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Suzuki Ignis review

The Suzuki Ignis is a tiny but mighty SUV with good passenger space and optional all-wheel drive. Its infotainment isn’t the best though, and there are swankier cabins for the money. 

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wowscore
7/10
This score is awarded by our team of
expert reviewers
This score is awarded by our team of
This score is awarded by our team of

What's good

  • Head-turning looks
  • Decent passenger space
  • Hybrid technology

What's not so good

  • Only one engine choice
  • Alternatives are comfier
  • Infotainment system isn’t the best

Suzuki Ignis: what would you like to read next?

Is the Suzuki Ignis a good car?

The Suzuki Ignis undeniably stands out in a sea of fairly boring, samey-looking small cars. For a start, it manages to look cute and tough at the same time. Its LED surrounded headlights look like black eyes and the dinky bruiser is further bolstered by blistered wheel arches and a trio of d-pillar indents.

Basically it’s the Ricky Hatton of the city car world.

However, it does make choosing an obvious alternative that bit more difficult. The Fiat Panda 4×4 is an obvious choice, but as it’s the only small SUV currently on sale  – aside from Suzuki‘s own Jimny – that leaves the Ignis to deal with small cars such as the Fiat 500, Renault Twingo and Toyota Aygo.

Inside, it’s spacious enough to deal with all the cars mentioned above. There’s room for four adults and the quality is good even if the materials are on the cheap and durable side. It’s colourful, though and the infotainment system is easy to read if slow to respond.

Hybrid power helps efficiency, but there's no need to go for the four-wheel-drive model – unless you live in the mountains.

Mat Watson
Mat Watson
carwow expert

Thankfully, the driving experience isn’t nearly as laborious. The Ignis is impressively light – basic models weigh just 895kg, about 15kgs less than a VW Up. It feels sprightly and is enjoyable to drive around town but, out on the motorway, things are a bumpier and noisier than close alternatives. Not to deal-breaking levels, though.

What could put you off the Ignis is its limited engine range. In fact, there’s just one to choose from – a 1.2-litre four-cylinder hybrid petrol – and you can have it with two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Even four-wheel-drive models can return fuel economy of more than 50mpg.

Equipment levels are also impressive on entry-level cars, which come with air-conditioning, a DAB radio, electric windows and a Bluetooth phone connection. One step up to the SZT gets you sat-nav and a reversing camera.

So, if you aren’t impressed with the range of traditional city cars on sale, the funky Ignis could be the refreshing take on city motoring you need. If so, check out our deals page for the very best prices.

How practical is it?

For a car of this size, the Suzuki Ignis has a remarkable amount of space inside, although the narrow body means that you can really only get two passengers in the back seats

Boot (seats up)
204 - 267 litres
Boot (seats down)
490 - 514 litres

The Ignis may be on the narrow side, so shoulder room suffers, but in terms of leg and headroom it’s quite decent and the two rear seats can be slid forwards and backwards to increase legroom in the back – it means four adults will be happy to travel long distances in the dinky Suzuki.

The driver might not be as comfortable as would be ideal, however, because the steering wheel adjusts for height only, and not reach.

Storage areas are pretty good for a supermini with a glovebox that’s neatly divided into two sections (although quite small), two cupholders for the front seats, a smaller cubby next to the gearstick and three cupholders.

If you go for the two-wheel-drive model, the boot capacity is 260 litres, which is competitive in class – the Fiat Panda also has a 260-litre capacity. Something worth keeping in mind is that the four-wheel-drive version makes do with a 204-litre boot.

What's it like to drive?

The way the Ignis drives is defined by its low weight, which means it doesn’t need a powerful engine to be nippy nor stiff suspension to make it nimbler in corners.

The Suzuki Ignis sits on the same platform as the Swift city car, which is a good start.

The only engine available is a 1.2-litre hybrid unit, which produces 83hp and 107Nm of torque. It can cover the 0-62mph sprint in 12.4 second, so is no ball of fire, and can manage an average of 55.7mpg. It also emits 114g/km of CO2.

The standard five-speed manual is perfectly weighted and a joy to shift, but the same can’t be said about the automated manual.

The standard five-speed manual is perfectly weighted and a joy to shift, but the same can’t be said about the automated manual.

Even the four-wheel-drive version tips the scales at just 940kg, while the bog standard car weighs an impressive 895kg – just 90kg more than an old Citroen AX, which had safety credentials akin to a milk carton.

As anyone from motorsport will tell you the easiest way to make a car handle better and go faster is to lose weight. And, as a result, the featherweight Ignis displays the sort of agility and keenness on turn in that was long missing from the class. This light weight also makes the Ignis feel geuinely nippy when exiting junctions or accelerating away from roundabouts.

Yes, the steering is low on feel, but it’s pleasingly light around town and nicely direct out of it. The ride also isn’t perfect – big potholes are quite intrusive and the Suzuki likes to bounce around on poor quality roads.

Wind and road noise are fine at low speeds but quite vocal out on the motorway. The engine also likes to make its presence heard at motorway speeds. One can argue that a small dinky car such as the Ignis should be predictably poor out on the open road, but the Skoda Citigo is better equipped when it comes to travelling long distances.

The view out of the front and side windows is good, but the small rear window and rear-door windows means the rearward view is compromised, which makes the Ignis a bit trickier to park than it could be.

What's it like inside?

The Suzuki Ignis may not have the quality materials or bank-vault build quality of a VW Up, but it’s distinctively styled enough to let you ignore those shortcomings.

Suzuki Ignis colours

Solid - Fervent red
Free
Metallic - Neon blue
From £515
Metallic - Rush yellow
From £515
Metallic - Speedy blue
From £515
Pearl - Super black
From £515
Pearl - Tough Khaki
From £515
Two Tone Metallic - Neon blue/Black
From £700
Two Tone Metallic - Rush yellow/Black
From £700
Two tone Pearl/metallic paint - Caravan ivory pearl/Black
From £700
Two tone Pearl/metallic paint - Pure white pearl/Black
From £700
Two tone Pearl/metallic paint - Tough Khaki pearl/Black
From £700
Two tone solid/metallic paint - Fervent red/Black
From £700
Next Read full interior review
Buy a new or used Suzuki Ignis at a price you’ll love
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