Maruti Ignis vs Mahindra KUV 1oo Road test comparison Review

Maruti’sentry into compact crossover in the form of Ignis has thrown the gauntlet right in the front of Mahindra KUV1oo. We pit both these contenders against each other to find out which one of these has more substance.

Maruti Ignis vs Mahindra KUV 1oo

Entry of Maruti Suzuki India Limited, India's largest car maker, has geared up the compact utility segment. It's not that Maruti Suzuki is the first manufacturer to bite the bullet as Mahindra had already done this with its KUV 1oo last year. Mahindra made a good attempt and got a decent booking numbers at the start; however, it couldn't be able to sustain the momentum due to the variety of reasons. For one, KUV 1oo didn't prove very worthy contender on reliability and designing also failed to impress the prospective buyers. And these are exactly the points where Maruti Suzuki is aiming to score big with its ultra-modern Ignis crossover. Not only the evening offers loads of room and rock solid reliability but also comes with variety of engines and transmission options. The car is equipped well too and top of the variant is definitely going to lure the new generation millennia as Maruti called it. Now with the launch of new Ignis, Mahindra KUV 1oo finally seems to have got its match. We put both these compact crossovers against each other in order to find which one of these has got what it takes to be a winner.

Design, Style & Interiors

Looks is a matter of personal preference and depending upon the taste, both Maruti and Mahindra will appeal to certain kind of personalities. Design of Maruti Ignis is sure to divide the opinions. Frontage is pretty to look at, but in the profile, the car has many odd bits which are not helpful in evoking favourable response from the consumers. This is the first compact crossover which has got projector headlamps in the top variant and wide grille really makes a favourable impression. In the profile, C-pillar is a bit stout and upright, which will require some time getting used to.

Mahindra, on the other hand, went all out to make new KUV 1oo a complete flamboyant design. It has certain kind of flair to it which is although appealing could potentially put off many conservative buyers. In sheer size, both cars feels like hatchbacks on steroids; especially KUV1oo in profile feels extremely short and a bit awkward too.

Inside the cabin, Maruti races ahead of the Mahindra in terms of quality and ergonomics. We got pleasantly surprised by the amount of space available which is in the leagues of higher class cars. The car is very practical and the overall interior design is a mix of retro- and modern theme. Especially the central stack and various controls are placed very intuitively and feel tactile to use. Space is the trump card of this new Maruti and the car offers plenty of room both at the front and back. 
Mahindra offer KUV with bench type front row in some of the variants though people still prefer the higher variants with captain seatsFurther, Mahindra’s decision to put rear door handles on the pillar has also made the cabin a bit claustrophobic. There is nothing to write home about the quality of the material used and the only bright spot is the console mounted gear lever which falls to hand very easily. The accommodative ability of both the cars is almost equally matched. Still we feel Maruti has advantage on the space front and extremely narrow Mahindra kuv1oo not able to hold against Maruti In space department. In terms of the equipment and features, Maruti is miles ahead of the Mahindra and we like the way Ignis gives you the maximum bang for your buck.

Maruti Ignis: 4/5                                                                          Mahindra KUV1oo: 2/5

Engine, Transmission & Driving Dynamics

Powered by 1.2-litre 3-cylinder D75 diesel mill, KUV puts out 77 PS and 190 Nm of max power and max torque respectively. Maruti, on the other hand, comes with tried and tested 1.3-litre multi-jet diesel engine putting out 75 PS and 200 Nm of motive power. In terms of drivability, Mahindra feels more eager however once the revolutions climb, Maruti starts gaining its edge over the Mahindra. Multi-jet diesel engine used by the Maruti is very rev-happy in nature and quite a delight to use on the highway. Mated with 5-speed manual and AMT transmissions, Ignis offers very slick and confident shifting experience. Unfortunately, Mahindra doesn’t inspire much confidence as its 5-speed manual transmission has a rubbery feel; nonetheless it is placed superbly on centre console. Overall in the engine and transmission department, Maruti emerges on the top with rev-happy engine and slicker transmission.

The same story holds true for ride and handling department too. Behind the wheels, Ignis tackles the road very confidently. Its lightweight structure and taut chassis help to deliver superior dynamic performance.. Mahindra feels a bit bloaty of the two thanks to the softly sprung suspension system and though it has a very plaint ride quality, high speed stability is an issue of concern especially in triple-digit speed mark.

Maruti Ignis: 4/5                                                                                Mahindra KUV1oo: 3/5

Overall Verdict

The KUV1oo retails in range of Rs 4.45 - 6.84 lakh while Ignis starts from Rs 4.59 lakh with top version touching Rs6.69 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi). Many people will like Kuv1oo for its funky appeal, driving character, zippy nature and excellent ride quality; however, there are many rough edges bad company has to improve upon before it finally comes on par with very refined and accomplished Maruti Ignis. Maruti has once again proved its mettle with Ignis as this compact crossover comes with all-around capabilities. Ignis may not be exceptionally well on any of the critical areas but it performs satisfactorily on all the crucial areas of consideration. Further, the Maruti’s reliability and peace of mind help Ignistakes the edge over Mahindra. 

Maruti Ignis: 4/5                                                                                Mahindra KUV1oo: 3/5

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