2017 Suzuki Ignis Road Test, Review
This isn’t Suzuki’s first day at the races. They’ve been making SUVs for years and the new Ignis follows the ethos of the first model seen in Australia about a decade ago.
Back then it was one of the Suzuki models that was also badged as a Holden - the Cruze.
In 2017 form it’s inexpensive and funky. Importantly, is it connected, just as young buyers demand.
Our 2017 Suzuki Ignis GXL came with a tiny 1.2L petrol engine pumping out a massive 66kw of power, and a mountain-climbing 120Nm of torque.
OK, not massive, or mountain climbing, but it isn’t meant to be.
Let’s set the scene: a cobbled inner-city laneway with an ancient sun-baked roller door.
It’s too narrow for many cars, but the Ignis can make the turn into the garage with room to spare. Turning in to tight spots feels super easy with a 9.4m turning circle.
That is where an Ignis is at its best. It is not a barn-stormer, and it is not a sportscar.
It is not meant to be taken by the scruff of the neck and thrown in to corners at warp 9.99. It is a city car, that is a fun drive.
The Ignis exterior has a touch of cool about it.
The GXL is adorned with dark graphite alloys and copper coloured accents dotted about for effect.
The LED Projector headlights have LED DTRLs. There is no hint of humble-price-tag outside.
The K-Car boxy look is modern, yet retro.
The rear end was not quite as cute as the rest of the design. Suzuki could have played it safe, but I’m glad they didn’t.
The chunky, funky exterior has an equally cool cabin.
There is no attempt at nasty fake leather, dreary simulated wood, or tacky metalised trim.
It is plastic on plastic with just a touch of plastic, that looks like plastic. There isn’t slightest hint of apology, and surprisingly, it works.
The copper coloured highlights continue inside with vent bezels, dash, and centre console getting the up-market makeover.
All doors have power windows, and the floating LCD screen displays Apple CarPlay apps.
Smart entry/start, reversing camera, digital air-conditioning, and auto headlights, come as a pleasant and welcome surprise.
There are lots of cup and bottle holders, as well as little places for knick-knacks.
I like the two-tone effect of the dash and doors.
It makes an otherwise plain-Jane interior look special. Likewise, the quality LCD screen and retro buttons on the centre stack.
They were hard to see at night, but I may have missed the dimmer control.
Annoyingly, I had a little trouble with Apple CarPlay in the Suzuki Ignis.
There were occasions where the system wouldn’t reconnect after short periods switched off.
We didn’t try Android Auto because would couldn’t find anyone who owned one!
My only other complaint is that the vent to the right of the display screen pointed directly at the steering wheel.
I can’t think why you’d ever want to keep your hands frozen. No amount of adjustment made it any better. I had to lower the flow to almost zero. Summer might be a different story.
Despite the entry level-ness of the Ignis, there is plenty of stuff to keep most buyers happy.
The drive proved my theory that this car is great for short trips.
Like most tall drivers, I often have trouble adjusting the steering wheel to suit the pedals. Such is the case here.
There is only height adjustment, so without reach adjustment, my legs were too long for my arms.
The steering wheel needed to come another 5 or 6 cms closer to be comfortable.
Shorter peeps would have no trouble.
The ride was geared towards comfort, as much as is possible. There is a floaty feel as you buzz happily along the tarmac.
The light steering could use a little less assistance.
There are Macpherson Struts at the front, and a torsion beam rear setup. It makes a decent enough job of handling.
I can imagine a turbo model with extra oomph, wider wheels, and dark windows, being a halo model hot hatch.
A 1.2L engine is never going to be a rocket, but 13 seconds to 100km/h isn’t too bad.
Initially, I thought the 0-100 time would probably require a calendar.
It was never an issue, but you’d need to plan overtaking before you left home. You’d be better off just sitting back and relaxing.
It’s 32L tank will get you around 650k with a claimed economy of 4.9L/100k. Best of all, you’ll fill your beast for under 40 bucks.
We tested the Suzuki around town, with brief stints at freeway speeds. It was fun, and just a little bit silly.
The freeway was a trifle noisy, with differing road surfaces inducing more of an intrusion than I’d have liked.
Extra insulation would fix it without adding too much to the weight.
The rear wheels have drum brakes which feel out of place in the 21st century.
It doesn’t seem to affect the braking capacity during normal use, but felt a bit wooden when a spot of spirited cornering was required.
You can fit lots shopping in the back. The cargo space isn’t huge which means less effort is required when chasing stray oranges around the boot.
Two friends will fit in the back seat, but most of the time it will be just a single person and a dog.
For that, Ignis is perfect.
Remember though, for just over $4,000, you can upgrade to a Vitara!
NUTS and BOLTS - 2017 Suzuki Ignis GXL
- Engine: 1.2 litre petrol producing 66kW/120Nm
- Transmission: CVT only (GXL)
- Safety: Not tested
- Warranty: 3yrs/100,000km
- Origin: Japan
- Price: from $18,990 (GXL)