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Maruti Suzuki Ignis versus the competition

S Muralidhar | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on January 26, 2017

Make it your own: The Ignis offers a slew of personalisation options for buyers

How does the new Ignis compare with a clutch of similarly positioned and closely priced competitors?

Maruti launched the new Suzuki Ignis earlier this month and predictably sent the competition scurrying for cover. There have been quick launches of facelifts, special editions and a spurt in seasonal discounts being offered by the other premium small car makers. With one more hatch in the middle, there has also been an increase in the confounding options that buyers are faced with, especially since the Ignis has been given a fairly competitive introductory price.

Click here to read specifications comparison

But, Maruti has chosen a pricing strategy that will attempt to keep the Ignis from treading on the turf of some of its other hatches which are similarly positioned and priced. The Suzuki Swift and the Baleno come to mind immediately, both of which are also targeted at the young at heart. The Ignis’ pricing also points to a pro-petrol strategy — one which is probably meant to pre-empt the shift towards that as the fuel of choice by the Millennials.

Maruti’s pricing power for the Ignis also comes from the shared powertrains — either the same engines (petrol and diesel) or minor variations of them are now fitted in eight different models. Buyers of today don’t view shared platforms as a negative as long as the models themselves are sufficiently differentiated in design and features. And the new Ignis has a lot of differentiators.

The Ignis has a unique exterior design, which is fairly appealing despite its awkward rear. But, the Ignis’ interior is the other part which could get a similarly mixed response. The quality of materials used is good and the layout is novel, though it’s execution, and touch and feel isn’t as good as in the Baleno, which can well be an in-house competitor for the Ignis. In fact, the new Ignis’ funkiness quotient and choice of interior colour theme are the reasons why it manages to put to shade the appeal for the other competing cars that we have compared in the table. Quality of materials used in the cabin is not very different in any of these cars. The differentiator in the Ignis is that despite it being fairly Spartan, the cabin feels more modern and young.

Of course, the big positive that Maruti-Suzuki has chosen to endow the Ignis with is the focus on safety. Stepping ahead of the safety regulations that are due to be enforced from 2018, the Ignis gets dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes, full feature seat belts and pedestrian safety as part of the standard equipment even in the base Sigma variant. It was high time for Maruti, as the market leader, to set the trend with a ramp up of the focus on safety for its cars.

The Ignis also takes forward the trend of personalisation, which pretty much all of the competing cars miss out on as part of their offering. There are sticky spots in the personalisation options that the Ignis is offered with. For example, fixing the roof wraps need to be executed better and mind you these are dealer fitment options. There are other accessories on offer too for customising the Ignis such as roof spoilers, wheel cladding, front, rear and side skid plate etc.

All the competing cars that have been compared here with the Ignis hold their own appeal. The Honda Brio misses out on offering a diesel engine and the Hyundai Grand i10 seems a bit familiar and is a bit higher in its price positioning. But, within Maruti too, the Baleno is still an equally strong contender to the Ignis. For their presence on the road, with a design that is universally appealing, finish quality and drivability both the Suzuki Baleno and the Ford Figo are still excellent alternatives to the Ignis — even for Millennials.

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Published on January 26, 2017
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