Feel-Good City Slicker

By Aneesh Srinivasan

 

Maruti Suzuki has become synonymous with the family car. Their latest offering, the Ignis is one of its kind, with the design a mix of modern and retro. Their Nexarange of hatchbacks launched last year looks upmarket yet is affordable for the first-time car buyer. The torchbearer for this rangeis the S-Cross which is selling well. Then camethe Baleno, which still sellsvery well. The Ignis is the latest addition to the Nexa line up.


Maruti Suzuki has found another winner in Ignis

The rear however looks like that of a1980’s car, it looks vintage. This confluence of different styles makes it attractive. It has fish-like gills on the C-pillar, which itself is quite thick. The grille also looks sporty and the accents on the hood add to the overall sportiness of the car. The roofline is quite high, giving it the tall boy appearance that Maruti made famous with the Wagon-R. The flared wheel arches give it a beefy look, which is new for Maruti.

 

When you get into the car, you’d be hard pressed to find one element that resembles the Maruti of yore. The designers seem to have torn up the playbook. The huge tablet like touchscreen infotainment system is what catches your eyes as you seat yourself in the driver’s seat. The dash however is quite plain for a car in this price range. It has a plain white and black design. The driver seat itself is well padded and comfortable. Visibility from the driver’s seat is wonderful as you areseated quite high off the ground.

Maruti has done a really job when it comes to the design. The front looks really aggressive and the headlampsare all new units, with LED DRLs that look uber cool.

 

There is a rotary type control for the aircon vent and toggles for other controls, which makes you feel like you’re in the cockpit of a fighter jet. There are body coloured door handles inside the car and the cubbyhole is also colour coordinated with the exterior. The touchscreen infotainment system comes with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The rear seats are comfortable too with ample legroom and headroom. This is possible because of the overall boxy shape of the car. The rear seats can also be split 60:40 to make more boot space.

 

The engine is very familiar. The diesel and petrol engines are taken from the Baleno. The Ignis being lightweight helps it accelerate faster than the Baleno. The diesel engine produces 75 horsepower and 190 Nm, while the petrol churns out 84 hp and 113 Nm. The car is available with both manual and automated manual transmission configurations. The manual seems more responsive in the diesel while the AMT gearbox seems more eager to accelerate in the petrol motor.

 

Variants use the same terminology as the Baleno and S-Cross. They are Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Alpha, with Sigma and Alpha being the lower and higher ends respectively. The best pick would be the Zeta AMT petrol, as it has a sweet combination of features and a reasonable price. Prices starts at Rs. 4.59 lakh for the petrol and goes up to Rs. 7.80 lakh for the top-end diesel. The top-end of the line features15-inch black-alloy wheels, SmartPlay Infotainment system, sunglass like front grille and headlamps and much more.

 

The ride quality and overall usability of the car is unmatched. The small size lets you weave through traffic with ease. Combined with a peppy engine, it makes for an enjoyable city- driving experience. Sadly, on the highway manners the engine feels inadequately powered and the steering doesn’t weigh up well. In sum,I’d say that Ignis is a great car for the daily office commute or the occasional highway run. Considering the price and features, I think Maruti has another best seller on its hands.

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