Living with the Suzuki Ignis

Living with the Suzuki Ignis
Living with the Suzuki Ignis

Suzuki’s small SUV/city car has charmed every one of its users here – but how will our long-distance commuter get on with it?

How to describe the Ignis? It’s a 4×4, but it’s smaller than a Suzuki Swift. We reckon that makes it a city SUV – or something like that.

Whatever you call it, it’s a charming little thing that has brought smiles to the faces of all those in our office who have had a chance to squirt it around in the urban sprawl of suburban London.

Now the Ignis is facing a different challenge: coping with the 140-mile motorway-based daily commute of its new main user, Kris. Coming to the petrol Ignis from a diesel Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi, Kris was worried that his costs were about to head off in the wrong direction, until he remembered that the mild hybrid Suzuki had revealed itself in testing as one of the most fuel-efficient cars in real-world driving.

And so it turned out in Kris’s first week in the Suzuki, when he scored an average of 50mpg compared to around 40mpg in the Kuga. On the motorway, not really the Ignis’s preferred ground, the 1.2-litre petrol engine has proved to be quite content at 70mph, humming along at 3000rpm with enough ‘poke’ to allow overtaking and to avoid being given the hurry-up by less patient drivers.

There are more stable cars at speed though, and there’s a good bit of wind noise on fast roads too. Luckily, this range-topping SZ5 example has a very decent infotainment system that includes a seven-inch Pioneer touchscreen with USB, a DAB radio and Bluetooth, so Kris has been able to drown out the worst of the natural noise by using his iPod to play banging tunes through the car’s USB connection. Even with the equaliser on the ‘powerful’ setting, there’s been no distortion.

Kris has been surprised to find the automatic emergency braking function turning itself off in heavy rain as a result of the camera lens becoming obscured. There are a couple of other things that need to be looked at in the car’s first service which it is about to happen (it falls due at one year or 12,500 miles) – an occasional clunking noise on gearchanges, and a heavy judder when the steering is put on full lock at parking speeds.

Buying used: Fiat 500 vs Skoda Citigo

These cars are hot in the city but should you go for fashion or common sense?If you’re thinking of a cool, stylish, retro city car you’re

Renault Clio Renault Sport 220 Trophy review

I had to double take when I looked at the spec sheet for the Renault Clio which arrived for testing last month. 217bhp in a B-segment hatch

Peugeot 508 review: a pleasing balancing act

The D-segment gains another sensible hatchbackThere’s a new Peugeot conservative saloon/fastback. Do you care? Jean-Philippe Imparato,

Aston Martin Vantage vs Porsche 911 vs McLaren 540C sports car triple test

Testing a lottery winner’s dream garage, back-to-backHow do you make a sportscar even more appealing? Make it a super sportscar. First