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Review: the Suzuki Ignis is a fun alternative to traditional small hatchbacks

The Ignis is back with a bang.

Image: Dave Humphreys

ORIGINALLY BUILT BETWEEN 2000 and 2008, the Suzuki Ignis is reborn and breathing life into the city car segment.

This really is a small car with a big personality and it’s a fun alternative to the traditional small hatchbacks on the market. It has funky, retro, crossover styling with bold details both inside and out - check out those squareish-spoke alloys - that really make it stand out from the crowd.

But it’s not just a case of style over substance. The Ignis is practical too thanks to its jacked-up ride height of 180mm – no problem mounting those kerbs outside the school gates – wide door apertures that help with getting children in and out of the car, high driving position which gives good visibility of the road ahead, a boot that’s bigger than most other city cars and the option of having it with four-wheel drive. The fact that such a small car can carry four adults in comfort is also a great feature.

Source: Dave Humphreys

It is powered by Suzuki’s Dualjet direct-injected 1.2-litre four cylinder engine that produces 90hp at 6,000rpm and 120Nm of torque at 4,400rpm. And while these figures don’t sound like much, the bantamweight Ignis claims to have the best power-to-weight ratio in class meaning it has plenty of pep.

Source: Dave Humphreys

Out on the road, the steering feels light and it’s very easy to manoeuvre. The five-speed gearbox has positive changes and runs though the gears quite quickly giving it a bit of a sporty feel. The engine is smooth and quiet but there is a bit of wind and road noise in the cabin especially at higher speeds.

And, although the ride does feel a little bouncy at times (the suspension and damping could be a little more finely tuned), the car’s charms easily help overcome any deficiencies.

Source: Dave Humphreys

My test car featured the SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) system, which uses regenerative braking to convert kinetic energy to electricity and store it in the car’s battery. The car’s battery also powers an Integrated Starter Generator (ISG), which supplements the engine’s power during acceleration – meaning the engine doesn’t have to rev as much when accelerating, thereby saving fuel. Its low kerb weight of just 860kg also contributes to a decent fuel economy figure of 4.7 litres/100km (60.1mpg). 

Source: Dave Humphreys

Entry-level models cost from €12,995 on the road and come with decent levels of kit as standard. It costs €180-190 to tax depending on model.

Overall, the Ignis is a cheeky and cheerful car which is easy and fun to drive around town and is pretty practical too. It is well priced and cheap to run making it a sensible buy for someone with a sense of fun. It’s fair to say, I fell for its charms.

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About the author:

Melanie May  / https://www.melaniemay.com

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