Ignis is fuel

sipping and fun

Suzuki Ignis, front quarter
Suzuki Ignis, front action
Suzuki Ignis, side action
Suzuki Ignis, lifestyle 2
Suzuki Ignis, profile
Suzuki Ignis, rear quarter
Suzuki Ignis, interior
Suzuki Ignis, boot

I USUALLY find that the real average fuel consumption cars deliver is much closer to the government's urban figure than any other.

These figures are so misleading that it's a good move they are being replaced with something more realistic.

Peugeot is to be applauded for the development of a new economy assessment system for its cars that will give much truer figures across the board.

Usually, I find cars never get anywhere near the official figures but one of the best I have driven was the little Suzuki Ignis.

This is a supermini with perky lines and good interior space that drives beautifully in every way.

The company has always been good with small cars, and this one's a cracker.

Powered by a 1.2 petrol engine, it returned an average of 51.7mpg over many miles and the government average figure is 61mpg.

Unusually, the top spec SZ-5 SHVS model, with a mild hybrid electric motor built in, is also available as a four wheel drive and that should be enough to keep anyone moving in the worst of winter.

All are powered by the same 90bhp 1.2 and I drove the SZ-T front wheel drive in the middle of the range.

It's a great little car and the performance feels good because it's small and light. Acceleration looks ordinary on paper, but the engine is so willing and happy to rev that it's good fun to drive.

It pulls well in all four lower gears of the five-speed gearbox and cruises happily and quietly at motorway speeds.

I had to push the revs up to get the best from it but found that it pulled well from 2,000 and harder from 3,000rpm.

There's not much acceleration in fifth, as is normal with small non-turbocharged cars, but it copes well with most manoeuvres on the motorway. It's also a great urban car because it's so easy to drive and park.

The road holding is excellent with marvellous handling balance even when pushed unmercifully and a great feel through the corners.

Yet in town at slow speeds and on rougher country roads, it showed a really comfortable and supple ride.

Refinement is good, wind noise is decently suppressed and road noise only noticeable on tar and chipping surfaces - as it is with almost every car.

The seats give good support in the corners and the interior has a good colour combination of light and dark grey with big off-white door and dash panels. There are also lovely body colour touches around the cabin aping those in the Fiat 500.

It's only a four seater but there's good rear legroom, giving enough space for one six footer to sit behind another and the back seat split-folds 50/50.

Even the boot is a decent size for a small car - Suzuki really have managed to squeeze a quart into a pint pot.

The SZ-T comes with an excellent combination of equipment including aircon, sat nav with a six inch touch screen, traction control, remote locking and electric front windows, USB and aux in for the stereo, trip computer, parking sensors and alloys.

FAST FACTS

Price: £11,999

Mechanical: 88bhp, 1,242cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 106mph

0-62mph: 11.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 61

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 104g/km

Bik rating: 19%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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