Suzuki Ignis SHVS

SZ5 ALLGRIP

Suzuki Ignis, side action
Suzuki Ignis, headlights on
Suzuki Ignis, front action
Suzuki Ignis, rear action
Suzuki Ignis, dashboard
Suzuki Ignis, 2017, display screen

SUZUKI has made an enviable reputation for itself by building great small cars as well as capable 4x4 models.

So it's not surprising that by producing a vehicle that combines both of those strengths it has come up with a winning combination.

The little Suzuki Ignis is a quirky little car whose bug-like design, it has to be said, wouldn't suit everyone. But when it comes to practicalities there are few cars to match it.

To get four-wheel-drive you have to go for the top of the range SHVS SZ5 model but this is still one of the cheapest 4x4's on the market - beaten only by another Suzuki, the Swift 4x4.

But where the Ignis really scores - in both two and four-wheel-drive - is it's clever Tardis-like design.

From the outside you assume that the interior would be tiny, but nothing is further from the truth.

Clever design work means there is an abundance of interior space which even allows rear seat passengers to stretch their legs out. And the high stance of the car means there is plenty of head room too.

In fact the space and comfort in this little car far exceeds that of hatchbacks which are much larger - and more money.

As with most cars which are barely 12ft long the boot space is designed more for shopping than suitcases, but sensibly Suzuki has combated this by adding a sliding rear seat so you can extend the luggage area when you are not carrying rear seat passengers.

The interior of the car is light and trendy with modern two-tone panelling and there's a centrally mounted iPad-like touch screen which controls everything from satellite navigation to radio controls.

The same screen also shows what's behind you when you go into reverse thanks to the boot-mounted rear view camera.

Despite its size the Ignis is not lacking when it comes to equipment. The SZ5 comes with everything from LED headlights, air conditioning, DAB radio and electric windows all round to keyless entry and start.

From the safety point of view there's even lane departure warning as well as an automatic braking system which warns you of an imminent collision and then applies the brakes if you don't.

Then of course there is the 4x4 system which comes complete with hill descent control. This automatic system can shift the amount of drive from front to rear wheels depending upon where it's needed.

Under the bonnet is a beefy 1.2-litre, 90bhp engine which works in conjunction with a small electric motor to help deliver more power on take off and acceleration with little extra weight and is termed a "mild hybrid" by Suzuki.

From behind the wheel this little car feels large. It has plenty of pulling power, offers a comfortable ride and is quiet.

And unlike a lot of cars which have a small wheelbase it always feels very stable, even at high speed on the motorway.

The Ignis is a very well designed, well equipped, likeable little car at a sensible price, starting from £9,999 for the two-wheel-drive version.

During the time I had the car my wife took it for a spin and came back with the comment: "There's nothing about that car I don't like. It's spacious, nippy, easy to park and has a really smooth gearbox."

FAST FACTS

Suzuki Ignis SHVS SZ5 ALLGRIP

Price: £13,999

Mechanical: 90ps, 1,242cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 103mph

0-62mph: 11.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 60.1

Insurance Group: 18

C02 emissions: 106g/km

Bik rating: 16%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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