With the launch of the Mahindra KUV100 at the beginning of this year, a new segment in Indian automobile industry was born. The micro-SUV segment bridges the narrow gap between a hatchback and compact SUV.
Being the first player in the segment, the KUV100 has received positive response from the market. India's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki is now set to foray into this new segment with the launch of the Ignis. The Ignis is expected to be launched in October or November.
Here is a comparison between the only two competitors in the segment.
Though both vehicles compete in the same segment, both come with an individual design language. The KUV100 is a proper SUV in its stance. The vehicles come with a tall boy stance, rugged exterior, raised ground clearance. All these are in line with the attributes of any SUV in the market. On the other hand, the Ignis at first sight looks like a hatchback. However, the Maruti Suzuki product will also come with raised ground clearance and it may also feature 4x4 systems. Ignis will also come with a chrome-lined front grille cluster that also houses the headlamps, LED daytime running lights and rakish rear windshield. Ignis is essentially a hatchback with SUV genes in design.
The KUV100 is offered in 3+3 seating arrangement and features a slab-like dash layout. The design is simple and practical, yet it loses out in bringing freshness. On the other hand, Ignis will get a contemporary dashboard with a combination of light and dark materials. Additionally, the Ignis could feature body-coloured highlights inside the cabin.
Ignis, being the third product to be sold via Nexa dealerships, will boast of premium features, such as dual front airbags, ABS, LED daytime running lights, projector headlamps and, a first for any Maruti Suzuki product — a Harmon Kardon touch-screen infotainment system. On the other hand, Mahindra KUV100 is not a feature-packed offering. It is the affordable SUV of Mahindra with fewer bells and whistles.
Engine and transmission
The KUV100 packs Mahindra's new mFalcon engines under the hood. While the petrol 1.2-litre mFalcon G80 engine is tuned to churn out 82bhp and 114Nm, the 1.2-litre mFalcon D75 diesel engine can develop 77bhp and a peak torque of 190Nm. Both the engines come mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
The Ignis will be powered by a 1.2-litre VTVT petrol engine and a 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel unit. Maruti Suzuki is also expected to power the Ignis with the 1.0 BoosterJet turbo-petrol engine. Apart from the five-speed manual transmission, the Ignis could also come with the options of Automated Manual Transmission (AMT).
Mahindra KUV100 has been priced from Rs 4.58 lakh to Rs 6.20 lakh for petrol variants and from Rs 5.5 lakh to Rs 7.11 lakh to diesel variants. Ignis being a premium offering will be priced higher than the KUV100 range. Expected price range starts at Rs 5.5 lakh and goes up to Rs 8.5 lakh, ex-showroom.