Suzuki Ignis | Auto Express | Catalog-cars

Suzuki Ignis | Auto Express

21 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Suzuki Ignis | Auto Express

Verdict

The Ignis is excellent value compared to rivals and is decent to drive, although it#039;s still far from exciting. The engine is a cracker and the interior equally encouraging. And while the Suzuki lacks gimmicky extra features such as clever seat flexibility or DVD players, it#039;s a safe bet for hassle-free and inexpensive family motoring.

With a value-led pricing policy, excellent reliability record and a range of well packaged vehicles, it’s a wonder Suzuki doesn’t sell more cars in the UK.

Recent models, such as the Liana, have taken the Japanese firm to new levels of dynamic ability and interior quality, and while it’s still nowhere near the top of its class, the Ford Focus rival does a pretty good job of providing family transport for not much money.

Similar things could be said of the original Ignis.

Built to take on the Toyota Yaris and Ford Ka, it offered a surprising amount of space for less cash, and was a pleasant enough vehicle to drive, with handling and performance leagues ahead of other budget rivals.

Now there’s an all-new Ignis, driven here for the first time in the UK – and it adds more to the mix. Available as a five-door with a new 1.3-litre engine featuring variable valve timing, the car can hold its head up against rivals such as the Ford Fusion and Vauxhall Meriva – especially when you look at the cost.

This entry-level 1.3 five-door model is priced at less than £8,000 and is fitted with electric windows, a decent CD player and ABS as standard. Admittedly, the car isn’t especially inspiring in terms of styling – with the headlights looking so similar to those of the Fusion, it’s sometimes difficult to tell the two models apart. Boxy and functional is very much the order of the day, but it’s inoffensive and has moved away from the odd styling of previous upright Suzukis, such as the Wagon R+.

The tall body and raised ride height make the cabin easily accessible, while also giving a commanding view of the road and plenty of room for passengers front and rear. It might have the dimensions of a supermini, but the Ignis is one of very few small cars capable of seating four adults in comfort.

On the road, the ride is adequate, if not brilliant, but the top-heavy style results in dramatic body roll when cornering hard. We’re not keen on the gear-box, either, with its vague, notchy shift.

Where the Ignis does score highly, though, is under the bonnet. The 1.3-litre unit is eager to please, revving freely and maintaining an even torque spread throughout the powerband. Performance is excellent and economy is fairly good, although a fuel tank capacity of less than 41 litres limits the Ignis’s range.

The switchgear has been improved, too. General Motors was involved in the car’s development, and Suzuki was allowed to raid the US company’s parts cupboard. As a result, the selection of dials and switches will be familiar to owners of Vauxhall Corsas and Astras.

The interior is reasonably stylish, with a number of classy touches, including the hooded instruments and built-in stereo controls, all of which have a quality feel. If these kind of advances are to be expected from other new Suzukis in the future, we’re looking forward to a massively improved range.

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