Small cars are a boon in day-to-day city driving as manoeuvring and parking is quite easy because of their compact footprint. One fine day, a blue Maruti Ignis arrived at MotorBeam's garage and we put the car through our usual long term test. The Ignis with its funky styling elements might not impress all but the top of the line Alpha variant will surely do because of the sheer features on offer.
Made for the millennial, the Ignis does stand out from the crowd and is the most distinctively styled Maruti car as well.
The projector headlights with the integrated LED DRLs and the subtle use of chrome on the front fascia give the hatchback a premium appeal.
The flared wheel arches with minimal black cladding and the black finished alloy wheels give the vehicle a sportier look.
The rear gets split tail-lights and a huge black insert slapped on to the bumper.
The company offers a host of customisation options for the roof graphics, alloy wheels and interiors as well.
The cabin of the Ignis definitely feels fresh and is feature-loaded as well but on the flipside, there is a dearth of space.
The 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel is unlike any other unit we've seen in a Maruti car and the instrument cluster houses an MID display too.
A SmartPlay touchscreen infotainment system takes the centre stage while offering Apple CarPlay connectivity and Voice Commands.
Other features on offer are steering mounted audio controls, automatic climate control, push-button start, keyless entry and electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs.
The front seats are fairly comfortable but have very soft cushioning. The rear seat clearly lacks leg room and comfort but has decent headroom.
Powering our test car is the same 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine that produces 75 PS of power and 190 Nm of torque.
While the motor is very reliable, there is simply too much turbo lag at the low end which requires a lot of gear shifting.
Having said that, performance from the oil-burner is brisk and once the turbo starts spooling up, the car pulls cleanly from 2000-4500 RPM.
Mid-range is punchy plus the diesel-powered Ignis is very fuel-efficient as well.
The car is consistently averaging around at 17.1 km/l and on long drives, the vehicle has no qualms in delivering a mileage of over 20 km/l.
The clutch feels light and the gear shifts are slick.
The brakes had an issue but Maruti has skimmed the discs during the car's latest service and this has led to a noticeable improvement in the braking performance.
The Ignis gets a bouncy suspension setup and more of this bounciness is felt in the rear seat.
This has led to the hampering of the ride quality and this is one of the most significant negative traits of the hatchback.
While there isn't much body roll, the handling is pretty good.
The steering gives out average feedback but a strange thing is it doesn't self-centre just like some of siblings like the Dzire, Ciaz and Baleno!
We have driven the Ignis for approximately 2500 kms now and what we feel is that this hatchback is truly 'none of a kind' in terms of looks and the features on offer.
The car is made for a very different audience, is quite good in terms of performance and on the fuel efficiency front as well.
Then, there are the not-so-good factors like lack of space, slightly bad ride quality and the optimistic pricing.
Nonetheless, the Ignis is for someone who's looking for a compact car with good and funky looks, lots of features and a fun-to-drive nature.