It’s official, you don’t need to keep up with Joneses or the Ndabas anymore in order to afford an SUV. It seems like the folks at Suzuki have your back with the all new compact SUV, the Suzuki Ignis. Just in case you are wondering, the name is a derivative of the word ignition. Like the word the Ignis derives its name from, it’s here to set the entry level SUV market on fire.
From the images I’d seen of the Ignis before its launch, I’d expected the car to be quite small. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this is not the case in real life. That’s both inside and out. The car commands a bit of presence and has decent ground clearance. Step inside, you’ll be treated to ample leg and head room. Something that will set the Ignis apart from competitors is its quality finishes in the interior.
The Ignis has a decent boot (260 litres) that can be expanded if you fold the back seats 60/40 or completely. Despite the decent boot, you’ll be pleased to know that the Ignis comes with a full sized spare wheel.
The Ignis comes in manual and automatic. A 1.2 litre engine which is good for a punchy 61 kW of power and 113 Nm of torque is deployed across the range. I test drove the manual which felt decent at the maxim national speed limit. The engine remained composed on hills and I never felt the need to change down for power, with or without the air conditioner on. Now before I get carried away, driver experience may be different at high altitude locations like Johannesburg. Suzuki claims a decent fuel consumption of 5.1 litres/100km for the manual and 4.9 litres/100 for the automatic.
The cheerful looking Ignis comes in two trims, the entry level GL and the top of the range GLX. Standard features in all models include electric windows (with only the driver enjoying a power window), MP3 compatible CD player and a USB port.
A colour screen can be ordered for an extra R6500. Honestly, it’s not necessary. The car I drove didn’t have one fitted and I didn’t miss it. Suzuki actually deserves a pat on the back for making this an optional extra and concentration on making safety features such as ABS brakes standard. Other standard safety features include front airbags and side impact protection beams.
The Ignis is priced from R169,000 for the GL manual and goes up all the way to R204,000 for the GLX automatic model. The prices include a 2 year/30,000 km service plan and a 3 year or 100,000 km warranty.
Likes: exterior styling and interior space. Dislikes: (1) driver door handle. It is made of a glossy material that makes it look like it will break any moment (although it is actually as tough as nails) and (2) the exposed bodywork on the doors at the back. This is not an Mk1 Golf. Party trick: cute daytime running lights. Two tone interiors and exteriors in some models.
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