City car’s b-Ig on style

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan

THE all-new Suzuki Ignis is a dif­fi­cult car to pi­geon­hole. It’s a small fam­ily hatch­back with cross­over pre­ten­sions. It fea­tures SUV styling and a high ride height so of­fers plenty of space in the rear. A pal of mine who tops six feet in height was eas­ily ac­com­mo­dated – de­spite ex­press­ing doubts he would fit into some­thing that at first glance looks to have the di­men­sions of a city mini.

Con­fused? Well you shouldn’t be as this dis­tinc­tive, in­no­va­tive car is likely to be one of the suc­cess sto­ries for 2017.

The ex­te­rior fea­tures bold body styling and pro­nounced wheel arches as well as nifty roof rails. The 16-inch al­loy wheels catch the eye while body-colour ex­te­rior door han­dles and rear pri­vacy glass add a touch of glam­our to pro­ceed­ings.

There is a four-wheel drive ver­sion fea­tur­ing hy­brid as­sis­tance – but the two-wheel drive 1.2-litre model I spent the week with is both fes­tooned with good­ies and de­cent to drive.

It is also lighter and cheaper thus likely to prove pop­u­lar with those wish­ing to pur­chase one of the first in a new van­guard of cross­over city cars – there I’ve found a pi­geon­hole for it!

Weigh­ing in at 855kg the Ignis is nip­pier away from the traf­fic lights than a 0-62mph time in ex­cess of 13 sec­onds would sug­gest.

Yes, go­ing up­hill can be a chal­lenge when fully loaded, but work­ing the en­gine a bit harder achieves the de­sired re­sult.

Fuel econ­omy is ex­cel­lent with the Ignis get­ting around 55mpg in a week of mixed mo­tor­ing that took in mo­tor­ways, city driv­ing and coun­try lanes.

The ride is sur­pris­ingly com­fort­able with only the big­gest humps and hol­lows mak­ing their pres­ence felt in the cabin. The steer­ing is rea­son­ably informative and there are good lev­els of grip, giv­ing con­fi­dence in cor­ners.

The Ignis is the per­fect com­pan­ion in the ur­ban jun­gle thanks to the raised driv­ing po­si­tion and good vis­i­bil­ity which make the duck­ing and div­ing that passes for mod­ern mo­tor­ing around town these days a lot eas­ier.

As speeds pick up re­fine­ment suf­fers a touch as wind and en­gine noise do make their way in­side.

Cabin com­fort is good though with four rea­son­ably-sized adults eas­ily catered for as legroom is sur­pris­ingly good while head­room is more than ad­e­quate.

In keep­ing with the Tardis-like in­te­rior, the boot also causes raised eye­brows as clever de­sign sees 260 litres of lug­gage or shop­ping swal­lowed be­fore you em­bark on slid­ing and re­clin­ing the rear seats to free up a to­tal of 1,100 litres of space – ex­cel­lent for this class of car.

As far as safety is con­cerned, all Ignis mod­els are fit­ted with front, side and cur­tain airbags as stan­dard while the SZ-T model adds a num­ber of driver aids to help keep you on the road.

With a price-tag of just un­der £12,000 the in­te­rior is mod­ern but some of the ma­te­ri­als lack a touch of qual­ity.

That said the SZ-T model was per­fectly ac­cept­able with the bonus of a truck-load of kit such as sat nav with smart­phone con­nec­tiv­ity plus a DAB dig­i­tal ra­dio op­er­ated via a colour touch­screen dis­play.

Air con­di­tion­ing also makes an ap­pear­ance with mod cons such as au­to­matic head­lamps and day­time run­ning lights in­cluded in an en­tic­ing pack­age.

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