I wouldn’t go as far as calling it love at first sight but the Ignis did leave an impression on me. I always found its compact dimensions and boxy styling to be very different from all the other small cars out there. Oddly, I found myself in the minority, as not everyone outside of the Autocar India HQ took as keenly to the Ignis’ retro-meets-new-age shape. Thankfully, the wife and daughter did. I still remember my daughter’s reaction when she saw ‘my’ Ignis for the first time. “Wow, how cute,” was the first thing she said. Then her eye caught the little she could see of the roof and exclaimed “Fancy roof!” Like father, like daughter, I guess!
The ‘fancy roof’ she spoke of was the roof sticker from Maruti’s personalisation menu and it gave the car even more attitude. Also, in my book, the standard-fit black wheels added much visual spunk. But there was more to the Ignis than just its looks. I was an absolute fan of the engine. It sure was zippy but the main highlight for me was its refinement. Silent and smooth; I think the engine is a gem. Mind you, the Ignis’ cabin surely doesn’t have the best soundproofing, but I could barely hear the engine when on the move, or even when idling.
SMOOTH CALL: Quick and efficient 1.2-litre petrol engine is very refined.
The Ignis proved really economical too, averaging 15-16kpl. Of course, there were other factors in play too. I leave home early to beat rush-hour traffic, and my 35km journey to work comprises large stretches of fast-moving highway. Also, that I was almost always alone in the car and only cruising helped too. As ever, I followed Autocar’s SOP of filling cars to the brim to get the most accurate fuel economy figure. And as the fuel log kept filling, I did notice a discrepancy of about 1km between the actual economy and the figure displayed on the multi-info display. It was no biggie for me but someone venturing outside of urban scapes in their Ignis will be well advised to keep an eye on the figures.
I took the Ignis out on my outdoor shoots as well and I was pleasantly surprised by its luggage-carrying capacity. Camera kits, tripods and lights are not heavy but they are all oddly shaped, so it helped that the rear seats split 60:40. Talking about lights, the Ignis’ LED projector headlamps illuminate the roads in clear white light and were an absolute boon.
The Ignis’ interiors impressed me too. I liked the large, easy-to-read touchscreen and the phone connectivity. In fact, the big screen was the first feature to catch everyone’s attention in the small cabin, but, unfortunately, whoever used it didn’t think very highly of the interface. I didn’t mind as much. The screen doubles as the display for the reverse camera and the entire system seems to have done its job well because I don’t remember turning for a look behind, even when reversing into the tightest of parking spots. Rearward visibility can be bit of an issue due to the chunky C-pillar but having the screen did help me.
KEEPING IT COOL: Uniquely designed AC console and switches add flair.
Of the other things, I also liked the air-conditioning unit and the switches felt good to use. The centre console has a big storage cavity and dual cupholders, and they were put to good use taking care of my wallet, phone and other knick-knacks. Also, the cupholder at the rear end of the console can hold a bottle of water.
While I liked much of the Ignis, the ride seemed a little harsh over bad roads and bumpy surfaces. Things seemed to get a little better when faster, but what annoyed me was that I kept hearing thuds from the rear. At first, I thought it was the spare tyre or the tool kit getting tossed around in the back, but on closer inspection, I realised it was the parcel shelf that just wouldn’t stay clamped down. That aside, no other niggles showed up in the eight-and-a-half months I used the car.
SUSPENSION WOES: The ride isn’t pleasant over uneven surfaces.
In all, I clocked 8,800km in the Ignis. Ninety percent of that was work-related driving in and around Mumbai, with a few trips to Pune bringing in the rest of the miles. As is quite obvious, the Ignis delivered on its funky and fresh promise to me, so much so that I’m seriously considering one for the Baxter garage.
2017 Maruti Ignis long term review, second report
2017 Maruti Ignis long term review, first report