Third month on with the Ignis sees it take on a fairly long highway journey. The drive from Delhi to Manali in Himachal includes flatlands and serpentine roads in equal measures thus making this an ideal proving ground for many parameters on which we judge a car’s performance. I’ll be focusing on two aspects that stood out during this trip.
First, the suspension. This is a setup that, like most road cars, focuses on comfort. The springs are stiffer while the dampers are tuned softer. Cornering at moderate city speeds, they help control excess body roll and absorb road undulations making for a plusher ride. Combine this setup with highway speeds and cornering and the suspension characteristics change. The dampers compress quickly causing them to bottom out and softer rebound results in excessive body movement. Sporty driving in the hills then, has to be tamed. Secondly, the gearbox. Quick upshifts for efficiency works well in the city but in the hills, leaving the gears to shift automatically left me annoyed to no ends. The constant jostling between it wanting to shift up mid-corner at lower revs while I was looking for the lower gear to power out of the corner, rendered the use of manual mode. Using this gearbox in its sequential mode not only offers better control over the revs but also adds a bit of fun to the driving. Things however, were more likable in the plains. The chassis’ high speed straight line stability is commendable and I was mostly in fifth gear so it was best to leave the gearbox in D.
THIS IS A SETUP THAT, LIKE MOST ROAD CARS, FOCUSES ON COMFORT
Headlights offer adequate light throw. Upgrading to white light bulbs within the same wattage should offer better visibility