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Unboxing the Suzuki Ignis


Of all the Japanese car makers, you can usually count on Suzuki to build a really conservative car. Apart from the fun Swift Sport, Suzuki seems to attract level-headed people who want value for money offerings rather than funky trend setters. This is about to change though with the arrival of the new Ignis.

What is an Ignis?

From the outside, the Ignis comes across as a small crossover, an urban crossover if you like. It looks funky and is definitely distinctive, yet appealing in a strange way that only Japanese manufacturers seem able to pull off.

One of the main attractions for me is the raised ground clearance and black front grille which also surrounds the almost square headlights. It gives the car a cheeky character. Another feature that eagle-eyed car boffins will notice, is that the rear pillars feature three grooves which harks back to the Suzuki Cervo, or WizKid, as it was known in the early 70s.

What about the interior?

The attention to detail on the outside is very much repeated on the inside. Black and white contrasts the interior and I love how the exterior body colour is carried over to the door handles as well as the transmission tunnel. Suzuki is really stepping outside the box with the Ignis. I was impressed with the interior quality as well as the stylish design of the dashboard, which really has a youthful, modern look.Sure the plastics are a bit cheap, but it all feels well screwed together.

I also found quite a bit of adjustment on the driver’s seat, however, the steering column only moves up and down. As for storage and practicality, the Ignis has many little compartments for all sorts of things. I really found the smartphone tray and inclusion of a USB port to be a big plus. 

Trim and equipment 

The Ignis comes in two trim levels with the GL serving as base. Although it boasts all the essential must-haves, the top spec GLX is the one to go for. Aside from its bigger, sportier alloy wheels, both variants can also be customised to suit buyer preference.

Both also get a nifty trip display which shows everything from fuel usage to the gear-shift indicator. The car also has some impressive safety features such as dual front airbags, ABS, EBD and daytime running LEDs.

Who is it for?

Well it’s for anyone really, however, I think that young families would like it the most. Rear legroom is ample with headroom being particularly impressive owing to its boxy design. What’s more, there are even ISOFIX mounting points for child seats.

Despite its crossover styling, the Ignis is still pretty much a city car and this can be seen when it comes to the size of the boot. It’s not massive, but will easily swallow a few large gym bags thanks to a 255-litre capacity. Drop the rear seats though, and the space becomes pretty impressive for a city car. 

What about the drive?

Underneath the bonnet is the same 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol motor you would find in the Swift, albeit with some slight upgrades. Power is rated 61kW/113Nm. It’s also emissions tax free and the manual model has a claimed fuel consumption figure of 5.1-litres/100km. 

Unfortunately, Suzuki still hasn’t got the memo for turbocharging, locally at least, but that said, the engine is a sweet little unit, especially when mated to the five-speed manual gearbox.  A five-speed automated manual can be had as an option on the GLX, yet I would opt for the manual.

Are there any issues?

Well, there are some concerns and chief of which is visibility. As cool as the C-pillars are, they tend to obstruct one’s view quite a bit. The fact that the steering wheel only adjusts up and down could be an issue for some, and I did find the steering to feel a bit rubbery around town. 

I also found the infotainment system lacking. Instead of a touchscreen setup, the Ignis features an old school display like that of the Vitara, although you do get Bluetooth as standard. A touchscreen can be fitted optionally for around R6 500. 


Yes it has some cons but they don’t detract from the pros. The Ignis is a fun little car which offers true bang for your buck as is the way with Suzuki. It looks really good and has a unique character. Personally, I’d like to see a turbocharged version just so us folk up at the Reef can enjoy the same entertaining drive as those at the coast will have.


Ignis 1.2 GL - R169 900

Ignis 1.2 GLX - R189 900

Ignis 1.2 GLX AMT - R204 900

Article written by Justin Jacobs
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