New Suzuki Ignis puts the spotlight on quirky motoring fun
CAPE TOWN. – With the global popularity of the SUV persisting, it’s no surprise that manufacturers are finding ways to blend some that category’s elements into new models. As a result, the subcompact SUV is increasingly becoming a fixture of the marketplace, and the Suzuki Ignis is the latest addition.
Competing against the likes of the Renault Sandero Stepway and the Mahindra KUV100, the newest member of the Suzuki family also features a uniquely eye-catching look.
The Ignis makes the biggest impact from the front, where its LED daytime running lights and prominent headlights frame a chrome-rimmed grille for a look that is distinctive and attention-grabbing.
Throughout the car’s design, various elements pay homage to Suzukis of the past: the C-pillar features slats that mimic the Cervo, while the clamshell bonnet is reminiscent of the Vitara. Prominent wheel arches and a tall stance help endow the Ignis with a sense of offload attitude.
Less impressive is the rear of the car which is, at best, incongruous with the rest of the design. On the launch in the Western Cape, we drove the higher spec GLX, which includes roof rails and black 15-inch alloys as part of the package.
Inside, it’s most definitely more about city living than outdoor activity: it starts with a two-tone treatment for the dash, body-colour highlights throughout the cabin, and a spec that includes climate control, Bluetooth and a multifunction steering wheel.
It’s a comfortable set-up all-round: space is decent as well, and the 250-litre boot capacity is higher than the class average.
Driving a mix of highways, mountain passes and urban roads, we found the Ignis to be surprisingly capable across a variety of conditions. Helping with its performance is a skinny kerb mass of just 850 kg, meaning that the 62 kW and 113 Nm from its 1 200 cc naturally aspirated petrol motor go a long way.
Handling is also surprising: despite its 180 mm ride height and skinny tyres, it can actually deliver a bit of fun in the corners. Our test car was fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox, although the Ignis is also available with a five-speed automated manual.
We’ll have a full report on the Suzuki Ignis on RPM TV soon. – SPIKE BALLANTINE
Suzuki Ignis GL manual: R169 900
Suzuki Ignis GLX manual: R189 900
Suzuki Ignis GL AMT: R204 900