Maruti already sells eight small cars, nine if you include the Brezza. What makes the Ignis special?
Now here you will be able to trace the Suzuki lineage, thanks to common switchgear but even then, by Maruti’s usual standards, this is a very unique cabin. That exterior funkiness carries over to the interior with body color-coded inserts around the gear lever and door pulls. The dash is this unique black-and-white two-tone scheme that looks really nice, the infotainment (the Baleno/Brezza touchscreen) is now mounted like an iPad in the same fashion as new Mercs and BMWs and the instrumentation lighting is supposed to be inspired by EDM. It didn’t give me a headache so I can’t verify the latter claim.
Space inside is also remarkable for a car that is only 3.7 meters long. There’s enough and more room up front and because the driver’s seat is high set, ingress/egress is very good, the visibility is pseudo-SUV and the driving position is so good I didn’t complain too much about the lack of telescopic adjustability for the steering. Even back seat passengers have enough knee room with the seat adjusted to my driving position, only three abreast will be a squeeze.
The tyres are common to all variants, 175/65 15-inch Bridgestone Ecopia tyres.
Links to the Baleno
The Ignis is based on the same 5th generation platform as the Baleno but with all the dimensions and hard points being different, what’s common is only the philosophy particularly on crash safety and the load paths. Another common trait is lightweight. The petrol Ignis weighs just 835kg and for a benchmark, the equivalent Baleno is 865kg while the current Swift is 935kg.
Nippy and nimble
I first drove the petrol manual Ignis and the first time I floored it I was startled. Okay this isn’t a 200bhp hot hatch but for a little 1.2-litre 82bhp petrol, the Ignis has a remarkably zippy nature with wheelspin easily available and sprightly initial turn of speed to jump in front of all the traffic at the lights. It is also a very refined motor, inaudible at tick over, and with a nice note when revved. In fact it is a perfect accompaniment to the Ignis – a zippy motor in a light car makes for a genuinely fun city commuter. And the gearbox is excellent with slick short throws and a very precise operation.