Driven: Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GLX

I spent a week in Suzuki’s fun-sized soft-roader and came away with all sorts of feelings

What is it?
According to Suzuki, the Ignis is a sub R200k SUV. But to me, it isn’t really. I like to think of it instead as a quirky hatchback for R223k because, in my opinion, the GLX model has far too many excellent features you’d otherwise lose by going for the entry-level model – most notably a contemporary touchscreen multimedia system with all the connectivity options you could hope for. And again, to judge it as a compact SUV would be to minimize its value as an urban car, and if it seems like I’m being somewhat scathing, get ready for a serious U-Turn. Because I bloody well love this thing.

How does it go?
A 1.2l four-cylinder petrol car brandishing 61kW and 113Nm is hardly a weapon. It does the zero to hundred in 11.6 seconds, and tops out at 165kph. Perhaps more relevant numbers are the conservative 5.1l/100km fuel consumption and 119g/km CO2 emissions stats. Put another way, it goes just fine on the black stuff and yes, it did just as well on dirt. My lifestyle includes quite a bit of mountain biking and the Ignis didn’t disappoint on the weekend’s gravelly jaunts up jeep trails.

What’s it like to live with?
Nor did it battle swallowing up my large dual suspension 29er MTB which has been a stalwart test for me. No mean feat for a hatchling. Overall, the cabin is funky and tactile and bursting with toys and tech. Safety? Check. Smartphone syncing and general multimediary? Check. Overall, the cabin is a fun space and a great place to pilot from. The ride is on the softer side and acceleration is suffice, a good compromise for a tiny whip that will spend the most of its time in urban crawl.

A humble verdict
I’m a sucker for good looking things and can be easily won over by the aesthetics of a car as a result. The Ignis in this regard has been a revelation in this segment. Add to that the fact that it’s affordable, goes well, and comes laden with gear and you can see why I’ve recommended it all year. And why three of those recommendations turned into purchases and subsequently very happy owners.

A lady’s opinion though
Kelly says of the Ignis, “it is easily one of my favourite new cars out there right now, the Suzuki Ignis is for those who prefer something a little bit out of the ordinary. It’s chunky looks and small(ish) stature make it a very funky looking vehicle. I have always loved Suzukis and I have always lusted over a Jimny. That has always been out of my price range though. The Ignis is a good compromise.”

Quick Stats: Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GLX
Price: R223,900
Powertrain: inline 4-cyl 1.2l petrol, 5-speed manual, FWD
Performance: 61kW, 113Nm, 11.6sec 0-100kph, 5 1l/100km, 165kph top speed, 119g/km CO2

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