Maruti Suzuki likes to call the Ignis a 'compact urban SUV', although it is only a hatchback. It does feature some SUV-inspired styling with its with its upright nose, flared wheel arches, body cladding all around, and silver skid plates on the front and rear bumpers. It also rides slightly higher than other hatchbacks in this class. That said, there's nothing more about the Ignis that would quite suggest of it being an SUV. And then we came across this video of a Suzuki Ignis acing a snowy river crossing like any SUV would do.
Actually, this Suzuki Ignis hails from Romania and has a trick up it's sleeve that we do not get here in India. Suzuki sells the Ignis with a AWD drivetrain in several international markets, including Romania, and with it's slightly raised ground clearance, the Ignis can indeed be a pretty capable soft-roader. This is the pre-facelift version of the Ignis and it can be seen crossing a snowy stream with no drama at all, never losing grip or spinning it's wheels. Heck, this Ignis is not even wearing off-road spec tires. It is perhaps running only on winter tires.
A majority of cars in European countries, something even as humble as the Suzuki Ignis, are offered with an all-wheel drive system because of snowy conditions that prevail in these countries for a considerable portion of the year. All-wheel drive thus becomes extremely necessary even for driving on regular tarmac, let alone such soft trails. Back here in India, we do not have weather conditions that would need an all-wheel drive system in most circumstances. Moreover, a AWD system would drive up the costs, which would not be favorable in a price-sensitive Indian market.
Here in India, Maruti Suzuki updated the Ignis hatchback with a mid-life facelift in its transition from BS4 to BS6 emission norms. The facelifted car got new bumpers with faux skid plates, new radiator grille with U-shaped motif and a rear spoiler. It is available in two new single-tone colour options - Lucent Orange and Turquoise Blue - and three new dual-tone colour options - Nexa Blue with Black, Lucent Orange with black roof and Nexa blue with silver roof. Under the hood, the Ignis is powered by a 1.2-litre VVT petrol engine, which can be had with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed AMT gearbox. The naturally aspirated four-cylinder mill produces 83hp at 6,000 rpm and 113 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm.
In terms of dimensions, the Ignis measures 3,700 mm in length, 1,690 mm in width and 1,595 mm in height. It has a 2,435 mm wheelbase, and it offers a boot space of 260 litres. The interior of the Ignis was also slightly updated with the facelift. It got a new fabric seat upholstery and the new, 7-inch SmartPlay studio touchscreen infotainment system. The Maruti Ignis is available in four trims in India - Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Alpha. Retailed through Maruti's Nexa outlets, it is priced between INR 4.89 lakh and INR 7.31 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). It rivals the likes of the Ford Freestyle, Hyundai Grand i10 Nios, and Tata Tiago.