Motoring

Suzuki Ignis revitalized

In 2017 Suzuki introduced the Ignis to our local market; it would end up competing with the Hyundai Grand i10, Mahindra KUV 100, Honda Brio and Ford Figo for market share.

In April 2019, Suzuki introduced some infotainment system updates to the small hatchback to compete with new segment contenders such as the Renault Sandero Stepway Plus and Volkswagen Cross Up!, the Autodealer team got the keys to see what changed.

Exterior

The Ignis ticked a lot of boxes for South Africans buying a small crossover. Measuring in at 3 700mm long and 1 690mm wide, meant the little Japanese car could easily navigate congested roads and parking lots while the 180mm ground clearance allowed for worry-free dirt and gravel road commuting.

The almost square headlights featuring daytime running lights and front bumper featuring fog-lights on GLX models gave the Ignis a unique design up-front when compared to other vehicles in this segment. The side and rear also appealed to those looking for something a bit different from the rest of the options in this segment. A lot of design elements on the car and even the overall shape do pay homage to the 1972 Suzuki Fronte Coupé.

For some added individuality, during November 2019, Suzuki introduced special editions to the Ignis derivatives, while the GLX SE variant features white grille, headlamp and fog-lamp surrounds, white decals along the side of the vehicle and a rear spoiler the GL SE derivative comes with upgrades such as black door cladding, door visors, a rigid mud flap set, red garnish on the front grille and red side body decals.

Interior

While the exterior looks compact, the interior is much more spacious than expected. The high roofline allows for enough headroom while the rear occupants have adequate legroom. Luggage space can be increased from 260-litres to 469-litres if the rear seats are folded flat. The interior features a dual-tone colour scheme with the top of the dashboard and door panels finished in black and the lower sections finished in white. The door grips and centre console panels are finished in the same colour as the exterior of the vehicle which adds to the modern look and feel.

The facia is divided into two main areas, the lower features buttons which control the air-conditioning and ventilation options while at the top you will find the infotainment system. The new Smartphone Linkage Display Audio (SLDA) system now comes as standard on the GLX derivatives and features a 7-inch touchscreen and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. To allow a wider range of device compatibility, the new system also includes the legacy MirrorLink system.

The new system which was introduced to the Ignis model in April 2019, allows for the occupants to access many phone functions, such as making calls, sending messages, accessing the turn-by-turn maps and listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks directly from the vehicle interface, without having to operate the phone while driving.

The drive

While we have been seeing new turbo engines introduced in the Swift and Vitara ranges, all Ignis derivatives are still powered by the familiar 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine. The motor which was coupled to a five-speed Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) produced 61 kW and 113 Nm of torque and proved ample in both city and highway commutes.

One of the main benefits of the engine and transmission combination was its frugal nature, returning with a combined 4.7L/100km figure during my commutes. The lightweight HEARTECTTM chassis in combination with the MacPherson struts and coil springs in the front suspension setup provided for a soft comfortable ride quality while remaining responsive during small steering corrections.

Verdict

I enjoyed the little Japanese car during its time with Autodealer. Although the Ignis is ageing it provided for a comfortable and frugal drive and still looks and now functions as a modern vehicle with the new infotainment system bringing it up to par with some of its rivals. If you are looking for something a little different from the usual, the unique styling, especially with the new special editions, will make for a good option in this segment.

Warranty 

The Suzuki Ignis comes with a 3-year/100 000 km warranty, as well as a 2-year/30 000 km service plan.

Price

Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GLX auto – R 218 400

 

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