Review: Suzuki Ignis (2017)
Distinctive styling. Affordable to buy. Low running costs. Available with all-wheel drive. Surprisingly spacious rear seats.
AGS automatic is a 5-speed automated manual rather than a proper auto. Not available with the excellent 1.0 BoosterJet. Some flimsy interior plastics.
Suzuki Ignis (2017): At A Glance
- New prices start from £11,493, brokers can source from £10,309
- Contract hire deals from £135.59 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 11–18
- On average it achieves 93% of the official MPG figure
With its distinctive styling, cleverly packaged interior layout and economical 1.2-litre petrol engine, the Suzuki Ignis is a surprisingly sensible alternative to city cars like the Volkswagen Up. But it also provides an extra bit of crossover character and - surprisingly - the option of all-wheel drive for those who need a bit more capability.
Despite being very compact in size, the Ignis has a spacious cabin. There's enough head and shoulder room in the back row for a couple of adults to sit in reasonable comfort and boot space is respectable for such a little car, at 267 litres. That's enough for trips to the shops, plus the rear seats can be folded to increase capacity to 1100 litres - though they don't fold flat.
The Ignis comes with a 90PS 1.2-litre petrol engine that's shared with the Swift, available with or without a simple hybrid system. Called SHVS, this adds an integrated electric motor that helps with acceleration. It provides slight economy and emissions improvements, but even without SHVS the 1.2 is a fun, revvy and surprisingly economical engine with a good reliability record.
It might be a perky performer, but the steering isn't great and there's some body roll through bends. The suspension provides a reasonable level of ride comfort, but over rougher and broken road surfaces it can feel harsh and uncomfortable. It's not bad, but nor is the Ignis as sharp or as fun to drive as the Volkswagen Up and its counterparts from Skoda and SEAT.
It is well equipped though. Even the basic SZ3 comes with air-conditioning, DAB radio, USB connectivity and Bluetooth. But we'd go for the SZ-T, since it isn't much more expensive and adds alloy wheels, touchscreen system with navigation, a reversing camera and chunkier styling, thanks to roof rails. Top models gain luxuries like keyless entry, climate control and cruise control, along with active safety technlogy.
If you want to avoid the typical small hatchback choices, the Ignis is a quirky-looking alternative with more character than its rivals. But it's also well-priced, well-equipped and cheap to run, so as outside choices go it's very sensible. It might not be quite as good to drive as an Up, but there's still plenty to recommend.
What does a Suzuki Ignis (2017) cost?
Suzuki Ignis (2017): What's It Like Inside?
Despite being very small on the outside, the Suzuki Ignis has a surprisingly spacious cabin. There is space in the back row for a pair of adults and headroom isn't bad, thanks to the tall, SUV-inspired styling. What's more, if you pick SZ-T or SZ5 trim the rear seats slide and recline, so occupants can choose between legroom and boot space depending on what you need to carry.
The boot itself is a decent size for a small car at 267 litres, which is a touch bigger than the Volkswagen Up. It might not be big enough for visits to a certain Swedish furniture shop, but for weekly shopping trips it will do the job - and if you need to carry more then the rear seats fold, freeing up 1100 litres. Sadly, in this configuration the load deck isn't flat, so it's not ideal for bulky objects.
Up front the Ignis has the same sturdy build quality as other Suzuki models, though there are a few flimsy parts like the cup holders. It might not be quite as fanciful or plush as some cars, but it's cutely styled and should stand the test of time. It's also livened up by a two-tone colour scheme instead of the usual Suzuki approach of pairing black to black and more black.
Go for mid-grade SZ-T and you'll get a touchscreen system with navigation and a reversing camera. It's not the slickest touchscreen system in the world, but equally it isn't particularly complicated to get used to, though it could be more responsive. Even if you go for the basic model you'll still get DAB Radio and Bluetooth connectivity, along with a USB port and air conditioning.
Standard Equipment from launch:
SZ3 models get 15-inch steel wheels, body coloured bumpers and wing mirrors, electric door mirrors, chrome door handles, daytime running lights, manual air conditioning, remote fuel lid opener, tyre repair kit, x2 ISOFIX child seat anchorages, centre storage box, DAB audio, Bluetooth, USB connector and 60/40 split folding rear seats.
SZ-T adds 16-inch alloy wheels, wheel arch extensions, roof rails, hill hold control, driver’s seat height adjustment, reclining and sliding rear seats which split 50/50 when folded, rear parking camera and touchscreen navigation.
SZ5 trim also includes black and chrome front grille, door mirrors with built-in indicators, LED daytime running lights, LED projector headlights, front fog lights, automatic climate control, electric rear windows, front audio speaker tweeters and seatback pockets.
Child seats that fit a Suzuki Ignis (2017)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Suzuki Ignis (2017) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.2 Dualjet Automatic to 1.2 Dualjet SHVS
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 45–66 mpg
The Suzuki Ignis is only available with one engine choice - a 1.2-litre petrol with 90PS. In its basic form it has an official economy figure of more than 60mpg and low emissions of 104g/km - but there's also a hybrid version. Called SHVS, it uses an integrated electric motor to take some strain off the engine when accelerating, which improves economy. With SHVS emissions drop to under 100g/km and official economy improves to more than 65mpg.
The hybrid system has the added benefit of providing slightly better acceleration, but when on the move there isn't a huge amount of difference between the two - they're both revvy and characterful, with enough power in reserve to get past slow-moving traffic and to cruise on the motorway.
Unusually for such a small car, the Ignis is available with all-wheel drive. It costs an additional £1000 and while it won't make the Ignis into an unstoppable off-roader, if you live in a colder part of the country or have rural tracks to traverse, it might be a worthwhile option. However, for most drivers the front-wheel drive model will be fine.
Around town the Ignis is great thanks to its compact size, but the ride quality isn't very good, thumping over poor surfaces and potholes. The steering adapts to the speed, so it's light when parking or performing a u-turn, but weights up when out of town. Unfortunately at more than about 40mph it feels a bit too numb to provide much enjoyment on a country road.
Body roll is quite apparent through twists and turns too. For fun B-road driving the Volkswagen Up and its equivalents from SEAT and Skoda are better. It's not all bad, though - the Ignis is surprisingly stable and quiet at motorway speeds, so it's possible to pass trucks with confidence - and if you go for a top model there's cruise control to make long trips easier.
An automatic transmission is available, but it's an AGS automated manual, which means it is a bit on the slow side when it comes to gear changes. It can be jerky and unpredictable, so while it should do the job for buyers who need an automatic, it will probably prove disappointing for those who want one for the convenience they provide around town.
Some advanced safety features, including lane keep assistance and automatic emergency braking, are available - but sadly if you want them you'll have to opt for the top trim level. That's a shame, because with those options installed the car scores five stars in Euro NCAP testing. Without them it only scores three.
|1.2 Dualjet||60–61 mpg||11.8 s||104 g/km|
|1.2 Dualjet Automatic||59–61 mpg||11.8 s||104 g/km|
|1.2 Dualjet SHVS||61–66 mpg||11.4 s||97 g/km|
|1.2 Dualjet SHVS 4x4||60–61 mpg||11.1 s||106 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Suzuki Ignis (2017)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Suzuki Ignis (2017)?
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