All-New Suzuki Ignis, with instant kerb appeal

In Car Reviews, Suzuki by Tom Scanlan

The All-New Suzuki Ignis is now a funky-looking small SUV or is it a crossover?

Tom Scanlan gets to grips with the All-New Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SZ-T Dualjet MT
The test car, in Neon Blue, was easy to spot in a busy car park, thanks to the eye-catching colour and that little bit of extra height! Get inside and you’re struck by the bold panels, the centre console, door-pulls and the stand-out info and satnav screen in shiny piano black with faux metal surround. Suzuki has extracted the DNA of many of their cars to create this unique crossover.

Simplicity seems to be a theme, with traditional instrumentation, control levers and switches perhaps pulled off a common or garden parts shelf that could supply any other manufacturer and you wouldn’t notice the difference. That’s more of an observation than any criticism…importantly, the instruments are easy to read, day and night.

I do have an issue with the Pioneer display system. It took a few minutes to work out such simple operations as switching the radio on (or off) or selecting an address to navigate to. I stopped on my first trip for a quick rest, so I switched the ignition off. After a while, I turned the ignition on again and, lo and behold, there was the address icon back again. However, when I turned the key further to start the engine, I had to go through almost the whole rigmarole again. On other occasions, the guidance stayed ready for action no matter how long the ignition was off, overnight for example. The instruction booklet makes it appear simple, but in practice, it was not. And I never found how to cancel a route: the icon had a red cross through it as though that function was not allowed. Someone will no doubt tell me it’s all in the Pioneer instruction leaflet. Yes, but the bottom line is that I would have preferred a more intuitive system.

Finally, all was well as I arrived safe and sound and calmed down. But, sorry, one more little thing — when you are told to keep to the right in three hundred yards, do you need to be told virtually immediately to keep to the right in the next hundred and twenty yards? I think not. Oh, and the touch screen…I call it a thump screen, owing to the force required to get it to work.

All of that reaction might seem over the top, but, when you are driving by yourself, it is distracting. As to the rest of the drive, all the thumbs are up, thank heavens. The Ignis couldn’t be easy to drive, and that’s a pleasure.

At low speed, the 1.2-litre Dualjet engine is refined and quiet. As you accelerate and change gears via a super slick five-speed gear box, it feels slightly buzzy, and at 70 mph cruising the motorways, the noise had built up, quite a lot of it from the tyres. This was not, admittedly, on all types of surface, but perhaps Suzuki could consider more sound deadening material for the new Ignis. It’s just noise, not vibration or harshness. Wind noise was minimal at more than motorway speeds.

For what the Ignis might be more often used: shorter trips, it is really in its element; with its wheel at each corner and short wheelbase, it could hardly be easier in busy towns or parking (even without the rear-view colour parking camera in SZT models).

Visibility is good all round and even the front seat head-rests have been designed less bulky than most which helps you to see that awkward semi-rear view. The test car had the very useful – even in such a short car – rear view colour camera with graphics indicating exactly where the car is as you reverse into a parking space.

The interior is well-equipped with places to put your bits and pieces. There should have been a mirror in both visors, according to the specification, but the passenger’s mirror was not there…I could have done with a grab-handle on my side, too. Little things, yes, but, come on, Suzuki, let’s be a touch more generous, please.

There is space enough for four adults, thanks to good use of the available space and getting in and out of the car, both front and back is, is easy.

The boot is not a bad size, either, and of course, it is a simple operation to fold one or both of the rear seats to gain more luggage area. One of the rear seats in the test car was also able to be slid forwards and backwards for extra convenience. It was a bit of a fiddle, though, to remove the rear luggage shelf.

Performance is adequate, with 0-62 mph in 12.2 seconds. Emissions are 104 g/km, equating, under the new legislation, to £140 per annum after the first year. Overall fuel consumption indicated in the test car was a handy 52.6 mpg.

The car was especially easy to drive and was very good at absorbing any shock from bad road surfaces. It steered and handled nicely, too, while the brakes did their job impressively well.

The Ignis on some model has Suzuki’s ‘Allgrip’ four-wheel-drive system, giving more security on slippery roads.

At £12,214, it is a perkily attractive prospect.

Car reviewed: Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SZ-T Dualjet MT – On the road £11,100, price as tested £11,749 0-62mph 12.2 secs Top speed 106mph limited Fuel Economy combined 61.4mpg CO2 emissions 104g/km Engine 1242cc 4-cylinder petrol Max Power 90hp@6000rpm Torque 120Nm@4400rpm Transmission 5-speed manual Insurance Group 9E

  • Easy to drive, slick gearbox

  • Still spacious for its size

  • Good visibility

  • Slightly tricky display system

About the author

Tom Scanlan

'Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars. He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0. In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.'

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