Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SZ5

Allgrip hybrid

Suzuki Ignis, front
Suzuki Ignis, front
Suzuki Ignis, side
Suzuki Ignis, rear
Suzuki Ignis, interior

THE Suzuki Ignis has made a quantum leap from the first model I drove nearly 20 years ago.

That was a pretty bland, but functional and economical city car.

But it has been transformed into an almost unique SUV, city car in size, but looking like a mini powerhouse and offering loads of practicality.

You should not be fooled by the modest size. This range-topper also offers Suzuki's renowned ALLGRIP ‘AUTO' four-wheel drive capability. Looks can be deceptive as the equally compact stablemate Jimny has proven itself time and again off-road.

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 has also recently waltzed off with a couple of gongs at the 2022 What Car? Awards.

Revised a couple of years ago, it definitely has a muscular profile, sitting high off the ground with neat styling cues like revised front grille and bumpers, familiar clamshell bonnet, stylish headlights, black extended wheel arches and eye-catching alloy wheels on higher range models.

The car is cheap to buy, starting at £13,749, and offers exceptional value for money. Standard kit on all models includes six airbags, air conditioning, DAB radio with Bluetooth, 15-inch wheels, LED headlights, body-coloured door mirrors, front electric windows, rear privacy glass and five seat capacity.

The mid-rage SZ-T adds rear view camera, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, wheel arch extensions and individually sliding rear seats.

The SZ5 driven here adds auto air conditioning, satellite navigation, Dual Camera Brake Support, which helps detect a collision, lane departure warning and weaving alert, keyless entry and start, rear electric windows and front foglamps. There's plenty more and you will still get change from £18.5k for this range topper.

The inside is functional and funky rather than lavish and if you want soft touch finish you will be disappointed. But the interior is roomy well built, with controls placed logically and easy to use, while the dark trim is nicely offset by aluminium accents and trim.

The centrepiece on higher-grade models is the seven-inch touchscreen, which controls major functions like infotainment, navigation and connectivity via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirrorlink.

It definitely feels bigger on the inside with good headroom, although rear legroom, unsurprisingly, is not that great, but those sliding rears seats offer extra legroom or you can increase boot stowage capacity from 204 litres to 1,086 litres.

On the road the 1.2 Dualjet Hybrid powertrain, is designed more for economy rather than pace, but the car is quick enough off the mark and a decent motorway cruiser.

The 83bhp 1.2-litre petrol hybrid system mated, in this case with a five speed manual gearbox, delivers good economy of 52mpg and reasonably low emissions.

The ride is definitely on the firm side but not uncomfortable except when hitting deeper ruts in the road.

Should you need to go offroad, or just come up against tricky road conditions, the ALLGRIP ‘AUTO' system include Hill Descent Control and Grip Control. Grip Control activates on slippery surfaces at speeds of less than 18mph. Once switched on, it focuses torque on the driven wheels that have grip and will quickly apply braking to the wheel that is spinning.

Hill Descent Control activates once switched on by the driver and when the vehicle is travelling on an incline at under approximately 15mph in first or second gear.

FAST FACTS

Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SZ5 Allgrip hybrid

Price: £18,249

Mechanical: 83bhp, 1,197cc,four cyl petrol engine and electric motor driving all wheels via five-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:103 mph

0-62mph: 12.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 52.3

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 121g/km

Bik rating:29%

Warranty: 3yrs/62,000 miles

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