Baby Suzuki Goes Hybrid

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The Suzuki Ignis is a small car with a big personality that finds itself at home in the city and offers more space than you would think.

Nicknamed by my wife as an ‘Iggy-Pop’ when she owned the previous generation Ignis many years ago, you would be forgiven for seeing this car and thinking of that famous song by the American artist ‘Iggy Pop – Real Wild Child (Wild One)’ as it does look like the wild child of the Suzuki family.

Launched in 2017, Ignis is now the smallest car available from Japanese maker, Suzuki. It incorporates city oriented designs alongside DNA from Suzuki strong off-road ability over the years, making the Ignis an ideal solution for those who either want to stand out from the crowd in the city or simply require a small car that can go almost anywhere in a rural environment.

Towards the end of last year, Ignis received a facelift with some striking styling upgrades which includes new front grille and bumpers, refined exterior and interior colours and an efficiency enhanced engine with expanded hybrid system capacity.

Available in a total of seven colours, some of which are very bold, you can also opt for a two-tone paint scheme which sees six of these colours being matched with a Super Black Pearl painted roof.

Despite looking cute and compact, Ignis offers a load capacity in the boot that I found surprisingly useful, despite its small size. Accommodating my roller flight-case camera bag as well as leaving enough room for my washing basket filled with all that is required for changing after cold water swimming.

Being available as five-door only, this small Suzuki is capable of doing the school run conveniently. Materials used around the interior of the car are family-friendly too, being more durable than plush, which also suits life on the farm as there is every chance this baby SUV, in ALLGRIP guise, may see the odd visit to a field with a few buckets of meal when tending to a herd.

It is a snug fit for two adults and two kids. That goes without question due to the compact nature of this vehicle, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it is terribly cramped or uncomfortable.

As standard, the entry-level SZ3 model, which starts from £14,499 is reasonably well equipped with front electric windows, DAB digital radio with Bluetooth audio connectivity, LED headlights with daytime running lights, air conditioning, and rear privacy glass.

The next trim is an SZ-T which starts from £15,999 and features in addition, individually sliding rear seats, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, wheel arch extensions and side mouldings, smartphone link display audio including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a rear view camera.

You do lose the ability to carry five passengers with this model and the top trim, as it is suited for only four occupants.

Finally, an SZ5 starts from £16,999 and features in addition, satellite navigation, rear electric windows, leather steering wheel, keyless entry/start, auto air conditioning, cruise control, lane departure warning and weaving alert as well as dual camera brake support.

Engine wise there is just one option, a 1.2-litre Dualjet hybrid. Which, when you get out of the city and onto national speed limit roads feels slightly under-powered. It’s a self-charging hybrid system that features a Lithium-ion battery as well as an integrated starter generator which not only allows recharging of the battery when driving but also assists with power delivery, too.

Producing just 83PS and 107Nm of torque, the Ignis takes just shy of 13 seconds to travel from 0-62mph. Capable of reaching a top speed of around 100mph, you can expect a combined returned economy upwards of 50mpg.

Suzuki’s baby SUV comes as standard across all three trims with front-wheel-drive and a 5-speed manual gearbox, whilst the upper two trim levels have the option of a CVT gearbox. For those more adventurous owners out there, the top trim is available with Suzuki’s ALLGRIP four-wheel-drive system combined with the 5-speed manual ‘box.

As a second car in the household, I feel that I could live with the Suzuki Ignis quite easily. I can’t help but think how much fun it could be if fitted with the 1.4-litre boosterjet hybrid engine. However, I look forward to seeing what performance gains could be had on this model should ever be fully electrified down the line.

Suzuki offer a 3-year 60000 mile warranty and 1-year AA Suzuki assistance.


About Author

Graham is a photojournalist and motoring writer with over 20 varied years of coverage from manufacturer press launches to international motorsport and motoring events throughout the world. Graham is a full member of the Guild of Motoring Writers and Ulster Motor Writers Association.

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