To bring things in perspective lets compare it with the petrol Ignis. For one, the diesel is noisier, both inside and out. But, that’s expected; it’s just the nature of fuel the two engines use. The engine, 75bhp, 1.3-litre, four cylinder, Fiat developed unit, also has that typical turbo boost surge we have gotten used to now. Thankfully, it isn’t as pronounced as on the manual car, but it’s there.
Now, Maruti already uses this setup on the Swift Dzire – the 1.3-litre diesel mated to the AMT. But, the ECU mapping on the Ignis is different. It had to be given the different nature and weights of the cars. The ratios for the gearbox have been altered as well, and not just the final drive, but also the full range. The end result isn’t too impressive though. When driven with a light progressive throttle, the Ignis diesel AMT responds as expected, reasonably smooth upshifts with little shift shock. The downshifts under braking aren’t a cause for bother either.
It’s when you start driving aggressively that things begin to go down hill. In kickdown (when one floors the throttle) the Ignis diesel AMT drops gears is decent time, but it seems to dump the clutch after the change instead of letting it out progressively for smoother transition; needless to say, the shift shock is quite distinct. The shifts, especially going down the gearbox, aren’t as predictable on throttle inputs either.
The petrol AMT on the other hand is a dream. The throttle response is more alert; the shifts are a lot smoother; and it makes driving in city traffic a far less tedious affair than the diesel, especially when you are in a hurry.