Suzuki Ignis – Small but perfectly formed

The new Ignis has arrived with a new approach to the city car segment. I like it.

I love when it’s time to welcome a new brand to our pages. Some manufacturer we never wrote about before and, therefore, must have done something right to earn its place on this little corner of the printing media.

So, welcome Suzuki. Why are you here? Well, two words: Ignis and Jimny. These are two new models from the Japanese manufacturer that have caught my eye and I contacted Suzuki’s press department to see if I could write about them. They were very nice and, well, voilá, here’s the first one.

Now, before I talk about the Ignis, I have to tell you about Suzuki themselves, because I bet you have no idea how big this company is. It is the eighth biggest constructor in the world. Do you know who’s behind them? Mercedes, Kia, Renault, BMW, Audi. That’s right. They’re not big; they are huge. Besides, cars are just a part of the company: Suzuki also builds bikes, as you probably know and that is a pretty big business as well.

As you can see, they are not a small player in the market. The thing is, they have never made a big investment in the Portuguese market like, say, Hyundai or Kia have, so their sales are relatively small compared to others. But do you know what is the coolest part about that? It’s that, if you are a client, you will have bought yourself a thoroughly engineered car, very likely with a funky look these days, that will be a rare sight on the road. Clearly you know something they don’t.

The main reason for this is that a Suzuki is not a car you buy because it is cheap – although prices are very appealing for what the cars have to offer. The way I see it is, you buy a Suzuki if you don’t want to be following the herd. You want something different, something that says you didn’t settle. A car that makes you feel good about explaining to your friends why you made the right choice and didn’t go for the same Hyundai/Kia/Fiat/Citroën/Renault they all bought.

Having said that, I haven’t always liked the way Suzukis look. More often than not, I thought they weren’t designed with European tastes in mind and it was hard for me to see the aesthetic appeal.

However, something has happened at Suzuki Towers and the new Ignis and Jimny look superb – two pieces of design absolutely fit for purpose.

For now, let’s focus on the Ignis, as the Jimny is still a few months away from these pages.

Fresh on the market, the new Ignis is a breath of fresh air in its segment. It really is. It looks like nothing else out there. It’s small on the outside, just as a city car must be, and ginormous on the inside, just as a well-packaged car should be.

You wouldn’t believe how big its interior is by knowing the outside measures – 3.7 metres long, 1.6 metres wide and 1.5 metres high. Believe me when I tell you that this thing has more space for two people in the back than my BMW 3 Series Touring. It has more leg room than my dad’s X6. It’s absolutely incredible.

Obviously, with a 1.2 litre, 90 horse power engine, the Ignis is not the fastest car in the world, but it is one of the best to drive around town, running errands, dropping the kids, parking at the supermarket, the post-office, the bank, anywhere.

On top of its great usability, the Ignis comes with a lot of stuff. GPS navigation, rear parking camera, Bluetooth connection, seven-inch central touch screen, keyless start and even the option of an automatic gearbox. The funky interior adds to the sense of purpose this car has and fit and finish are surprising for a sub-€15,000 car.

I used it for hours and hours and never got out with a twitch in my back, so comfort is not a problem either. The board computer showed 5.7 litres as my average consumption when I returned the car to Suzuki.

All in all, I cannot fault the Ignis, which is surprising for a car costing €13,000 or thereabouts, depending on how you can take full advantage of Suzuki’s financial deals. In fact, if you are after a small city car to take on daily life with, it might just be perfect.

By Guilherme Marques