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Maruti Suzuki Ignis Zeta Design Review

Maruti Suzuki is the country’s most popular and successful car maker. As a result, every new car coming out with the Maruti badge is treated to be an important launch in the Indian market. While its existing cash cows like the Alto, WagonR, Swift and Dzire are already ruling their respective segments, the company has been focusing on entering all-new segments in the past couple of years. It managed to put a dent in the premium hatchback market with the launch of the Baleno, while the Vitara Brezza has been leading the compact SUV charts ever since its introduction. Looking at the crossover craze spreading in the hatchback segment, thanks to offerings like the Renault Kwid and Mahindra KUV100, Maruti decided to bring in its own contender. Called the Maruti Suzuki Ignis, the car is Maruti’s first attempt at the niche hatchback crossover market.

The Ignis was recently launched in India at a price of Rs. 4.59 lakh for the entry-level petrol and Rs. 7.80 lakh for the top-end diesel trim (all prices ex-showroom Delhi). We had a look at the Maruti Suzuki Ignis Zeta at a nearby NEXA dealership in order to provide an in-depth design review. Here’s what we think about the Ignis’ exterior and interior design. Kindly note that the following design review is specifically of the Maruti Suzuki Ignis Zeta variant.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis – Exterior Design

The Ignis has been designed keeping in mind the young Indian car buyer in the age group of 21 years to 35 years. As a result, Maruti designers have given the car a youthful appeal. It also gets various SUV-ish design elements, including a vertical nose and a higher bonnet shut line. The front-end gets a wider front grille, squarish headlamps and chrome lined fog lamp bezels. Being the Zeta variant, this particular model doesn’t get the LED projectors and DRL setup in the headlights, and rather houses halogen units. This is the only visual difference on the exteriors of the Maruti Ignis Zeta, as compared to the top-end Ignis Alpha. Also note that instead of the U-shaped LED DRLs, Maruti has provided a chrome strip inside the headlamps that has been shaped in a similar U-layout.

Move to the side and the car’s quirky styling becomes a lot more apparent. The entire profile is characterized by a thick C-pillar which houses three inclined stripes. Though they do remind us of the Adidas logo, the three lines are basically a Suzuki-characteristic design element called the Progressive Triad, which was earlier scene in various International-spec models, like the SC100. This particular design might divide opinions, as it makes the car look a bit quirky and boxy. Moreover, the thick C-pillar eats into the rear window area, thus making the rear door look a lot more bulky. However, we are simply in love with the blacked-out 15-inch alloy wheels found on the Zeta and Alpha variants of the Ignis. In fact, these particular alloys are the best-designed wheels found on a car in this price bracket.

Remember we told you about the quirky side looks of the Ignis? Well, the rear end takes it a step further. It simply doesn’t match to the contemporary and youthful front fascia of the car. The Ignis gets a steeply curved tailgate, which looks like an inverted iteration of the Ritz’s quirky design. The steeply raked windscreen meets the sheet metal in a sharp edge, from where the tailgate suddenly becomes vertical. This makes it look a bit retro and old-school. This feeling is further amplified by the plain looking taillights, that are two-piece units and don’t really gel with the car’s character. The rear bumper gets a black insert in the middle which might look out of place to a few, but will serve well to avoid any scratches to the car’s paint due to irresponsible and tailgating bikers.

Exterior Design Verdict

It must be mentioned that though many think that the Ignis is the same size of the Kwid, in reality, it looks a lot bigger than the Renault car. The built quality too is better than most Marutis. The doors feel heavier, while the paint also has a thicker feel to it.  All-in-all, the Ignis is surely a differently-styled car. It won’t appeal to a broad segment of buyers, especially those who like understated looks like the WagonR. However, with it targeting young customers, the Ignis will surely attract buyers who want to stand out from the crowd.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis – Interior Design

Enter the Ignis’ cabin and you are bound to be surprised. Finally there is a new Maruti car that doesn’t get the same old steering wheel. The new 3-spoke unit is great to hold, and looks the part as well. The left spoke houses the multi-function buttons, the right one is empty, while the bottom spoke gets a contrasting silver finish. The dashboard is finished in a dual-tone layout, with the top area getting a black treatment, while the bottom panels are finished in ivory white. This arrangement does make the cabin look airy, though the lighter shade might be troublesome to maintain in the longer term. The model we reviewed was the Ignis Zeta variant, and thus it came with a 2-DIN music system that supports AUX, USB and Bluetooth inputs. We did test the sound quality of the system and found it to be slightly above average. It wasn’t in the league of the amazing Harman Kardonn system found on the Tiago, though it did tick all the right boxes and regular customers won’t need to upgrade.

However, the AC control setup on the lower trim does stick out like a sore thumb. We loved the Alpha’s futuristic looking Automatic Climate Control system. But for the lower trims, it just looks out of place from the rest of the cabin. The built quality of the knobs and switches also doesn’t feel confidence inspiring, and thus it manages to leave a small negative mark in the Ignis’ cabin.

Interior Design Review

We have no complaints from the Maruti Suzuki Ignis Zeta in the interior department, save for the AC control panel on the lower trims. The Alpha trims do look great with the toggle buttons on the ACC system. Moreover, the cabin’s built quality too is satisfactory, though we will be able to comment on it a bit more whenever Maruti provides us with a review unit to drive on the open roads.

No matter what you think about the design of the Maruti Ignis, it must be appreciated that Maruti Suzuki is now trying different things in its portfolio. We do hope the company had priced the car a bit more aggressively, though it remains to be seen how the average Indian car buyer responds to this new Maruti offering.

Do let us know what you think about the Maruti Suzuki Ignis in the comments section below.

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