- Spacious interior
- Level of inclusions in entry level model
- Excellent air-conditioning
- Fuel economy didn't get close to claimed figures
The Suzuki Ignis is the latest addition to a line up of Suzuki vehicles that attempts to be small, economical, and affordable cars. Something that Suzuki manages to deliver across most of their cars. However, this latest addition takes on that challenge with a funky twist.
It pulls together somewhat of a ‘best of’ compilation of Suzuki’s styling
Sporting a design that draws attention most places it goes, it seems Suzuki hopes to capture those who dare to be just a little bit different. We just have it compromising on the fundamentals that drive our general car purchasing decisions, and we don’t think it does. Starting from $16,990 drive away, there are three Ignis variants available: GL manual, GL auto, and GLX auto.
On the outside, the design is unlike anything else you’ll see on the road. It pulls together somewhat of a ‘best of’ compilation of Suzuki’s styling over the last 40 years, in a quirky way, and it works. Our test model, a GLX, was dressed up to the nines with the optional styling features that are available. These features can be fitted by Suzuki dealers at time of delivery. It’s not Porsche level customisation, but it does allow a little personality to shine through.
The upside of the unique styling introduces a big advantage over similarly sized compact cars, and that’s usable storage, and passenger space. In the GL variants, you’ll find a 60:40 rear seat split. With the GLX there is a 50:50 rear seat split that can be adjusted back and forth. Once you’ve been able to successfully conquer the challenge of stuffing your friend’s luggage into the back, after realising you over estimated the value of that free burger, you’ll wonder how you ever managed before.
It’s an absolute dream to drive in narrow streets and carparks
If you’re an Uber driver, or usually playing designated driver, space and ease of access in the Ignis is something that will help you score that five-star review. As the doors easily hold themselves in three very handy widths, you’ll be able to twist yourself out like a Cirque Du Soleil performer in a narrow car space, or leap out like a hurdler at its very widest. For those who are taller, there won’t be able troubles with headroom nor legroom in the front or back, thanks to the boxy design.
As for the drive, the 1.2litre four-cylinder engine won’t be setting any records unlike the rocketship Tesla Model S P100D, but it serves its job well. Once you’ve trained your foot to find the balance between revving like a mad-man and taking off like a turtle, the CVT auto transmission allows you to enjoy a fairly enjoyable ride. Road noise, and comfort is good on longer drives keeping everyone happy.
It’s an absolute dream to drive in narrow streets and carparks, where it’s small footprint and tight turning circle really shines. With the Ignis sitting higher than most compact cars, visibility and 180mm clearance makes the standard reversing camera almost irrelevant. Though, if you’re feeling inspired by the SUV-styled marketing, just don’t get too excited and head off-road.
The 66kW of power and 120Nm of torque from the engine does mean that it can be pretty light on fuel usage. Official numbers say that the little engine can achieve 4.7litres/100km but we found our mix of highway and city driving to be closer to 6litres/100km. It’s not a terrible result, in fact, it’s still good, but I’m a little disappointed since I am used to our Suzuki’s in our tests outperforming their official numbers.
However, it is worth mentioning that the air-conditioning, following a week of extreme heat, never missed a beat of cooling the car down, and keeping it cool. So, if that resulted us in high fuel usage figures, it was worth the trade-off.
As for the infotainment system, there is a 7inch touchscreen that includes GPS navigation in the GL and GLX, as well as all of the usual iPod and MP3 features, plus Apple CarPlay capability. Even though it is great to see navigation included as standard, I ended using Apple CarPlay for our needs as the integration worked great, and provided more relevant information.
Here’s hoping that the public embrace the unique styling, and take advantage of the customisation packages that allow the Ignis to reflect its owner’s personality. It is refreshing to see Suzuki take a risk with their design, and by introducing a compact hatch, rather than just another SUV. The Suzuki Ignis will be a car I look forward to seeing more on the road.