Drive – Suzuki Ignis Used Car Review

29 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Drive – Suzuki Ignis Used Car Review

David Morley

Make SUZUKI Model IGNIS Series Year 2005,2004,2003,2002,2001,2000 Body Group 3D HATCHBACK,5D HATCHBACK

Oddball offers cheap thrills

What a strange creature the Suzuki Ignis was.

While Suzuki’s marketing virtually told blokes to stay away, this was a girl’s car, that wasn’t the only problem.

The Ignis landed in Australia in 2000, when there were some seriously strange-looking cars about, but the pint-sized Suzuki still managed to stand out from the Weird-Harold crowd.

The base-model car was a three-door with squared-off lines and a gangly stance thanks to small wheels and plenty of ground clearance.

The more luxurious model, the five-door, pursued that vaguely four-wheel-drive look, almost in the manner of the Daihatsu Terios (another car that logic forgot).

The detail work was uninspiring, too, and anybody who bought an Ignis on its looks probably needs to study art for a few years.

The reason the Ignis sold at all was that it was cheap to buy and run.

The three-door, priced from $14,000, had dual front airbags, a CD player and power steering (not a universal budget-car fitment at that stage).

The five-door was another $2000 and gained air-conditioning and power front windows. Air-con on the three-door was an extra $1000.

Accommodation in the front was OK, but lacking in the rear.

Running costs were a bit of a highlight and the 1.3-litre engine was a real fuel sipper.

However, with just 60 kW, the Ignis’ engine didn’t really have much more to offer. Performance was borderline adequate.

Mated to its five-speed manual, performance was quite acceptable for trundling about the city and suburbs. With an optional four-speed automatic fitted, the Ignis was a proper slug.

Overtaking on undivided sections of road required careful planning as the engine only just maintained cruising speed, let alone mustering a burst of acceleration.

No, an Ignis is much more at home in the city where it can use its narrowness to sneak through gaps in the traffic that monsters such as Corollas and Astras can’t.

However, it’s that combination of slim waist, small thirst and cheap purchase price that is one of the biggest traps for buyers of second-hand Ignises. Many were bought by florists, office-supply companies, newsagents, couriers and who-knows-what-else to serve as delivery vehicles.

And if you’ve ever winced as you’ve watched a typical delivery driver wring the neck of his or her car, then you’ll know why that’s such a potential problem.

Frankly, a lot of Ignises out there in used-car land are worn out.

Watch out for smoky engines, rattly suspensions and bodies and interiors that have seen their share of sideswipes and sharp parcels respectively.

If you’re after a cheap, relatively new micro-car with the ability to haul around a light load, then the Ignis (a preserved one, anyway) will probably do the job.

But you also need to understand that the above job description is at the upper end of the little Suzuki’s skill-set.

Prices start from about $6000, underlining Suzuki’s reputation for building a car that will hang together. There’s lots of choice at around $7000 or $8000, but frankly, we’d be spending as little as possible, especially since even a high-miler is still likely to have covered only 100,000 km or so.

The competition

Start with the Toyota Starlet and Mitsubishi Mirage and work downwards. Along the way, you’ll discover the likes of the Daihatsu Cuore and the three-door Daewoo Cielo. But if a small parcel vehicle is what you really want, why not buy the real thing and opt for either a Holden Combo, Volkswagen Caddy or a Renault Kangoo?

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