If you’re a retro lover and small cars are your thing, then you’ll like the new Suzuki Ignis.
The car’s design pays homage to the tiny Suzuki Whizzkid. It has slats just behind its rear doors – and, if you’re over 40, you’ll just about remember the same look on the Whizzkid when it graced our roads in the latter part of the 70s. Even as a seven-year-old, I thought the car was small.
The all-new Ignis is petite, too, but not in a sweet, girly way. It’s more evil Hillman Imp than cutesy Fiat 500. The Ignis has got the same power units under its bonnet as the recently launched Suzuki Baleno. It is propelled via a 1.2-litre petrol unit or via hybrid power. It is also available in front or all-wheel-drive, and comes with either a manual or automatic gearbox. A BoosterJet turbo engine is also going to be ushered in during 2017.
In spite of its all-wheel-drive styling, the Ignis is only 3693mm long, yet it does seem roomy enough inside. It’s truly comfortable in the rear for two adults, but the front has the best leg and headroom. Actually, Suzuki has been clever with the way it has packaged the back seats. They can be adjusted so that you can increase either load space or legroom. Back in the front, the dashboard is cleanly laid out, so all the switchgear falls easily to hand, and there’s a large ‘in-your-face’ speedo. Additionally, as with most modern cars now, there’s a touchscreen with connectivity for smartphones.
I tested the Ignis in 1.2 SZ5 SHVS 4×4 guise. This hybrid version makes use of a belt-driven starter and generator, as well as a second lithium ion battery. This boosts the car’s petrol engine during acceleration. Producing only 90PS, this variant of the Suzuki is no sports car, but, because it’s so minuscule, everything feels faster than it really is. Zero to 62mph arrives in 11.5 seconds, and the top speed is only 103mph. But there’s a lot of fun to be had if you work the Ignis’ five speed ‘box hard.
The new Suzuki Ignis’ steering is a tad vague and the car does roll in corners, but that just adds to the entertainment factor. Hit a pothole, and things become even crazier as the rear bounces up and down like a 1970s’ space hopper. Bizarrely enough, none of this makes you dislike the car at all. And that’s because the 2017 Suzuki Ignis has bags of character – something many motors lack today.
The Ignis is agile, and with four-wheel-drive added, the Japanese car turns very mountain-goat-like, clambering up inclines and muddy trails like said beast in season. There’s even hill descent control, to keep you from overeagerly scrambling back to earth. The Ignis’ talent for traction transfers to the tarmac, too, with oodles of grip in corners.
With an average fuel consumption of 60.1mpg, and CO2 emissions of only 106g/km the 4×4 hybrid version of the Ignis will be cheap to run. The basic Ignis goes on sale this coming spring priced from just £9,999, while the 1.2 SZ5 SHVS 4×4, reviewed here, will set you back £13,999.
PROS: Looks | Character | Grip | Efficiency
CONS: Vague Steering
- Max speed: 103mph
- 0-62 mph: 11.5 secs
- Combined mpg: 60.1
- Engine: 1,242cc 4-cylinder petrol/electric
- Max. power (PS): 90
- CO2: 106g/km
- Price: £13,999