We have already told you what we think about the Maruti Suzuki Ignis in its petrol avatar. You can read its review HERE. But, the Ignis comes with so many drivetrain and trim options we thought it’d be best to talk about the diesel in greater detail. Welcome then to the review of the Maruti Suzuki Ignis 1.3 Diesel.
And since automatics are the current fad, we decided to shower our attention on the AGS or Auto Gear Shift version of the car. Interestingly, the Ignis is the only diesel automatic hatchback in the ‘upto Rs 25 lakh’ range post, which the game shifts to luxury items like Volvos and Mercedes.
A quick recap before we delve deeper: The Ignis is Maruti’s lowest priced car in the Nexa range. And as things stand today, it is also more expensive than the Swift in an apples-to-apples comparison. Furthermore, its biggest competitor in the market in terms of interest and positioning is the Hyundai Grand i10.
The design is probably the Ignis’ strongest USP. More so, its all-LED headlamps. However, the LEDs are exclusive to the top spec Alpha variant. And, since Maruti only sells the diesel automatic Ignis in the Delta and Zeta versions, automatic variant buyers can’t have it; even as an option. Otherwise, the exteriors are pretty similar. Large 15-inch alloy wheels, flared wheel arches with black cladding and customisation options including contrasting roof wraps and ORVM colours are near identical to the top-of-the-line Alpha. Therefore, the 1.3 diesel automatic Ignis even in Zeta trim still looks cute; still has an eyeball grabbing stance; and is still pretty youthful.
The Ignis diesel automatic also loses some of the comfort and convenience features compared to its Alpha trimmed manual counter part. The touchscreen multimedia system with Android Auto gives way to a regular Bluetooth audio system. It’s still a stick-on design that sits centrally on the dashboard between the air vents. But, compared to the tab like screen, this one looks utilitarian instead of cool. There’s also no height adjustment for the driver’s seat and a manual aircon unit replaces the digital climate control system.
What remains from the Alpha trim is the multifunctional steering wheel, the detailed driver information system as part of the instrumentation and keyless entry and start. It also gets plenty of storage spaces in and around the central tunnel and in the door pockets, and the glovebox is spacious too. The Ignis diesel automatic continues to get parking aid in the form of rear parking sensors but with no touchscreen inside, reversing camera has been given the boot as well.
In terms of space and seating comfort, things remain the same. So, there’s enough head and knee room to seat four passengers, and the seats themselves are cushy but supportive. The boot space at 260 litres remains handy, especially with split and folding rear seats, even though the high loading lip height can be a problem for some.
There’s a telling difference between the on-road performance of the petrol and diesel versions. The petrol is quiet, refined and linear in its power delivery. The diesel in comparison is noisy and a bit unruly. There’s also that turbo lag this 1.3-litre Fiat designed diesel engine is infamous for. The lag is less obvious in the automatic version compared to the diesel manual, but it is still there. The diesel however makes for easier overtakes once the turbo is spooled up. And it is clearly the more fuel efficient of the two.
In AMT or AGS or automatic guise, the diesel Ignis makes for a relaxed commuter till the time you don’t ask much of the throttle pedal. There’s some shift shock, yes, but it isn’t uncomfortable. That is till you start getting hard on the gas. Because once you do, the gearbox likes to tie itself in knots. It’s not sure what gear to pick, especially when downshifting. It invariably picks a gear too low causing excessive head bobbing. The ‘box struggles to make smooth transitions between shifts as well.
The petrol comes with an AMT ‘box too. And it is fantastic in comparison to the diesel setup. The shifts are smooth, the throttle response is crisper, and the power delivery is alert and linear from the word go. Add to it the quiet nature of the petrol engine and the sporty note it takes on as the revs rise, and you have a car that’s certainly more in line with an enthusiast’s want.
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||75 @ 4000|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||190 @ 2000|
|Gears||five-speed manual/ AGS|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||32|
|Tyre size||175/65 R15|
|LED projector headlamps||No|
|Seven-inch Infotainment system in tablet style||No|
|Height adjustable seats||No|
|Push button Stop-Start||Yes|
|ABS, EBD and dual airbags as standard||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Max. Power (bhp)||75 @ 4000||71 @ 4000|
|Max. torque (Nm)||190 @ 2000||160 @1500|
|Gears||five-speed manual/ AGS||five-speed manual|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||32||43|
|Tyre size||175/65 R15||165/65 R14|
As we said in the petrol Ignis’ review, this Maruti has all the makings of a successful product. And with the masses moving to automatic transmissions, this diesel offering has a fair chance at success as well. If you are a high mileage user, drive mostly in congested areas and like to take things easy, the 1.3 diesel automatic Ignis should suit you just fine.
Pictures: Kapil Angane