Ignition time for

new Suzuki Ignis

Suzuki Ignis, 2017, front
Suzuki Ignis, 2017, front, action
Suzuki Ignis, 2017, side
Suzuki Ignis, 2017, boot
Suzuki Ignis, 2017, rear seats
Suzuki Ignis, 2017, instruments
Suzuki Ignis, 2017, interior
Suzuki Ignis, 2016, rear

YOU can't keep a good product name down which is one of the reasons Suzuki has revived the Ignis name for their all-new small crossover-cum-mini SUV-cum-city car which goes on sale in January.

Motorists here last saw the Ignis name on a Suzuki car over nine years ago and whilst it didn't exactly turn out to be a roaring sales success it played its part in continuing the growth and awareness of the Japanese brand.

This latest incarnation though will do even better. It's quiet a breath of fresh in the small car sector with its distinctive, bold body styling along with a hint of cheeky retro looks that help make it stand out from the rest of the pack.

In essence at the end of the day it's a city car but one that's also different from all the others because it's exceptionally spacious inside, so much so that it will accommodate four full-size adults and owing to an excellent kitted interior too it's one that four such people will enjoy its comfort on a long journey - and you can't say that about rival city cars either.

This has all been helped by some clever creative work by both Suzuki engineers and designers in using their new platform to its fullest extent.

Borrowing much of the underneath mechanics from the Baleno -another model named the company revived earlier this year - it's their precise detail of the design and interior finishing that also makes it stand out from rivals.

Visually it has a bold looking front end that is really smart along with a narrow upper body plus a cleverly thought out angles roofline whilst the well contoured seats inside have quite a high position giving all occupants excellent all round vision - again not a trait found on rival city cars.

Step inside and again this new Ignis is quite distinctive with a neat two-tone finish on the dashboard and doors with a really smart laid out dashboard and even the plastic trim finishes have a nice, quality feel about them.

For the driver the controls and dials are all so sensibly places they are simple and easy to use as it the tablet-style touch screen and again all adding up to being a true breath of fresh in this sector.

There's basically one engine being offered which is Suzuki's own 1.2-litre 88bhp four cylinder Dualjet petrol engine with power coming through a five-speed manual gearbox although for more money motorists can opt to have Suzuki's SHVS mild hybrid system linked with the same petrol engine on the top range model, the SZ5.

There are just three levels of trim for buyers to choose from with the entry-level SZ3 having a decent amount of standard kit on board that includes six airbags, air conditioning, DAB radio with Bluetooth, 15-inch wheels along with body-coloured door mirrors and front electric windows.

Next up is the SZ-T, which is expected to account for around half of the 16,000 expected Ignis sales here next year, and buyers get sat nav, rear view parking camera, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, wheel arch extensions and sliding rear seats.

These rear seats are quite novel too for a city car in that they can be easily slid forward slightly to give more boot space, which has a basic 1,100 litres of storage anyway, but again with two adult size passengers seated in them.

As for storage there's plenty of cubby holes around too including bottle holders in the centre and rear consoles as well as in the front and rear doors with again attention to detail by the designers to make the most of a city car dimensions.

The range-topping SZ5 has the option of that hybrid system added to the power train via a 12-volt battery which naturally brings down the CO2 emissions to below that crucial 100g/km mark at 97 with an average fuel consumption of 65.7mpg on the two-wheel drive version.

For those motorists needing four-wheel-drive in this Ignis again there's the choice of Suzuki's 4WD ALLGRIP automatic system but in the UK the expected take-up of this option will be quite small.

The Ignis is not about being a performance car in any shape so a 0 to 62mph in 13.5 seconds is about par for the course with a city car as is its top speed of 106mph yet the more budget-conscious buyers will be happy with an average of 61.4mpg.

Out on the road the Ignis is quite an agile and willing and really fun to drive without any complications with the five-speed gearbox having a light but quick up and down movement when required.

Naturally with such a small engine once the driver is into steeper hill territory then sensible revs and gear changes become the order of the day but again all fairly normal and ordinary in such a car and no great deal. Most drivers will enjoy the flexibility of this 1.2-litre engine which is so much quieter than most of the three-cylinder petrol engines some rival city cars of today.

Prices too are competitive with the Ignis ranging from £10,000 for the entry-level SZ3 through to around £13,500 for the range topping version of the SZ5.

Overall the Ignis is a great new model which is a crossover/mini SUV/city car all rolled into one. It looks really stylish, well put together and exceptionally roomy inside for its class with excellent standard equipment.

As a buyer I would opt for the mid-range SZ-T which is what Suzuki here thinks will be the best seller because it's excellent value for money in my book.

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