I hate Mumbai. There, I said it. But to be fair, I hate all cities â" they're too crowded, too noisy and too smelly. But alas, OVERDRIVE doesn't have any rural branches, and I'm stuck here. So whenever I get the chance to run from this place, I do so as fast as I can. This time, it was to go river rafting in Kolad, a village located somewhere in the Western Ghats.
Initially, I wasn't too sure if the Ignis would be the most comfortable car for a drive like this. It's got a small 1.2-litre engine and the suspension is a bit firm, both of which aren't ideal for road trips. Since it was just a three-hour drive one way with just three other passengers, I stuck to the Ignis. And I must say, I'm fairly impressed!
The first half of the trip was on the expressway, and the Ignis felt quite comfortable, maintaining decent triple-digit speeds most of the time. The firm suspension, while not very comfortable over the undulations, kept the car quite planted and stable. Once we got off the expressway, we hit a two-lane road which is where I sometimes wished I wasn't driving the Ignis. Just sometimes, though. For instance, since the roads had abrupt patches of broken tarmac, it was a bit tiring to have one more thing to look out for apart from usual rural traffic -- maniac drivers, maniac pedestrians and maniac animals. I tried driving over them flat out, but the loud thuds from the suspension and the complaints from my passengers immediately brought down the pace. I also noticed that sometimes, the Ignis lacks a bit of oomph to get out of a sticky situation while overtaking.
The interior light fails to reach the rear seat
However, the further we went, the smoother and windier the roads got, while traffic started to die out too. And that's when the Ignis started to shine. The firm suspension did its job and kept the car from rocking like a boat as I powered through the corners left, right, left, right! Okay, maybe my passengers got a little car sick, but I had a great time!
That said, there are a few things I would have liked a little different in the car. First, I wish Maruti Suzuki had placed the interior light in the middle of the cabin instead of right above the centre console. That way, you get some light even at the rear seats in the dark, instead of just at the front. Secondly, and this is just a minor problem, I don't like the digital fuel gauge because it isn't very accurate. One minute it shows that I have half a tank of fuel and the next, it's suddenly two bars down. And then it goes back up. A good ol' analogue gauge would have been a little more accurate.
The fog lamps are impressive and light up the edges of the road very well
In my previous reports, I'd said how perfect the Ignis is for Mumbai with its peppy engine, small-ish dimensions and sharp handling. After this trip, it turns out it's pretty good for those quick weekend getaways too, as long as it's with just a handful of friends.
Date acquired:Feb 2017
Last report at:5,185km
Photography: Anis Shaikh