Review: Suzuki Ignis
The diminutive Suzuki Ignis with its mild hybrid engine is the perfect vehicle for city living. It is frugal, nippy, and once you get used to its foibles, is quite fun to drive.
It might be tiny but it has plenty of road presence with all the style of a much larger SUV. Unlike the majority of city cars, four adults can sit in relative comfort and the rear seats move fore and aft if leg room or boot space is the priority.
There is just the one engine - a 82bhp 1.2-litre mild hybrid - and two trim levels, the SZ-T and SZ5. We were sent the SZ5 with the four-wheel drive system for extra traction, and a five-speed manual gearbox. There’s also the option of a CVT automatic system. The engine is a bit noisy and intrudes into the cabin as does wind and road noise - particularly at motorway speeds.
We didn’t venture off road. Though the weather was wet and windy during the majority of our time behind the wheel, we had no need to resort to traction and grip control nor the hill descent- maybe a test for another time?
Back to its foibles. We found the brakes to be not as responsive as expected and the clutch biting point very high. Both these we got used to after a week of driving around but they were not ideal.
Zipping around town it is light and manoeuvrable and forward visibility is good - over the shoulder not so due to the chunky pillars. The Ignis does, however, come with a rear parking camera though no audible parking sensors - of the two I’d probably actually prefer the latter. The ride is comfortable on well-maintained roads but suffers over speed bumps and potholes.
The cabin is well laid out and easy to navigate. Air conditioning control is by way of decent-sized buttons under the screen and audio buttons for mode and volume on the steering wheel are easy to use without taking your eyes off the road.
The technophile on our testing team did have one minor complaint. Bluetooth connectivity is available for making and receiving phone calls but phones have to be plugged in to access the other functions such as Apple CarPlay. Our SZ5 came fitted with a navigation system but it’s not the easiest to use and in general we preferred to use the phone’s system
Boot room is adequate at 204 litres and with the seats folded this expands to 1,086 litres. The official economy figure is 52.4mpg for the car we tested and we averaged 49mpg which is pretty decent.
Both models are well equipped with all the kit already mentioned. The SZ5 adds keyless entry, all-round electric windows, automatic headlamps and cruise control.
Safety-wise the Ignis scores high - it was awarded five stars by Euro NCAP. Sometimes though the safety measures can be a ibit too intrusive. The system occasionally screamed out that a collision was imminent when we were nowhere near neither an animate nor an inanimate object.
Suzuki Ignis SZ5
Engine: 1.2-litre, hybrid
Transmission: five-speed manual
Top speed: 103mph
0-62mph: 12.8 seconds
CO 2 emissions:121/km