Sukuzi Ignis review 2019

Find out more about the Suzuki Ignis in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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4
Out of 5

Pros

  • - Lots of standard equipment for the price
  • - Surprisingly practical
  • - Cheap to run

Cons

  • - Poor refinement
  • - Infotainment could be better
  • - 4x4 version has a smaller boot
  • MPG

    58 - 65

  • CO2

    98 - 109 g/km

Model Review

Suzuki first introduced the Ignis in 2000, as a small supermini that offered a higher driving position than its rivals. It would also spawn the Ignis Sport junior hot hatch. In 2008, the first-generation Ignis was discontinued.

In 2016, Suzuki decided to revive the Ignis name for its new SUV-styled city car. It made its debut at the Paris Motor Show and order books opened in January 2017.

At just 3.7 metres long, the Ignis is dinky in proportions, but clever packaging makes it surprisingly practical. Suzuki also has a new weight reduction ethos, exemplified by the Ignis weighing in at just 810kg.

It’s one of the quirkiest looking cars in its class, with LED daytime running lights setting off the front, and styling cues from Suzuki’s classic Cervo ‘Whizzkid’ being integrated into the Ignis’s design.

Latest model

The Ignis hasn’t been on sale for long, so it hasn’t had any facelifts yet.

The only change that’s happened since launch is the introduction of the special edition Ignis Adventure. It’s a trim that’s based on the SZ-T, which means that it comes with a rear-view camera, 16-inch alloys and roof rails. It adds a rear spoiler, side mouldings, as well as individual decals. It went on sale in 2018, and is certainly the most vibrant-looking Ignis on sale.

The model has been applauded, and even made it into the final shortlist for the 2017 World Car of the Year awards.

Value for money

 

On paper, the Ignis looks quite expensive. Compared to the similarly-sized Celerio city car –which is available for under £8,000 - the Ignis looks a touch more expensive at a starting price of £10,499. That said, the Ignis is appealing to a different group of people who fall for its SUV charm and superb practicality.

It also comes with an impressive amount of equipment for a model of its price point. The entry-level model comes with air-conditioning, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and automatic lights as standard, and the SZ-T and range-topping SZ5 trim levels are also well-equipped. These models add smartphone connectivity in the form of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink technology.

You can pick up the original Ignis for under £500, but here we’re focusing on the latest model which can be picked up from £8,000. That money would buy you a 2017 car in the entry level trim level with just 5,000 miles on the clock. We would recommend stumping up a bit more cash for the SZ-T model, which starts from around £9,000. Base models registered within the last 12 months also fetch roughly £9,000 on the used market, so while savings are available on nearly-new options, they’re not particularly notable.

 

Looks and image

The styling of the Ignis is delightfully quirky. Its chunky wheel arches, louvres on the rear three-quarter and tiny dimensions give it a unique edge, making it quite distinctive on the road.

It’s very characterful and comes in a range of vibrant colours, although it’s styling might be a bit too over the top for some. It’s certainly a divisive car from a styling standpoint, but we love that Suzuki didn’t follow the crowd with this model.

The flair also extends to the interior, where you’ll find a colourful two-tone dashboard; colourful orange or silver accents can be added around the gearstick and grab handles, too. Unfortunately, it’s let down by some cheap-feeling plastics, which are scratchy to the touch. That said, it’s more or less forgivable on a car of this price.

What’s not so easy to forgive is the touchscreen, which is fitted to SZ-T and SZ5 models. It’s an aftermarket Pioneer unit, and not only does it look like an afterthought, but it is very fiddly to use and not overly responsive. On the plus side, you get good smartphone connectivity on these two trim levels.

Around town, the Ignis is hugely fun to drive. It’s nippy, easy to park and surprisingly peppy on narrower city streets. The steering is amusingly light and vague, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had with it at low speeds.

As with most cars of this size, it’s not quite so competent out on the open roads.  It’s loud at speeds over about 60mph, as plenty of wind noise is created courtesy of the steep-sloped windscreen. That said, it’s very comfortable thanks to its soft suspension setup and cushioned seats.

Space and practicality

For a car with such small dimensions, the Ignis is packaged marvellously.

Unlike rivals with sloping rooflines, the Ignis’s high roof means that four adults will be able to sit comfortably in the rear, and so long as the passengers aren’t too tall, there will not be many complaints here.

