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Cheerful little charmer belies its price tag

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Cheerful little charmer belies its price tag

The smallest of so-called Sports Utility Vehicles, Suzuki’s Ignis is a little charmer. BRUCE McMAHON writes that there is much to like about it, from its hunky-funky style to a trim price tag.

The compact Ignis is an affordable, adorable even, run-around.

It’s not perfect though. The Ignis is a tad noisy, seats only four in the GLX version and there’s no console between the front seats to rest a lazy elbow. It doesn’t have a plush interior, that’s for sure.

But consider this Suzuki’s style, the city-centric convenience of a car that measures just under 4m long and 1.7m wide with a 4.7m turning circle and the starting price of $19,490 for a GL version with five-speed manual transmission.

The GLX arrives with some extra features – add in the optional Continuously Variable Transmission and the price moves to around $22,490.

Yet even with all the gear (though there’s not much the GL version loses out on over the GLX), the little Suzuki still runs as cheap as some of those petrol-electric hybrid machines. Fuel consumption is around 6 litres per 100 km while driving those front wheels with the CVT.

The economy is largely due to a kerb weight of 905kg. 1.2 litre engine pushes out 66kW of power at 6000rpm – keep the right foot buried for best results away from the lights.

Once under way there’s no problem keeping up with the traffic though some may prefer the manual gearbox; the CVT’s a little whinge-whine noisy when under power.

And while on quibbles, the Suzuki’s suspension and those 15-inch wheels can be a touch dramatic in and around potholes. The ride is generally good but remember this is a lightweight car on a smallish wheelbase and track (the side-to-side distance between the wheels).

The positives include the Ignis hatchback’s ever-cheerful nature. That begins with the pumped-up punk styling. This second-generation version of the Suzuki Ignis arrived in 2016 with an update in 2020 and it still turns heads in the traffic, especially when kitted out with optional body decals such as bonnet and side stripes.

Drivers have good visibility in all directions, backed by a rear-view camera for backing up. The tight turning circle and compact body dimensions mean the Ignis is a dream in the confines of the city and today’s less-than-generous car park spaces.

And room for four adults isn’t bad; there’s certainly plenty of headroom.

This is where the GLX version with its 50-50 split rear seat and just the two seatbelts makes sense – why pretend there’s room for three folk across the back seat?

With the back seats up the cargo area is better than expected, giving enough space for a week’s shopping with a space-saver tyre tucked away below.

So good luck to Suzuki for producing a cheap and cheerful SUV. The compact Ignis may not have potential for tackling a bush track but it does have the style.

It may not be first choice for running up and down the coast motorway every day, but it does make a lot of sense as a very useful town car.

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