Test Drive by Graham Breeze
It’s just not easy to make rational comments about the new Suzuki Ignis – because this really is a car you’ll either fall in love with or hate the sight of.
But make no mistake if you do decide to take a closer look you’ll he hooked – and to call on a fisherman’s termanology, I mean line and sinker – because this latest arrival fits into the B-segment SUV sector but is also the perfect city car.
It’s a bit like a “mini-me” of the Vitara, S-Cross and Swift all rolled into one and as well as being available with Suzuki’s outstanding 1.2 Boosterjet engine you can chose the company’s all-grip system as well.
Suzuki has developed a new platform strategy and the Ignis is the second model, following Baleno, with this new generation platform to be introduced in Europe, targeting increased rigidity and reducing weight. The lightest Ignis model has a kerb weight of just 810kg.
Add to that its distinctive styling, a neat and funky interior layout and frugal running costs and it is soon clear why the Ignis is already smashing sales targets in the UK and a real alternative to city car offerings such as VW’s Up.
The distinctive Ignis stands on 16 inch alloys, has rear privacy glass, wheel arch extensions, silver roof rails, body colour exterior door mirrors, a black with chrome front grille, chrome interior door handles and front and rear interior coloured door trim.
You will be shocked by the spacious cabin. Yes, Suzuki plastic is still not as good as a lot of the competition but you just can’t fault the use of every centimetre of space. Even a pair of six footers found enough head, leg and shoulder room in the back and boot space will be enough for most needs – though not the golfer without folding down the seats. And disappointingly the seats don’t fold flat.
On test was the 1.2SZT 2W with Boosterjet technology producing over 60mpg on the combined cycle and offering 0-62mph in 11.8 seconds and a top speed of 106mph. Running costs are kept low with C02 emissions of 104g/km a VED band of B which means just £20 per year.
You could pick up this model of only £11,500, which when you consider what’s thrown in is excellent value.
Standard items include, stop-start system, a rear parking camera, cruise control with speed limiter, tilt adjustable leather steering wheel, electric windows, an information display, automatic air conditioning, automatic LED headlights, daytime running lights and keyless entry.
Suzuki is becoming noted for its safety levels now and the Ignis gets ABS with EBD brake assist, hill hold control, six airbags, childproof rear door locks, a tyre pressure monitor, duel camera brake support, emergency stop signal and a flat tyre repair kit – though no spare wheel.
You also get a Sat Nav system, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls and smartphone link.
The Ignis wasn’t built to be sent charging around tight bends at speed and you do need to keep your wits about you because straight-line speed is deceptively quick with very little wind noise, despite the boxy design.
Suzuki has set a UK sales target of just 6,000 for the Ignis in 2017. I have a feeling that’s a target that will be smashed long before the Christmas shutdown.