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Is this India's most underrated Maruti?

It is rare for a Maruti to not sell in India as the car-maker reads the Indian market unlike anyone else with an eye for churning out hit after hit. No wonder then that the best selling cars list in India is basically full of only Marutis, with an exception or two.

Maruti Ignis

However, there is a gap in Maruti’s stellar record: the Ignis has been a rare disappointment of sorts. The recent sales of the Ignis have fallen under 2k per month — a far cry from what it was doing at launch a few years back. The Ignis is certainly lagging behind the Baleno/Swift/Wagon R big time.

So why has the Ignis not been a success? At launch, it was touted as a replacement for the Ritz and targeted at the millennials for its funky looks. However, its pricing and positioning at launch meant that it was marketed as a premium offering. The slightly oddball looks clashed with that premise.

Ignis interior

The Ignis is arguably the boldest Maruti design and something which stays true to old school Japanese boxy hatchbacks of yore. While the design has been loved worldwide for its unorthodoxy, in India, the boxy looks did not go down well, especially with its target audience. Another issue with the Ignis was that it got lost in the star studded Maruti family and with later launches of the new Swift and Wagon R (both big brands), the Ignis just faded away from the buyers’ minds.

Thus those who wanted style went for the sportier Swift while practicality oriented buyers went for the Wagon R. So, in the end the Ignis, was caught in a no-man’s land of sorts and that stuck.

Viewed in isolation, though, the Ignis is a terrific small car. It is small and very light but also spacious for its size plus the distinctive interior has a quality feel to it.

Ignis rear

The Ignis looks and feels different from what we are used to from Maruti, but in front of big brands within the Maruti family, it did not get its due attention. So, yes, the Ignis can safely be called the most underrated Maruti in India, although it is still among the company best products.