While the sliding rear seats fitted to the top two specs are very handy, it’s worth noting that these limit the Ignis to being a four-seater. If you want a five-seat Ignis, you’re limited to the entry-level model.

The boot is also of a good size, offering 267 litres of luggage space. This is more than you would find in most city cars, and isn’t too far off what you’d find in the Ford Fiesta. The four-wheel-drive version’s extra mechanicals reduce the room on offer to 204 litres.

In Euro NCAP safety tests, the entry-level Ignis scored a disappointing three-star rating, and was marked down for its lack of standard driver assistance technologies.

However, for cars fitted with Suzuki’s Dual Camera Brake Support system (optional on SZ3 and SZ-T, but standard on SZ5) it was awarded the full five stars. This system is essentially a Suzuki-specific label for autonomous emergency braking. It’s a good idea trying to find used models with this tech fitted to it, and it is something of a shame that Suzuki doesn’t offer the system as standard kit.

The Ignis spec sheet features an optional lane-departure warning that will alert you if you’re straying out of your lane or weaving, which could be a worthwhile extra if you expect to spend time on motorways.

Engines

Suzuki offers just one engine on the Ignis, but it also offers the engine with mild-hybrid (SHVS) technology on the range-topping SZ5 trim level.

The engine is an 89bhp, 1.2-litre petrol unit that often requires you to be at the top of the rev range if you want to access its full power. This motor will allow the car to accelerate from 0-60mph in 12 seconds, and it will get to that speed 0.2 seconds quicker in SHVS trim. It’s also worth noting that the mild hybrid technology is available with four-wheel-drive, too.

There’s very little difference in terms of performance between the standard petrol unit and the electrified version, but it’s running costs where you’ll notice the benefits of the SHVS.

A five-speed manual is the standard gearbox, with a sluggish five-speed automatic transmission offered as an option.

Running costs

Thanks to the Ignis’s small engines and light curb weight, it will be a very cheap car to run. Fuel economy ranges between 60.1mpg and 65.7mpg — the most efficient being the two-wheel-drive mild hybrid model. CO2 emissions range between 97g/km and 107g/km depending on the variant you choose, and the hybrid model is slightly cheaper to insure than the rest.

Sadly, the Ignis falls down when it comes to insurance groups. Whereas other city cars sit in insurance groups as low as 1, the Ignis is placed in groups 15 to 18, which is very high for a car of this size. While this won’t make a lot of difference to older drivers, it will likely rule out the Ignis out as a first car for many who are new to the road.

Things to look for

Suzuki has a solid reliability record, and there’s little evidence to suggest that the Ignis will perform otherwise.

It’s only been on sale for a couple of years, and has an excellent reliability record so far; plus, all models in the UK are still under warranty until the end of 2019 at the earliest. The only thing to note is that several owners have complained about the touchscreen on higher-spec models failing. Suzuki has since decided to team up with Bosch for its satellite navigation systems.

Rivals

The Ignis takes up quite a small niche in the market as a cross between a city car and an SUV, and while there are other cars that blur these lines, the Ignis is perhaps the most convincing. The Suzuki’s competition includes the Vauxhall Viva Rocks, Ford Ka+ Active, Kia Picanto X-Line and Dacia Sandero Stepway.

If you decide to look at other small crossovers, you could take a look at the Citroen C3 Aircross, Nissan Juke, Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic, although these are all more expensive than the Ignis.

Depreciation

The Ignis has held its value surprisingly well for a Suzuki, which is a testament to how desirable the car is. Prices are yet to dip far below £8,000, showing that it is yet to experience any heavy depreciation. There are still some worthwhile deals to be had on nearly-new models, though.

Which Ignis to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

1.2 Dualjet SZ3 5dr

Most MPG

1.2 Dualjet SHVS SZ5 5dr

Fastest Model (0-60)

1.2 Dualjet SHVS SZ5 ALLGRIP 5dr

Summary

  1. Efficient engines
  2. Very practical for its size
  3. Great around town
  4. Option of a mild hybrid
  5. High insurance groups
  6. Well-priced
  7. Not very refined at higher speeds
  8. Touchscreen could be better to use
  9. 4x4 model takes a practicality hit
  10. A hugely characterful city car with quirky SUV styling

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