Maruti Suzuki Ignis: First Drive Report

Any new introduction by Maruti Suzuki in India has to have a huge curiosity angle. This holds true for recently launched Maruti Ignis which had us users wanting to know more about this premium urban compact vehicle. Touted as a premium offering, the Ignis is being sold through Maruti's Nexa dealerships which makes it all the more important. Thus, would Maruti Suzuki Ignis be able go beyond than just making a name for its self, let's take a closer look, shall we?

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: First Drive Report

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: Exterior Design 
Tall boy design has been an integral part of the hatchback segment of which Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, Hyundai Santo are prime examples. Having said that, what really has caught the fascination of consumers is the SUV type of a look that the manufacturers are not afraid to experiment with. As a result we have the Ignis which brings forward new age design along with traits of iconic cars like Maruti 800 and Maruti Wagon R.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: First Drive Report

Upfront the Maruti Suzuki Ignis has an unconventional design, more on the lines of a small SUV. It is characterized by a single frame grille that stands to provide LED projector headlamps on either side with DRL's (Daytime Running Lights). The presence of chrome strips further enhances it appeal. Sitting right below is a curvaceous bumper that features circular fog lamps with chrome surrounds. Overall, the front fascia look quite premium

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: First Drive Report

Over to the side and compact dimensions will immediately point towards other design elements that include flared wheel arches, 3D trapezoidal 5 spoke black coloured alloy wheels and OVRM's with indicator inserts. Having said, one aspect to look out for is the thick C-pillar that features signature Suzuki Progressive Traid Mark. What basically are three bars which lend a unique design to this vehicle. 

While the rear has a wedged tailgate, up-kept windscreen and square tail lamps are an integral party of the design.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: First Drive Report

Maruti Suzuki Ignis : interiors 
Despite its impressive exteriors, the interiors of Maruti Suzuki Ignis are no less either. It's dual tone cabin gives the impression of a spacious and a very airy cabin. Its dash board for instance is made of good quality plastics as it further reiterates the premium appeal. Speaking off the dash, the instrument cluster features two analogue meters, one for speed and the one shows the RPM. To the extreme right is a digital information display that provides details like mileage, distance till tank empty, fuel meter among others.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: First Drive Report

While the centre console caters to what Maruti is calling it Tab like infotainment system which features Navigation, a reverse camera, Apple Car Play and android  auto. However one crucial point to note of here is that these just mentioned features have been given a miss in the AMT variant of both petrol and diesel. Instead what the automatic's get is a very basic looking infotainment system which for the price point is a bit of a concern. So is the fact that on the outside there are no projector headlamps and DRL's.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: First Drive Report

In regards to comfort, the driver and co-passenger seat provide good amount of cushioning that will make long and short drives pleasurable. The presence of ample head, shoulder and legroom further helps the cause. Moving to the rear, one might be a bit concerned about space but to yours and our amazement the Ignis very roomy (in the case of head, shoulder and legroom) here too. 260 litres of boot space is sufficient to store luggage for a short weekend getaway. In the case of safety, Maruti Ignis offers ABS with EBD, dual front airbags, ISOFIX, pedestrian protection for front and side impact as standard figment across the entire model rage.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: First Drive Report

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: Performance 
This the portion that most of us would be waiting for isn't it? Alright so before we begin let us just refresh your memory by mentioning the specs. The all-New Maruti Suzuki Ignis comes in two variations – a 1.2 litre petrol and a 1.3 litre diesel. First petrol this 1197cc unit produces a maximum power output of 61 Kw with 113 Nm torque. On the other hand, the diesel is a 1248cc oil burner capable of churning out 55.2 Kw of power along side 190 Nm torque. Because of time constraint as generally is the case during first drives we shall only the talking about the manuals of both petrol and diesel.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: First Drive Report

Beginning with petrol, the 1.2 litre powertrain feels very refined. It is so silent that at times you wonder whether or not the engine is on. In regards to performance, one can safely say that the acceleration is linear and at no point does this mill feel strained. The 5-speed manual transmission does well to provide seamless shifts. Now for the diesel, this 1.3 unit unlike most engines is fairly well insulated resulting in minimal NVH level. Similar to petrol the refinement level is really impressive and in fact it does not feature any lag like many diesels in its class. The 5 speed manual transmission on board works exceptionally well in its case.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: First Drive Report

Now to the other aspect, which is the Ignis's ride and handling characteristics. Well the engineers at Maruti Suzuki do seem to have put endless number of hours to make it perfect. This compact vehicle glides over pothole and broken roads with ease. We must say that suspension is well suited our Indian road conditions. Whereas in the case of handling, for the duration that we drove this car there were no signs of real concern as there was very minimal amount of body roll. The biggest plus point out there being that it feels well planted at all times.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: Verdict
After having been up close and personal with the All-New Maruti Ignis for one entire day there is no doubt in our mind that this premium compact offering is going to attract many towards it. This is because it's got an impressive looking exterior design while the interior quality, fit and finish matches to that off a premium vehicle. The level of comfort and space too are great which is unexpected from a vehicle of its stature. While the performance ticks all the right boxes for individuals who are on the lookout for a car that not only looks different but feels the same way and drives in a similar manner. So competition better watch out because the Maruti Suzuki Ignis could just be a None of Kind vehicle for the millennials.