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Cheap and easy to handle without the bells and whistles

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Cheap and easy to handle without the bells and whistles

The compact Ignis, now in its second iteration, adds to Suzuki’s reputation for reliable, value-for-money transport, writes BRUCE McMAHON

The little Ignis four or five-seater, five-door hatchback is a bit of a motoring throwback – in a good way.

The Ignis eschews a deal of today’s driver aids, places more onus on the driver to stay in the right lane, to not run into the car stopped ahead and to switch on the wipers when summer rains pour down.

It is a city and suburbs car not overburdened with buzzers and bells and interfering, mollycoddling assistance systems.

The newest Ignis isn’t that much different to the first version aside from a rework of the front grille for a little more macho style plus some extra body colours.

So the basics remain a 3.7m long by 1.7m wide, front-wheel drive car powered by a 1.2 litre engine with 66kW of power at 6000rpm.

The $18,990 GL model uses a five-speed manual transmission or a Constantly Variable Transmission while the GLX, from a driveaway $20,990, arrives with a CVT.

The dearer GLX, a four-seater, sits on 16-inch alloy wheels while the GX is a five-seater on 15-inch steel wheels. Other differences include more sophisticated sound system and air conditioning for the GLX and extra cosmetic touches.

All are cheap and cheerful machines.

Sure, a fair bit of throttle is needed to get the Ignis under way. And sure, the GLX on its 16-inch rubber, isn’t always too happy about running over speed bumps and man hole covers.

But with its small body, light steering and a 4.7m turning circle, the Ignis is a handy run-around and easy to place in traffic or the parking lot.

Indeed some at Suzuki suggest not only is this hatchback a prime choice for young apartment-dwelling urbanites in crowded cities but also for more mature folk downsizing their car looking to the benefits of lower running costs and stress-free parking in over-50s villages.

It’s not all old-school here. The Suzuki Ignis arrives with most of today’s technological conveniences from USB ports to Bluetooth, from smartphone access for Apple CarPlay and others to satellite navigation and rear-view camera on the 7-inch touch screen.

That brings on the other quibble – alongside the Suzuki’s not-so-great suspension. The lack of a volume knob for the stereo (and phone calls) will irritate older drivers; the slide control on the screen can be a slippery, greasy pain to shift and the tiny steering wheel controls hard to find. (Plus, and today this is a losing argument right across motoring, where’s the CD player? Older folk still use them.)

Still, this is a handsome little city car in the ubiquitous SUV style and a cheap machine to buy and run. Fuel consumption should be under 6 litres per 100km for CVT versions, less for the manual, and there’s a five-year factory warranty.

Suzuki also offers the option of further customising the Ignis with splashes of different paint colours and decals for both the body and the cabin to individualise the hatchback and help it stand out from the crowd.

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