THE looks of Suzuki's Ignis model can best be described as quirky - you will either find its funky boxy looks appealing or instantly dismiss it as being too wacky.
Its cheeky looks made me smile and will certainly appeal to younger motorists who like to stand out from the crowd.
At just 3.7 metres long and 1.69 wide, the Ignis really is a city car with 'small' SUV styling.
It is available in three trims and shares its chassis with the Baleno. It is very light - the entry level car weighs only 855kg - but still manages to offer space for four adults in its surprisingly roomy cabin.
The entry-level SZ3 arrives with steel wheels, front electric windows, Bluetooth, air conditioning and rear privacy glass as standard while the SZ-T adds sliding rear seats, roof rails, exterior body mouldings, smartphone integration and a rear view camera. The top SZ5 adds front fogs, keyless entry and start, climate control, cruise control and brake support.
Only one engine is available - a 1.2-litre petrol with 89bhp on tap- mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
It is a decent enough performer but as it does not feature a turbo progress is not dramatic. The engine is always willing and enjoys being worked and it makes for an engaging drive as you have to make good use of the gearbox.
In town the Ignis is a lively companion and very easy to park because of its small dimensions. It is also agile out on the open road and the suspension provides a comfortable ride.
I did find the steering slightly vague at times and on the motorways the Ignis suffered a little in crosswinds.
The top model I sampled featured Suzuki's excellent ALLGRIP system which delivers power to all four wheels when required and is designed to give you extra grip in the wet, snow and mud.
There is plenty of space inside the cabin and the instruments and controls are well laid out and easy to read and use. Some of the plastics on the two-tone dash are a bit scratchy but they will stand up to family use.
The boot offers 260-litres of luggage space and this can be increased considerably by collapsing the 50/50 split rear seats on the top two models.
A disappointment for me was the very fiddly touchscreen for the nav, entertainment and telephone features which I found almost impossible to use.
Otherwise the Ignis is a neat little package which offers an alternative to more traditional city cars.
Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SZ5 ALLGRIP
Mechanical:89bhp, 1,242cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox