You can’t call the Ignis an SUV, or even a crossover, for that matter. But what it is, is a very funky SUV-inspired hatch.
Calling the Suzkui Ignis a crossover is a bit of a stretch. Like the Renault Kwid, it has little in common with your typical SUV. But it’s really just a small hatch with a raised ride height and some black cladding.
That being said, the Ignis is a tremendously fun vehicle to live with. The vehicle is powered by the well-known K12M 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine already familiar from current Suzuki models such as the Swift 1.2. It develops 61kW of power and 113Nm of torque, which might not seem like much, and indeed, it takes the vehicle a leisurely 11.6 seconds to accelerate from 0–100km/h, but it feels surprisingly fun and lively while driving it. It certainly feels faster than those figures would suggest. Not once did we wish that the Ignis had more power. The engine is happy to rev and the five-speed manual transmission is smooth. The Ignis is also light (850kg) and agile, and that makes it great to drive around town. Once on the open road, it also doesn’t feel underpowered. You can overtake when the need arrives and cruise comfortable at around 120km/h.
Mated to the manual shifter, Suzuki claims average fuel consumption of 5.1 litres per 100km. We averaged around 6.0 litres while spending most of our time around town and without trying to drive very economically, so a combined economy figure of 5.1 should be attainable.
The Ignis is a small vehicle – it is just 3.7m long and 1.69m wide – yet it has a ground clearance of 180mm. This is useful when dealing with dirt roads or other day-to-day obstacles, but it doesn’t impact the stability of the Suzuki. Even at 120km/h, the Ignis feels stable and secure.
On the inside, you get a decent amount of kit. Standard items include electric windows, remote central locking, air-conditioning, electric power steering, and an MP3-compatible CD sound system with USB port and 12V accessory power socket. Safety is equally comprehensively addressed via dual front airbags, ABS anti-lock brakes, side impact protection beams, Isofix child seat anchors and child-proof rear door locks.
The top half of the dashboard is finished in a smart black, while the lower sections are clad in contrasting white. The same contrasting black/white finish is employed for the door panels.
The inside door grips and the centre console panels are finished in bright colours – including red, blue and titanium – depending on the exterior colour. The centre console features the same slit-like design element featured on the car’s C-pillars.
The dashboard, with its rectangular vents in the centre and spherical vents at either end, is central to the cabin’s uncluttered look. The instruments are located in a compact binnacle directly ahead of the driver. The instrument binnacle is framed by a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, which is equipped with multi-function controls for the sound system and Bluetooth telephony in the case of the GLX model.
The rear bench seat is split 60:40, and folds flat forwards to increase boot space. With the seatback in the upright position, the Ignis swallows up to 260 litres of luggage. Fold the rear seatback flat, and cargo capacity increases to 469 litres.
Overall, the Ignis manages to be both funky and sensible. It is frugal but still fun to drive, and the cabin is comfortable and well equipped. At R189 900, there are cheaper options (such as the Renault Kwid), but the Suzuki is solid and practical enough to warrant the price. If you’re looking for a hatch that has some SUV styling, and can perhaps even deal with a bit of dirt, the Ignis is worth a look.
The new Suzuki Ignis is covered by a standard three-year/100 000km warranty, as well as a two-year/30 000km service plan. Services are at 15 000km/12 month intervals.
Suzuki Ignis Glx
Engine: K12m 1.2-Litre Four-Cylinder Petrol
Power: 61kw @ 6 000r/Min
Torque: 113nm @ 4 200r/Min
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Consumption: 5.1 Litres Per 100km
Luggage Space: 260 – 469 Litres
Tyres: 175/65 R15
Ground Clearance: 180mm
Price: R189 900
Text: GG van Rooyen