Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SZ5

ALLGRIP

Suzuki Ignis 2017
Suzuki Ignis, 2017, side action
Suzuki Ignis, headlights on
Suzuki Ignis, side action
Suzuki Ignis, lifestyle
Suzuki Ignis, rear action
Suzuki Ignis, lifestyle 2
Suzuki Ignis, dashboard
Suzuki Ignis, 2017, rear seats
Suzuki Ignis, 2017, boot, maximum

TWO of many universal rules in the automotive world are that small cars are getting larger and large cars are getting smaller.

It might sound like something of a philosophical conundrum but imagine if you will a Volkswagen Polo of the 1970s and the current model - which is probably larger than an original Golf.

Conversely, look at the unstoppable rise of the SUV and its spin-off the crossover - a classification which is getting ever smaller.

I once jokingly suggested that one day there may even be some kind of SUV/crossover based on the smart fortwo and maybe it isn't that far off.

In the meantime when it comes to compact crossovers/4x4s the brand that's really in control is Suzuki.

Its new Ignis is the second cheapest 4x4 currently available - and the cheapest is another Suzuki, the Swift 4x4.

Both models also come in two-wheel drive form and no doubt this set-up accounts for the most sales, but Suzuki has long since been a pace-setter when it comes to delivering small 4x4s at a bargain price, so given the current clamour for crossovers it makes sense to expand the range.

The Ignis truly is a compact crossover in every sense. It might have characteristic SUV-inspired chunky styling but essentially it's a sort of supermini on steroids.

I can see it taking off in the UK. That boxy profile might not be to all tastes, but given that people can't get enough of crossovers in all their shapes and forms it has rather a lot going for it.

Firstly there's price. A range that starts at £9,999 means it offers exceptionally good value for money and it's also a vehicle well suited to personalisation, which is a big selling point in today's marketplace.

Trim and engine choices are relatively simple.

There are three trim grades - SZ3, SZT and SZ5 - and just one engine, a 1.2-litre petrol.

On the inside the Ignis is surprisingly roomy, given that boxy blueprint. It means all four occupants get an abundance of headroom and while legroom for rear seat passengers reminds you it is essentially a supermini it's generous enough nonetheless.

Cleverly there's also a sliding bench facility which means you can adjust legroom vis a vis boot space, which can be as much as 267 litres.

The interior has a feel that's a good mix of the spartan and the stylish, though the spartan element suits its SUV aspirations.

Buyers can choose between a choice of five-speed manual or automated manual transmissions and as mentioned there's the four-wheel drive option.

This model, a top of the range SZ5 with the ALLGRIP four-wheel drive system, might mean you're going to shell out a fair bit more but given you get more gizmos and technology - and that added reassurance of four-wheel drive capability - it's justifiable.

You get a touchscreen sat nav, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as electric windows all round, keyless entry, LED headlights and cruise control.

All Ignis models come with air con, DAB radio and Bluetooth.

To drive the Ignis really is rather fun and having four-wheel drive made it even more so.

The ride might be on the firm-ish side but is far from being jarring or unpleasant.

FAST FACTS

Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SZ5 ALLGRIP

Price: £13,999

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

Max Speed: 103mph

0-62mph: 11.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 60.1

Insurance Group: 9

C02 emissions: 106g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/62,000 miles

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