Maruti already sells eight small cars, nine if you include the Brezza. What makes the Ignis special?
I think I’m getting old. No, scratch that, I’m definitely getting old. I didn’t know who DJ Axwell was. I didn’t know that millennials are now a market segment all by themselves with enough purchasing power (or leverage over their dads) for manufacturers to train their gun sights on. I got up and got some dinner when a Japanese DJ and French artist hit us assembled journos with a supposedly world-renowned and very blistering light and sound show. And EDM gives me a headache.
If ever there was a car to make the existing automotive journalist fraternity feel old it is the Ignis. And right there you have the unique selling point of Maruti’s tenth small car, if you include the Brezza in the list. With this car it is all about the youth, kids who think I’m mad to skip the Ignis’ national launch because it was headlined by DJ Axwell; kids who, apparently, have not lacked for anything in their (short) lives. At the risk of giving away the verdict of this drive review this is also a car that I happen to like very much.
Doesn’t Maruti have a design language?
Not by the look of things! Stand the old Swift against the Baleno and Ignis, throw in the Alto, Celerio and Brezza, even the Ciaz, and there’s nothing cohesive about them; there’s no family lineage showing through. I’m definitely not a fan of what Audi and now Merc and BMW are doing, making all their cars look identical, but this is the other extreme.
That said doesn’t the Ignis look fabulous? This is my personal opinion, you might hate it, but that again is a key USP of the Ignis – it’s a car that you either love or hate, there’s no in between. All cars today are very well styled but even in that lot, the Ignis comes across as a refreshing breath of fresh air. It’s cool and funky. There’s no need for the three slashes on the thick C-pillar but it’s there all the same and it looks cool (also harks back to the Cervo small car that Suzuki made in the seventies – the only family link I could find). The LED DRLs endow it with a unique and rather fetching visual signature, complimented by the LED projector lamps. Then there’s the urban-SUV stance courtesy the high ground clearance, tall roof, flared wheel arches, blacked-out alloy wheels and even the clamshell kind of design on the bonnet. Many of my peers didn’t like the rear styling but I find myself taken in by that also, even the gaping mouth carved into the rear bumper. Whatever you might think about the Ignis, you can’t get away from the fact that it is funky as hell.