Motoring / Motoring News
Andre De Kock
About a half a century ago, this writer was forced to study Latin at high school. The Transvaalse Onderwysdepartement‘s idea, at the time, was to teach white kids the language of the legal system, so they could one day join in the South African courts’ brutal suppression of uppity non-white adults.
I did not take to Latin – it was complicated, difficult to remember and way above my intelligence grade. Today, I do know some Latin though, suitable for everyday use. “Taurus Excretus”, for instance, means “any government promise”. “Anus Horribilis” means “ANC government cadre”, while “Cum Laude” refers to noisy lovemaking.
Which brings us to the Suzuki Ignis, which moniker refers to “Fire”. “Ignis” transcribes to “Ignition” – thus “Fire”- geddit, geddit? We got it – a Ignis 1.2 GLX to drive for a week – and it left us with a nice, warm feeling. The Ignis has pretty unique looks, and could certainly not be confused with any other crossover passenger vehicle.
As is our normal cop-out, we will not attempt to describe it – instead, we invite you to look at the photographs herewith and decide if you also think it is funky, cartoonish and appealing. It is 3 700 mm long, 1 690 mm wide and 1 595 mm high, with the whole package sitting on black spoked alloy wheels in 175/65 R15 rubber. Thankfully, it has a proper, full-sized spare wheel. More importantly, it weighs in at just 850 kg – like with the Swift Sport, Suzuki utilises the art of adding lightness to improve every aspect of the Ignis’ driveability.
The conservative mass means that the normally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine’s 61 kW of power at 6 000 rpm and 113 Nm of torque at 4 200 rpm is ample to move the vehicle around. The engine is married to a five-speed manual gearbox, which passes the various forces to the front wheels.
Inside, the Ignis will seat four adults in comfort and five in a squeeze. Comfortable cloth seats, electric power steering, steering wheel controls, automatic climate control, keyless entry, a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a radio/CD player with six speakers and a USB port add to occupants’ comfort. Active safety equipment includes ABS brakes, discs front and drums rear plus electronic brake assist. Passive safety stuff brings driver and front passenger airbags, daytime running LED lights, a rear camera and park distance control system.
The Ignis was very pleasant to drive. Though no race car, the low mass comes into play, making everything – acceleration, braking and cornering – just so much easier. Acceleration was brisk and the engine eager to pull throughout its rev range, with the five-speed box slick and easy to use. Suzuki claims the Ignis will go from standstill to 100km/h in 11.6 sec, with a top speed of 165 km/h, and we will take them at their word.
The steering is precise and direct, with the car going where one points it immediately and sure-footedly. Billed as a crossover, the Ignis has a relatively high ground clearance of 180 mm, but we would not venture off road with it – it is far too pretty to scratch. We managed an overall fuel consumption figure of 6.4 L/100 km during the test – impressive, since we did not specifically try to save petrol.
We think the Suzuki Ignis will find many homes with young families, who might have bought the Swift before becoming families. We thoroughly enjoyed driving it, and think a short test trip will sell it better than any salesman’s pratter. At R218 900 the Ignis 1.2 GLX comes with a three-year/100 000 km warranty, plus a two-year/30 000 km service plan. Service intervals are set at 15 000 km.
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.