South Western Times

Pint-sized charmer

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GRANT EDWARDS

Drivers used to have a deep-seated relationsh­ip with their cars.

The long-gone car-building techniques often delivered quirks and performanc­e which developed individual­ity.

Modern cars have become more reliable and tech-laden, almost to the point where personalit­y has been lost.

That can’t be said about the Suzuki Ignis.

Blending hatch and SUV styles, the unique pint-sizer is brimming with old-school character; it generated smiles everywhere we travelled.

Recently updated, Suzuki revised the look with a bolder, lower grille and a new lower panel below the hatch door, plus a different bumper.

Measuring just 3.7m long and less than 1.7m wide, it remains one of the smallest offerings on the market.

And with drive-away prices starting from less than $20,000 with an automatic transmissi­on, it is also one of the bargain new-car buys.

COMFORT

Given the dimensions, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Ignis is one step beyond a go-kart — yet it bats well above its average for internal space.

Nicely bolstered front seats offer support and while the back pew is relatively flat, there is enough room for two adults.

DRIVING

Numbers on paper fail to inspire, yet the little four-cylinder engine does a mighty job of propelling the Ignis in all circumstan­ces.

Generating just 66kW — less than half of a Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport — the little Suzuki is surprising­ly deft.

From a standing start it gets away nicely.

The steering feel is accurate and the pint-size platform excels in the urban jungle. Parking is a breeze and the Ignis can make a U-turn in less than 9m

The Ignis is geared very well and cruises at about 2000rpm at 100km/h.

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