Back in the day, when you bought a small car you were lucky to get four wheels and a roof. My, how things have changed – a fact highlighted by the three very striking machines on the cover of this issue.
This trio are stylish, funky, individualistic, and feature-rich – they really are proof that good things come in small packages! If, in the past, air-conditioning was the height of luxury, today, you get retro style toggle switches for the climate control system. If a cabin light was about all that you could ask for, today it’s LED daytime-running lights and projector headlights. If disc brakes were exclusive to high-performance machines, today a car doesn’t make the grade if it doesn’t have ABS and EBD. And if seatbelts were once the epitome of safety, the Ford now offers 6 airbags no less. What’s more, it even looks like an Aston Martin from the front. But if it’s heads that you want to turn, just try taking a short spin in the Ignis – you’ll get a quick dose of what it feels like to achieve sudden celebrity status. And that’s to say nothing of the 7-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system that not only comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but also doubles as a reverse camera display and navigation screen. The Ignis even comes with a semi-automatic gearbox, like you used to get on a Ferrari. But, really, whom are we kidding? Those weren’t very good, even
The point is, though, that you can utter Ferrari and Ignis in the same breath and not have to say three Hail Mary’s for potentially offending the Pope. These small cars have truly moved the game on so much that they don’t leave you wanting for much – they’re all quite eager from behind the wheel, they’re very well built, good looking, and come with everything other than their own Nespresso machines. And if you think about it logically, you don’t really need much more – well, other than a Shiatsu massage every once in a while I suppose. All this bodes very well for the Indian car buyer – because it means that you no longer have to compromise no matter which end of the market you’re shopping at.
Let’s face it, while the Ambassador (God rest its soul) had bagfuls of character it had an equal amount of flaws. It was very clearly a compromise. Well, we don’t have to anymore – compromise that is. And the three machines on the cover are the poster-children of the advancements that we’ve made as a country and as an industry. Let’s hope that we no longer take two steps forward and one step back as we race full steam ahead. Let’s continue to demand nothing but the very best – in terms of safety and technology – from any manufacturer who attempts to meet the (increasingly high) demands of the Indian car buyer.