Maruti-Suzuki launches Ignis, goes after the millennials

Maruti-Suzuki's latest salvo in the hatchback space, the Ignis, was launched in India earlier today. Aimed at the young and the young-at-heart, the funky and compact Ignis would be the third product after the S-Cross and the Baleno to be sold exclusively through the premium Nexa sales channel.

Armed with a fresh and bold design approach with a host of retro touches that mimic popular Suzukis of the past, the Ignis is designed to attract stares on the road. Having said that, it's a clear love-it or hate-it affair. The single frame grille that encompasses the cool LED projector headlights, for instance, looks great while the retro-styled rear end is not designed to please everyone. Nevertheless, the Ignis is an eyeball-grabber and almost passes off as a mini SUV with its negligible overhangs, slim plastic cladding and tall stance. Adding to its appeal are the tasteful application of chrome, stylish alloys and the dual-tone colour options available.

The interiors are equally funky and unlike anything you have seen in a Maruti-Suzuki. Finished in black and ivory, the dual-tone dashboard gets a refreshingly new steering wheel, a nifty infotainment screen that looks like a bolt-on addition and a cool retro-themed center console with toggle switches for the air-conditioning system. While the base variants are left wanting in terms of features, the top-end Ignis is loaded to the hilt with features like automatic climate control, keyless entry and go, SmartPlay infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, electrically-foldable mirrors, puddle lamps, split-folding rear seat, steering-mounted controls and rear parking sensors with camera. 

What's impressive is the standard safety kit that include dual front airbags, seat belts with pre-tensioners, Antilock Braking System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), ISOFIX child seat anchorage system and speed-sensing door locks. 

Adding that special 'classic' touch, both externally and internally, is the Suzuki Progressive Triad, a set of three parallel stripes that you cannot miss!

Powering the Ignis are the same set of engines that power a host of other Maruti-Suzuki models - the 1.2-liter K-series petrol engine that generates 83 horsepower and 113 Nm of torque and the Fiat-sourced 1.3-liter DDiS diesel engine that churns out 75 horsepower and 190 Nm of torque. A 5-speed manual gearbox is paired with both the engines while the option of adding an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), or 'Auto Gear Shift' in Maruti-Suzuki's terminology, is also available.

Ignis is available in four trim levels - Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Alpha. The petrol variants are priced between INR 4.59 and 6.69 Lakhs while the diesel variants retail at prices between INR 6.39 and 7.80 Lakhs. All prices are introductory and ex-showroom Delhi. 

At these prices, the Ignis doesn't play the value card that most of it's stablemates do. Instead, this car tries to appeal to the millenials who don't mind spending that little extra to stand out in the crowd. 

At these prices, the Ignis has just about enough gap to the bigger Baleno sharing the Nexa showroom space and it will be interesting to see how Maruti-Suzuki positions the new Swift when it makes it here, albeit to Maruti-Suzuki showrooms.

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