The light SUV delight
It’s a car that makes complete sense in suburban and city traffic yet is just such fun.
Recent figures show that the average Aussie is spending nearly six hours a week behind the wheel, and that number is increasing every year. That’s six hours of your week being frustrated, angry and uninspired.
But what if those six hours weren’t boring? What if they were genuinely fun? What if there was something that could turn that frown upside down while getting you from A to B?
Well, the good news is there is. It’s the 2017 Suzuki Ignis.
Even just looking at the Ignis makes you smile. It’s a compact little thing that's just full of character. Suzuki is calling the Ignis a light SUV rather than a supermini or city-car and the nearly 20cm of ground clearance supports this description. That ride height also helps with how it drives, but we’ll get to that later.
The chunky wheel arches and retro design cues are very cool and our top of the range GLX test car comes with dark coloured alloy wheels, LED running lights and a contrasting black roof. Suzuki will soon be offering customising pieces of exterior trim like coloured grill surrounds, fog light surrounds and mirrors to make your Ignis totally individual.
But is the Ignis all style and no substance? Not at all. After only having the Ignis for a few days, I can’t remember enjoying a car as quickly or as instantly as I enjoyed the Ignis. It’s a car that makes complete sense in suburban and city traffic, yet is just fun.
It’s certainly not fast (it’s not embarrassingly slow either), but I love that you almost have to work it harder to get the most out of it. The engine is a 1.2-litre dual jet 4 cylinder putting out 66kW and 120Nm of torque and while that may not sound like much, the Ignis only weighs 850kg.
This light weight means the Ignis is cheap to run with a claimed fuel usage of 4.9 litres per 100kms. The light weight is also a huge contributor to Ignis being so fun to drive. It feels like an energetic little puppy. It's certainly not a performance car, but it sure is fun. Back streets start to feel like a rally stage and that increased ride height helps to easily soak up any potholes or rubbish roads.
Depending on the model, the Ignis comes with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a CVT auto. The CVT might be easier to live with but the manual is more fun. The Ignis also has an incredibly tight turning circle so emergency U-turns are a breeze.
Inside is even funkier than the outside. It’s so great to see an interior design in this class that isn't a sea of grey plastic. Suzuki has taken a gamble with this two-tone white and black interior but it’s a gamble that has paid off. Like the customisable parts Suzuki will offer on the exterior, customisable interior trim pieces will also be offered. Coloured door handle, air conditioning vents and console components are all on the cards.
The levels of equipment are outstanding with a 7-inch touch screen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Sat Nav and a high definition reversing camera. The Ignis also comes with cruise control, keyless start and a speed limiter function if you're having too much fun.
Practicality is great with cupholders everywhere and plenty of cabin storage. The boot is 260l, about the same as Mazda’s CX3 but the Ignis’s rear seats slide and fold forward to create over 500l of space. Speaking of the rear seats, I’m 6’2 and I had more than enough head, knee and foot room to survive while back there.
The Ignis comes with Suzuki’s three-year or 100,000km warranty and pricing kicks off at around $16,000. I don’t know of another car at any price that can do everything the Ignis can while still being as funky and this fun. I know it’s supposed to be a bit of a girl car but I bloody love it.
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