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What Car? says

2 out of 5 stars

For The engines are punchy, the build is solid and there's lots of space

Against It's not as good to drive as some of its rivals, and running costs can be a bit high

Verdict It's a decent all-rounder, but there are better cars out there for similar money

Go for… 1.3-litre GA

Avoid… The 1.5 GLX

Suzuki Ignis Hatchback
  • 1. There's plenty of space for driver and passenger
  • 2. The car's tall shape means that there's lots of room in the rear
  • 3. Boot capacity is fairly good, but access could be better
  • 4. Although the cabin materials may look drab, they are fairly hard-wearing
  • 5. The 1.3-litre engine is best - the bigger 1.5-litre unit isn't worth the higher running costs
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Suzuki Ignis Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The Ignis is one of those cars that can't quite decide what it's trying to be - it's supermini-sized, yet it's styled like a small off-roader, and Suzuki's rallying connections mean it's always keen to push it as a sporty car.

In truth, the supermini tag is the most accurate. Only later examples are available with four-wheel drive, and it isn't quick or entertaining enough to be sporty.

That said, the engines are pretty punchy and performance is fair. But, the ride is too firm, and a shortage of front-end grip means that the handling isn't really up to much.

However, the space inside is much better. The car's tall shape means there's plenty of room in both the front and the back, and although access to the boot could be better, the outright capacity isn't bad. All that's really missing in the cabin is a sense of style, which makes it feel drab, but the materials used stand up well to hard use.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Looks good value after initial heavy depreciation. Quite rare on the used market

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Early cars all came with an 82bhp 1.3-litre petrol engine, which was pretty punchy and gave decent performance. It came in two trim levels, GA and GL. The GA was very basic, but the GL only added alloys, deadlocks and central locking to the mix, so we'd recommend the cheaper entry-level car.

The range was face-lifted in 2003 and this added another engine, a 99bhp 1.5. It provides more performance, but increases running costs at the same time. The two-wheel-drive version is available only as an automatic, while the four-wheel-drive version has a manual gearbox.

The face-lift also meant changes in trims. The 1.3 engine came in basic GL trim and has CD player, remote central locking, side airbags and electric front windows. The 1.5 came only in GLX trim, which adds alloy wheels and air-con.

Whatever age of Ignis you choose, we'd recommend the cheapest version. Higher-trim cars weren't much more generous and the 1.3 engine is the best.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Early models are good value now 1.3GL has budget retail appeal

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Used Ignis prices are pretty cheap, but there are plenty of other, much better cars out there of a similar age for similar money.

Running costs are a bit higher than those of most competitors, too. The 1.3-litre engine gives the best fuel economy, but even that's only 43.5mpg on average, which isn't spectacular for the class. The 1.5 will give you 40.9mpg, dropping to 39.2mpg with the automatic gearbox.

Whichever engine you choose, you'll pay a similar insurance premium. Both the 1.3 and 1.5 engines are classified in group 4 which, again, isn't spectacular for the class.

Servicing costs are steep, too. The early cars needed routine maintenance every 6000 miles, while the newer ones can go for 9000 miles between overhauls. This is more frequent than the average supermini, so even if you find a garage that charges rock-bottom labour rates, the sheer number of visits to the workshop will prove expensive.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Looks good value after initial heavy depreciation. Quite rare on the used market

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Japanese manufacturers have an unsurpassed reputation for reliability, and although Suzuki's reputation can't match those of the best Japanese car makers, it has a pretty good track record overall.

Suzuki finished recent JD Power Customer Satisfaction Surveys in mid-table, and much of this success was down to solid mechanical reliability.

The Ignis itself didn't do particularly well in its latest appearance, but the good news is that most of the grumbles were over the car's looks, the way it drives and the high running costs. The Ignis's record for solid reliability remained intact.

Our most recent Reliability Survey also found that on the rare occasions that Suzukis do go wrong, repair bills are usually very cheap. In fact, Suzuki boasted the cheapest average repair bill in the entire survey, and the cheapest average hourly rate for labour.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Early models are good value now 1.3GL has budget retail appeal

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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