Suzuki Ignis review
The funky Suzuki Ignis mixes crossover looks and city car dimensions with interesting results
The Suzuki Ignis is a real breath of fresh air in the city car class, offering desirable crossover-style looks and a distinctive character that sets it apart from rivals. Love or hate the exterior, you have to accept that there’s little else at this price with so much personality.
The Ignis also sticks to Suzuki’s usual traits of offering tonnes of equipment for not an awful lot of money, and despite the dinky dimensions it’s actually very versatile and spacious. It’s light, and feels agile and nippy around town, but the market’s best small cars are both more comfortable and more composed to drive.
The Ignis does lack the class of city cars like the Skoda Citigo inside, with some cheap trim, but when you think how much you’re paying, it’s entirely forgivable. Four-wheel drive, and a super-frugal hybrid variant, means there are plenty of strings to this little Suzuki’s bow.
The Suzuki Ignis is one of the quirkiest cars for sale today. It combines the Japanese company's small-car expertise and 4x4 know-how into one package. While the name is a blast from Suzuki's recent past (most notably on the rally-inspired Ignis Sport), the current Ignis is a car that trades on its style, as it really stands out from the crowd.
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It's hard to pinpoint any direct rivals, because the Ignis mixes city car dimensions and sporty SUV styling so well. If you're looking at an Ignis, then you might consider small 4x4s such as the Dacia Duster or the similar Fiat Panda 4x4, although that car is older. There are the usual city car suspects, too, such as the Skoda Citigo/SEAT Mii/VW up! trio, or the parts-sharing Citroen C1/Peugeot 108/Toyota Aygo, or slightly larger small cars such as the Ford Ka+.
There are rivals within the Suzuki range, too. If you want a more conventional supermini, then there's the mechanically similar Baleno, while the Suzuki Swift is also available. Go smaller, and there's the Suzuki Celerio, or you could go full 4x4 with the latest Jimny.
One highlight of the Ignis is its stand-out styling. Supposedly inspired by the Whizzkid coupe of the late 1970s, the main talking point is the raked rear windscreen and the design of the C-pillars. Combine this with the chunky wheelarches and distinctive front end, and there really isn't any other car on the road that looks like the Ignis.
Thankfully, the running gear underneath is perfectly ordinary in comparison. All cars come with a 1.2-litre petrol engine that's used across the Suzuki range, although the top-spec model includes Suzuki's SHVS mild hybrid technology to help save fuel and reduce emissions. A five-speed manual gearbox is also standard on all cars, while an AGS auto is offered. Go for the 1.2 SHVS in top spec, and you can also add a 4x4 system for added security when the road gets slippery.
The Ignis comes in SZ3, SZ-T and SZ5 specs, and all cars are pretty well equipped. Prices start from around £12,000, although Suzuki has some decent £1,000 discounts in place to draw in buyers. At the top of the range, the SZ5 with auto gearbox costs around £15,700, while the 4x4 model (which is a manual) is nearing £16,000.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe funky Suzuki Ignis mixes crossover looks and city car dimensions with interesting results
- 2Engines, performance and driveKeep the Ignis in town and it’s nippy and agile, but it starts to struggle on the open road
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Ignis should be very cheap to buy and run regardless of spec, although insurance groups aren’t all that low
- 4Interior, design and technologyLoads of kit and stylish design inside and out, yet cabin feels a bit cheap
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceIgnis is far more practical than you’d expect looking at it. The sliding rear seats are a real boon
- 6Reliability and SafetySuzuki has a good reputation for reliability, although the base model Ignis’ three-star Euro NCAP safety rating lets it down