Road Test - Suzuki Ignis

The interior of the Ignis is functional and attractive.The interior of the Ignis is functional and attractive.
The interior of the Ignis is functional and attractive.
Little Ignis is a good all-rounder - Julie Marshall drives Suzuki's diminutive SUV - and loves it

Suzuki’s Ignis is a cracking little car. Though a diminutive SUV it packs a lot of kit into its compact body and is smart and eye-catching with its tough, no nonsense look. Roof rails, wheel arch extensions and a high driving position emphasise the SUV look.

Though, as you’d expect, it's not particularly roomy but is comfortable enough for four adults with plenty of leg and headroom in the rear.

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Our top of the range SZ5 had sliding rear seats to give more leg room if required and they also reclined

Small yet stylish - the Suzuki IgnisSmall yet stylish - the Suzuki Ignis
Small yet stylish - the Suzuki Ignis

All three trim levels share the same engine so it’s just a question of how much you’re prepared to spend for added luxuries.

The 1.2-litre petrol engine is a mild hybrid so is very, very frugal. During our week of mostly local driving it barely moved off the full mark.

It may be only 82bhp but it seemed much more powerful than that and fairly zipped along. Particularly responsive while driving around town, it nevertheless picked up speed nicely on faster A roads and motorways.

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Unusually for such a small car it also comes with four-wheel drive. Even if you’re not planning on taking it off-road it’s a great peace of mind feature for driving in poor weather conditions.

The Ignis is a good all round vehicle.The Ignis is a good all round vehicle.
The Ignis is a good all round vehicle.

Should you decided to leave the tarmac Ignis is fitted with hill hold control and hill descent control for added security.

There is a choice of the standard five speed manual transmission or an optional CVT automatic in the top two trims.

We drove the manual and found it gave consistently crisp and accurate gear changes.

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If I have one criticism of the Ignis it is the light steering which comes across as vague at slow speeds. It does however mean that the Ignis is manoeuverable and easy to park and turn into tight spaces.

The ride is comfortable courtesy of the soft suspension and the driving experience relaxing thanks to the refined engine and unobtrusive road and wind noise.

I like to ride high in cars, particularly SUVs and was able to jack up the driver’s seat in the Ignis.

The short bonnet added to the excellent front visibility but I relied on the reversing camera as the view is restricted at the rear because of the thickset pillars.

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The steering wheel adjusts for height only but this didn’t detract from being able to get a comfortable position.

Wide-opening doors are a real bonus and getting in and out of both front and rear is surprisingly comfortable - particularly for those with limited mobility.

The interior is functional and attractive. Our SZ5 came with a seven-inch touchscreen to operate the infotainment system. Not one of my favourites, it’s a bit fiddly to use and not particularly intuitive. At least it has smartphone mirroring which I deferred to instead of the inbuilt sat nav system and I liked the fact it has two USB connectors.Storage options are practical with large door bins and a decent-size glove box

Although the boot is spacious compared to many other city cars access is a bit awkward due to the shape of the opening and the large lip. Dropping the rear seats gives expanded boot room but not a flat load floor which does detract from its usefulness.

Suzuki Ignis

Price: £18,249 (£18,949 as tested)

Engine: 1.02-litre, hybrid

Power: 82bhp

Torque: 79lb/ft

Transmission: Five-speed manual

Top speed: 103mph

0-62mph: 12.8 seconds

Economy: 52.49mpg

CO 2 emissions: 121g/km