Head to head comparison between Maruti Ignis vs Mahindra KUV100 before you buy
India Autoz readers know that Maruti Ignis has become dominant in hatchback market. But, it gets a challenge from Mahindra. As you know on our previous article, Mahindra has brought a facelift for its KUV100 cross-hatch. It also has added an NXT badge. Mahindra has updated its KUV100 series. But, is the facelift is strong enough to outdo Maruti Ignis?
You may remember that the refreshment includes a number of cosmetic changes on the outside and inside. The facelift version also has touch screen infotainment system and some other new kits. Here we brought to you a head to head comparison between the diesels KUV100 NXT K8 (priced at Rs 7.42 lakhs) with Maruti Ignis 1.3D Alpha (Rs 7.54 lakhs) as its natural competition.
So, after you read this article until the finish, you will know: “Is Mahindra KUV100 able to defeat the champion?”
Let’s start the fight.
Which one is better to drive?
Mahindra KUV 100
Mahindra KUV100 has a very refined engine. With 1.2 litre three-cylinder diesel, producing 78 hp, the car is quite powerful. The power is delivered smoothly. The boost comes early. Makes driving it around the town is lovely.
There is five-speed manual gearbox which makes it superb. It is very smooth and light to use. It is crazy how the engineer design the NXT to be soft and comfortable for city driving. With this easy handling, potholes and bad roads are rounded off comfortably. But, there’s a trade off. The rear tends to bounce at high speeds. Especially, over wavy surfaces.
There’s also a body roll that doesn’t inspire much confidence. Sometimes, you will feel the steering is a bit heavy, vague, and inconsistent. Compared to the previous type, there’s adequate pep at city speeds. Unfortunately, it isn’t very punchy or free-revving. The band power is also limited, even in Power mode.
So, if you are a fast driver, adrenaline lover, you won’t be pleased with the Mahindra KUV100 performance. But, if you are a regular driver who enjoy driving while enjoying the scenery or talking to your loved ones, Mahindra KUV100 is great option.
But, what about its competitor?
It is powered by the famous Fiat-sourced 75 hp 1.3 litre four-cylinder diesel engine. The power is punchy and it feels much faster than KUV. No doubt, because it has lighter construction. The difference is, unlike KUV100, there is a bit of lag off boost in Maruti Ignis. But, then power comes in strong once the motor spins.
The engine is much louder than the KUV’s at idle position. The Fiat engine makes quite a din when you rev it. Like KUV, it has a smooth five-speed manual gearbox and light clutch. Ignis has a firmer suspension. Fortunately, it’s still comfy in the city driving and smoothen road bumps and bad sections well. Maruti Ignis shows its ultimate comfort when it is on the highway. It stays flat and more composed over bumps.
Unfortunately, it has same minus like KUV. The steering is very vague and feels disconnected from the front wheels. It also doesn’t return well to the center. It may be because the suspension. We don’t know yet but it’s clear that it spoils what otherwise is quite a sorted car to drive.
Maruti Ignis has great power though it has smaller displacement. The downside of Ignis and KUV100 is the same: It has a vague steering. On the other side, both of the cars have same level of comfort while driving on city roads. But, when you are on high speed, Maruti Ignis is the winner.
Score: Maruti Ignis – 1, Mahindra KUV 100 – 0
Which one is safer and better equipped?
It is clear that Maruti is nicer to drive and WAS safer than KUV. You know, KUV (the previous version) has little safety features. Compared to Ignis, KUV has no LED headlamps, no Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay, no automatic climate control, no reversing camera, no keyless entry, and no 60:40 split rear seats; all of which the Maruti Ignis has. Maruti also gets ABS, EBD, dual airbags, and Isofix child-seat mounts on the rear seat.
But, Mahindra doesn’t stand still. They make a move.
At the new KUV100, Mahindra put better equipment. Mahindra KUV 100 gets new features like a touch screen infotainment system with navigation, electric folding mirrors, 15-inch wheels, reversing sensors; all of which the Ignis already equipped with. The new KUV100 also gets EBD, ABS, dual airbags, and an Isofix child-seat mount.
In a word, Mahindra KUV100 is now having all of which the Ignis has. But, there’s more. KUV100 has Eco and Power driving mode.
It’s now clear that in this section, Mahindra KUV100 wins.
Score: Maruti Ignis – 1, Mahindra KUV100 – 1
Which one is more spacious?
Mahindra KUV100 has more spacious interiors in comparison to the Ignis. The seats also feel a bit more comfort. By having no third front passenger, the backrest doubles as a comfy armrest. It has bigger space at the rear than the Ignis’. And, there’s also an armrest at the back. It also gets a few covered storage areas. Like the one under the floor. But, the boot is smaller compared to Ignis and the opening is narrower too.
Now, the answer is obvious. Mahindra KUV is more spacious. But, isn’t Ignis is spacious, too? Psst… Ignis actually has something Mahindra doesn’t have.
You know, despite being half a size smaller than the KUV, Ignis is cleverly packed and spacious. See? It’s smaller but spacious enough. The designer has more efficient interior design. It has another downside compared to the KUV100. The front seats are well contoured and are supportive. But, these are low-set. For a lot of buyer, it means less comfort. Indian market prefers KUV-like raised driving position.
The rear space is good but still, it is smaller than KUV100. However, there are many small well-designed storage areas across the cabin and it also gets a larger 260-litre boot.
Score: Maruti Ignis – 1, Mahindra KUV100 – 2
Go to the inside
On the Mahindra KUV100 NXT, an all-black theme replaces the grey interior. It’s much nicer now. The design of the dashboard is unconventional but appealing. There are small changes such as touch screen, air con controls, and silver trim give it a lift. You may feel the plastics are hard when actually it’s robust and built to last. Another upside is it remains the only car of its kind available with a six-seating options.
The Maruti’s design is unconventional and there are some bits that feel very premium. Here’s what I mean: body-colored door handles, steering wheel switches, and climate control unit. The seat cushioning is a little bit soft. It should have been firmer. The light color on the bottom-half of the cabin makes the Maruti Ignis’ cabin feel brighter. Maruti Ignis also has better build quality and many bits feel flimsy too.
Score: Maruti Ignis- 1, Mahindra KUV100 – 3
Which One Should You Buy?
Well, actually it’s obvious. You should prefer Mahindra KUV100. But, will it be a bestselling car? Time will answer. The number one objection is the brand-image of Mahindra KUV. Indian market thinks it’s not a good car compared to the mainstream Maruti Ignis. So, Mahindra should put their best efforts to re-brand the KUV. Because it’s clear it has a lot advantages compared to the Maruti Ignis.
If you are seeing car as a “social status”, and you need social validation, choose the best selling Ignis. But, if you are a rational buyer, we recommend you to buy Mahindra KUV100. It has better features from safety, comfort, and interiors. And may be, in the next year, Mahindra KUV100 get better social image, too. When the time comes, you will remember the moment you read this article.
Thank me later.