spec versions, the Maruti Ignis manages to look right. The 180 mm of ground clearance helps it travel over most road imperfections without throwing a fit.
If the exterior is interesting, the interior is quirky. And in a good way, that is. The dashboard design — with its protruding screen, toggle switches, and even visible metal on the centre console — is hard to beat. There’s a good amount of room inside, and the driving position can be suited for almost anyone. Sadly the seats fail to offer side support, which if you’re cornering hard, can be a problem. But that aside, the Ignis has lots to like in its interior.
The front-wheel- drive chassis of the Ignis is responsive, and although it can handle large bumps as well, it doesn’t feel unsettled while cornering. The steering is a bit light but is responsive and if you’re a keen driver, the Ignis can be quite rewarding. Part of the reason behind that is the range of engines. The rev-happy 1.2-litre petrol engine makes 81 bhp and 113 Nm, and aids from the low weight of the car. The 5-speed manual gearbox shifts well, but if you are happy to switch to an AT, the Ignis offers the intermediate solution: an automated manual transmission. It does curb the overall fun nature of the car but adds practicality and ease of use.
Prices for the Maruti Suzuki Ignis (Petrol) start at Rs 4.66 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi. The top-spec version costs Rs 6.51 lakh. Prices for the AMT-equipped Maruti Suzuki Ignis Automatic begin from Rs 5.82 lakh and go all the way up to Rs 7.05 lakh. It must be noted that while the MT version is available in four trims: Sigma, Delta, Zeta, and Alpha; the AT is available only Delta onwards, that is in three trims.
Its major competition exists in the form of the Hyundai Grand i10. If you’re looking for something slightly larger — and more conventional — there’s the Maruti Suzuki Swift proving to be a good alternative, too. One must keep in mind that the Ignis (Diesel) is no longer available, which narrows its appeal even further. The Ford Freestyle is another option worth a look. It’s different from the staple choices, and has enough on offer to make the buyer feel special, too.