By Patrick James on 2017-10-22 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Suzuki Ignis 1.2
SUZUKI is rightly famed for producing excellent small cars - not to mention their highly-capable all wheel drive SUVs.
Combine the two and you have quite a package. The newly-relaunched Ignis has all the benefits of a city car, together, depending on the model, with the versatility and stability of a four wheel drive SUV in the range topping SZ5.
A kind of city car SUV if your like. The latest incarnation of the car which was last produced in 2006 , is, if you want to be unkind, a swan from an ugly duckling, such is the transformation from the original model.
Ignis apparently is the Latin for fire and the new model certainly turned up the heat in this highly-competitive sector of the market.
It looks great, fun, funky and practical with the basically boxy shape cunningly disguised with sharp angles and creases, while the stylish lights clusters, alloy wheels and roofbars give it that left field look.
It's a cheap car and Suzuki designers have cleverly made a virtue of the absence of soft touch fit and finish to the interior with the two-tone painted metal finish giving it that funky look much loved by younger drivers.
This includes different coloured interior door handle grips and central console. Available in 11 colours, there are also full personalisation options available for both exterior and interior trim.
The dash layout is simple with a single large dial and a seven-inch touch screen in the centre which controls navigation and sound systems and including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as MirrorLink which lets various applications on your smartphone appear on the touchscreen
Powered by a 90bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine, this mid-range model is lively enough and pretty economical. Mated to a five-speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels, it pulls well from a standing start and with claimed economy of 60mpg, will be cheap to run, tax and insure.
But not even the entry model looks cheap and nasty.
All Suzukis are well built and what the Ignis may lack in luxurious textures it makes up for standard equipment which includes includes six airbags, air conditioning, DAB radio with Bluetooth, 15-inch wheels, body coloured door mirrors and front electric windows.
At just a quid under £10,000 it looks and feels a bargain. Move up the range to the SZ-T and it adds sliding rear seats, satellite navigation, rear view camera, wheel arch extensions, side mouldings and roof rails and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The range-topping model has automatic air conditioning, LED headlights with LED daytime running light, Dual Camera Brake Support and Cruise Control.
It is practical for a small car with a fairly deep serviceable boot, which offer space of 267 litres which is pretty decent for this type of car.
However, with the folding and sliding rear bench extra room opens up to accommodate a wide variety of luggage or just extra legroom for rear seats passengers.
On the road car has a firm, bordering on harsh ride at times depending or road surface, but still handles reasonably well.
Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SZ-T
Mechanical: 90bhp, 1,242cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via five-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 106mph
0-62mph: 12.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 60.1
Insurance Group: 15
C02 emissions: 104g/km
Bik rating: 19%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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