The Suzuki Ignis is a small car with a big personality – a more than funky crossover that finds itself at home in the city and a car that offers more space than you would think.
Nicknamed by my wife as an ‘Iggy-Pop’ when she owned the previous generation Ignis many years ago you would be forgiven for seeing this new model and thinking of that famous song by the American artist ‘Iggy Pop – Real Wild Child (Wild One)’ as it does look like the wild child of the Suzuki family.
Being a wild child is no bad thing though as generally you get to express yourself in a manner that does not conform to the rat race and one by which self discovery carves many paths to follow until you find the path least followed that you can stick to.
With its daring looks and a non-conformation to a particular car segment this latest Ignis from Suzuki really is a wild child and one which I grew particularly fond of during my week with – I guess having been a bit of a wild child myself there was a mutual agreement before we had even met.
Regarding the segment in which the Ignis sits, this is a hard one as Suzuki pitch it against some supermini’s but the Ignis is too small for real competition against these cars yet it is too big to get classed as a city-car.
The only car I can think of driving that I would say is a fair comparison against the SZ-5 four-wheel-drive Ignis I drove would be FIAT’s Panda Cross. However when it comes to pricing they aren’t in any way comparable due to the Ignis being around £5k cheaper and with it, a little more utilitarian inside.
Vast arrays of colour options are on offer with 2-tone variants available to enhance the look of the Ignis and I feel this model on test from Suzuki UK has the best combination of ‘Neon Blue Metallic – 2-tone’.
Remote central locking features alongside key-less entry with start button and the looks are made better with 16” alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and silver roof rails. With 180mm of ground clearance on offer, the Ignis is a bit of a micro-SUV in a way and as such comes with durable black plastic wheel arch extensions, side skirts and bumper inserts.
LED daytime running lights wrap around projector headlamps and despite not being the largest vehicle in the world, a rear view camera that integrates via the touch screen Pioneer branded infotainment system in the dash keeps maneuvering around the city safe on this model.
Opening the boot reveals the fact that the Ignis is not the car for a young family however is surprising and the layout can vary with a removable double height floor and sliding and folding rear seats. A week’s shopping shouldn’t be an issue nor a few kit bags for weekend sport.
Inside the cabin is somehow spacious with seats that although comfortable, could be more supportive and with 50stone spread between myself and two friends on board, the Ignis offered ample legroom even for the 6ft 4in passenger.
ISOFIX features alongside rear child lock doors, a leather steering wheel, full electric windows, 2x USB ports, automatic air-conditioning and a few cup holders with bottle holders in the doors. The Pioneer music provider in the dash offers Bluetooth, DAB, FM, AM radio along with Smartphone connectivity and steering wheel controls.
Engine wise I got to experience the 1200 Dueljet smart hybrid unit mated to a 5sp ‘box, producing 89bhp with 88lb/ft these are not great stats on paper and with a top speed of 106mph and a 0-62 time of 11.4 seconds I think it reassures the fact that the all-new Ignis is perfectly suited to city life.
In Suzuki’s own words “Available for the SZ5 manual model, the SHVS mild hybrid is a compact and lightweight unit that incorporates an Integrated Starter Generator (known as ISG) which acts as both a generator and starter motor, the ISG is belt driven and assists the engine during vehicle take off and acceleration and also generates electricity through regenerative braking.
The system also uses a compact high performance lithium-ion battery placed under the front passenger seat to store energy and incorporates an idle stop function operated via the Integrated Start Generator. The SHVS system only uses its conventional engine starter motor when first started from cold, under all other conditions it uses the ISG unit to allow smooth and quiet engine restarts.
The ISG unit has a power output of 2.3kW and a torque figure of 37lb/ft. The energy assistance provided during acceleration enables the SHVS to be known as a mild hybrid system which is ideally suited to a compact car and adds just 6.2kg to the overall weight.
The ISG generates electricity more efficiently than a conventional alternator through regenerative braking which is the term given to the transfer of kinetic heat energy into electrical energy. The ISG unit detects this as soon as the brake pedal is depressed and recharges both the lithium-ion battery and conventional 12 volt battery.”
This SZ-5 Ignis would make light work of a few fields or gravel lanes due to the Allgrip four-wheel-drive system which includes hill-hold and descent control along with additional safety features such as dual-camera braking system, cruise control and stop/start technology to aid efficiency.
Once wound up, I found the Ignis to be sure footed on the road and on a spirited run to the Kingspan Stadium via the Craigantlet Hills with aforementioned 50stone aboard it was an absolute hoot. I can’t help but think the 1400 Boosterjet from the Vitara S would make the Ignis more appealing to me personally though.
The model range starts from £10,249 with the SZ-3 model that comes with air con, DAB, Bluetooth, 15” alloy wheels, front electric windows and five seats while an SZ-T is the ideal model for most buyers and adds sat nav, rear camera, 16” alloy wheels and only four seats which starts from £11,749.
The SZ-5 model starts from £13,249 with the model on test coming in at £14,464 with all its options and spec added. Is it fun? YES – is it funky? YES – did i like it? YES – go get a drive and a look at one to see for yourself.
Words and Photos: Graham Curry
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