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Suzuki Ignis long-term review

After a series of group test victories, we've decided to add a Suzuki Ignis to our fleet. Will it continue to charm over the coming months?

Words ByKris Culmer

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Suzuki Ignis
  • The car Suzuki Ignis 1.2 Dualjet SHVS Allgrip SZ5
  • Run by Kris Culmer, production assistant
  • Why it’s here The Ignis offers something a bit different in the city car class – SUV looks, loads of rear seat space and the option of four-wheel drive
  • Needs to Be frugal despite having four driven wheels, enjoyable to drive, reliable and able to show at least some off-road ability

Price Β£14,249 Price as tested Β£14,899 Options Fervent red paint with black roof (Β£650) Official combined MPG 60.1mpg Test economy 51.1mpg CO2 106g/km Mileage to date 12,450 Insurance group 18 0-62mph 11.2sec Top speed 106mph


14 December 2017 – the Ignis gets a new owner

Since it arrived earlier this year, our Ignis has been shared around the office, much to the pleasure of all.

Now, the little car – I still can’t decide whether to describe it as a small SUV or a city car, seeing as it’s a chunky 4x4 but smaller than the Suzuki Swift – has finally found a permanent home with me.

If it could experience human emotion, I think the Ignis would be a bit hacked off by this new partnership, though, seeing as I’m one of those madmen with a daily motorway commute of 140 miles.

I’ve swapped out of a diesel, so my bank account winced, too. That said, the Ignis is not only a mild hybrid, but it's also (albeit in front-wheel-drive form) the most fuel-efficient car to date in our real-world True MPG tests. In fact, in my first week I’ve achieved around 50mpg, whereas my previous car, a Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi, averaged nearer to 40mpg. Result.

My first impressions come from motorway driving. While that isn’t the Ignis’s intended territory, the car has performed adequately.

The 1.2-litre petrol engine is quite happy at a 70mph cruise in fifth gear, hovering at around 3000rpm, and it has enough in-gear shove for me to overtake without attracting attention from the headlight-flashing brigade.

But there are issues. One I’ve noticed in this wintry weather is that the automatic emergency braking function turns itself off because its camera becomes obscured – fair enough in snow and fog, but heavy rain? Hmmm.

It’s not the most stable car at speed, either, and wind noise is… well, loud. Fortunately, I’ve had the stereo – upgraded thanks to our car’s range-topping SZ5 spec – loud enough not to notice. In fact, the Ignis’s media set-up has proved rather good. As standard, you get a 7.0in Pioneer touchscreen infotainment system with USB, a DAB radio and Bluetooth.

I’ve been listening to my iPod through the car’s USB connection. And with the stereo’s equaliser set to its β€˜powerful’ setting, even the portion of my music library containing artists with names such as Young Thug hasn't been distorted. There are far worse stereos at this price point, believe me.

Overall, then, I'm certainly not hacked off, even if the Ignis may be. I’ve booked the Ignis in for its first service (due at one year or 12,500 miles) at my local Suzuki dealership, and there are a few things that need seeing to, namely a noticeable clunk on some gearchanges and a heavy juddering sensation when the steering is on heavy lock at parking speeds. Check back next month to see how that goes.

More on our long-term Suzuki Ignis >

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Review

Suzuki Ignis

What Car? SaysRated 4 out of 5
Owners sayRated 4 out of 5

The Suzuki Ignis is a dinky SUV that’s well priced and neatly packaged. Only its stodgy handling and so-so interior quality let it down