The Star: June 22, 2017

StarMedia.Digital

THE SPECS

PRICE Suzuki Ignis Limited, $22,500

DIMENSIONS Length, 3700mm;

width, 1660mm; height, 1595mm

CONFIGURATION Four-cylinder,

front-wheel-drive, 1242cc, 66kW,

120Nm, continuously variable

automatic

PERFORMANCE 0-100km/h,

12sec

FUEL USAGE 4.9l/100km

It’s not easy making a small car look stylish.

However, Suzuki is the master at it, take their

recent models – Celerio, Baleno and just

recently, the Ignis, they are all trendy, funky

models which relate to a large cross-section

of car buyers.

The Ignis is brand-spanking new and is

dubbed by Suzuki as a small sport utility

vehicle. That sums it up well, it has the looks

of a SUV, but at just 3700mm it is squat and

will appeal to those who like easy entry and

exit along with a tallish driving position and,

of course, a budget price. The newcomer

starts at just $18,990, automatic transmission

will add $1510, while the Limited variant, as

tested, sits at $22,500, although if you want

two-tone paint that’s an additional $490.

Interestingly, the Ignis in Limited form is just

a four-seater, there are only two seat-belts

in the rear and the configuration lends itself

SMALL & SPORTY

WORDS ROSS KIDDIE

more to adaptable load carrying options.

However, there are Isofix child seat tethers

for those who have young ones in tow. If you

want to seat three across the rear, the entrylevel

GLX is a five-seater, albeit it would be

tight widthwise for adults.

The Ignis is also a car which lends itself to

sporty appeal. Sure, it’s not a rocket ship, but

with the way it can be dressed and optioned it

has specification and features which will make

it stand out even more amongst others.

Under the bonnet is a 1.2-litre, fourcylinder

engine and it is engineered for

economy along with respectable power outputs.

Suzuki rate it with a 66kW and 120Nm

outputs, even though torque peaks tallish in

the rev band (4400rpm), the engine works

freely thanks to the matching of it to a

continuously variable automatic transmission.

According to Suzuki’s advertising material,

the Ignis will return a 4.9-litre per 100km

(57mpg) combined cycle fuel usage average.

In my opinion that would be quite achievable,

during evaluation time the trip computer was

constantly showing 6.9l/100km (41mpg) with

a 5l/100km (56mpg) figure cruising quietly at

100km/h, the engine turning over slowly at just

2000rpm in the tallest part of the gearing.

It has taken me a long time to warm to CVT

transmissions, but today’s units are so normal,

the Ignis works through the gearing much like

a traditional automatic. There’s even a sport

mode which will hasten engine revolutions

should the driver decide a little bit of extra

oomph is needed, say for a highway overtake.

In terms of performance, that can be

achieved in around 7.5sec, while a standstill to

100km/h time of 10.9sec is not to be sneezed

at.

The engine is a willing worker and charms

with its quiet operating manner and lively

response – that’s another bonus of CVT, the

engine works unimpeded through the

transmission.

The Ignis sits on a new platform and,

although it isn’t sophisticated, it has been

designed as a weight-saving structure along

with a suspension set-up that will allow for

controlled balance when the corners arrive.

Even though rear wheel freedom is

hampered a little by a torsion beam tube

axle, there is just enough movement so that

mid-corner bumps and ruts don’t upset body

balance nor directional stability.

MOTORING I 12

At almost 1.5m, the Ignis is quite tall, and

body movement over softish spring and

damper settings is noticeable. However,

steerage is unaffected and directional accuracy

is quite sharp. I’d like to have a little more

steering feel through the wheel, but in this

modern age of electric power steering systems

most mainstream cars get a light, as opposed

to a firm feel.

Providing the grip are high quality 16in

Bridgestone tyres, even though their footprint

is small at 175/60, there is an underlying feeling

of grip and control, and for that reason the

Ignis feels quite athletic, which considering its

simplicity underneath, is commendable.

In Limited form the Ignis is comprehensively

equipped. All models represent value for price,

but there are a few goodies in the Limited

which you may not expect in a car for this

price such as satellite navigation, Apple Car Play

and Android Auto, keyless entry and ignition,

cruise control with speed limiter, and digitally

controlled air conditioning, just to name some

of the major items. It also has a high safety

specification.

Even though it is marketed as a sport utility

vehicle, it must be remembered the Ignis is

two-wheel-drive (front) only and it isn’t

engineered for life off-road.

However, if you are after a car which is just

a little out of the ordinary with interesting

internal shapes and colours, and an exterior

look which is standalone, then the Ignis is the

car for you.

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