Smart little Suzuki: Ignis in two models, both make big sense

  • Past, present and future Suzuki styling trends
  • Light and rigid platform for ‘superior ride and handling’
  • 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine = ‘brisk dynamics’
2017 SUZUKI IGNIS: Image; Suzuki SA / Quickpic
2017 SUZUKI IGNIS: Image; Suzuki SA / Quickpic

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – If you were in the Mother City area this past week you might have spotted a typically small Suzuki car you’d not seen before, one with the look of a dinky off-roader.

It was probably the new Suzuki Ignis, expected in South African showrooms in June 2017 and being driving by a fortunate few motoring persons. Who probably didn’t bother to look up the word Ignis on their mobile – something The Corner does almost every time a car with a funny name appears.

2017 SUZUKI IGNIS: Image; Suzuki SA / Quickpic
2017 SUZUKI IGNIS: Image; Suzuki SA / Quickpic

There have been some bloomers, the worst of which might have been Pajero (no, look it up yourself, and it’s not the regular name for a breed of South American leopard). South Africa stubbornly kept the name, which was changed to Montero in other markets.

POPULAR IN EUROPE

Ignis is rather cute: it’s basically an ignited fart, though of natural origins, and describing the ignition of airborne marsh gas created by bubbles from decomposing matter on a pond floor and called ignis fatuus.

Whatever, the car – launched at the 2015 Paris auto show – has since become popular in Europe.

“The Ignis,” says Suzuki SA, “bolsters our range of compact cars with a potent mix of cost-saving efficiency, comfort, safety, and value for money. It’s 3.70m long and 1.69m wide and won’t mind getting its tyres muddy with ground clearance of 18cm under its rigid platform.”

2017 SUZUKI IGNIS: Image; Suzuki SA / Quickpic
2017 SUZUKI IGNIS: Image; Suzuki SA / Quickpic

The bonnet covers a 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine – the same one is used in the Swift 1.2 –  and plenty for a car that weighs only 850kg. That’s an excellent formula for low fuel-consumption, too, and its 61kW is reached at 6000rpm and 113Nm at 4200.

TWO MODELS, TWO ‘BOXES

The manual-transmission model reaches 100km/h in 11.6sec, top speed is 165km/h. The auto gets to 100km/h in 13sec, top speed is 155km/h.

Fuel consumption of five litres/100km/h is said to be possible.

There are two models, GL and GLX, and Suzuki says either has plenty of head- and legroom; luggage capacity is 260 litres, expanding to 469 with the rear seat folded flat.

Standard in each are power window-lifts, key-fob central locking, aircon, electric steering-assistance and an MP3-compatible CD audio system with USB port and 12V socket. Crash mitigation features include two front gasbags, anti-lock brakes, side-impact protection beams, IsoFix kiddie-seat anchors and child-proof rear locks.

READ MORE Suzuki features on Carman’s Corner

Charl Grobler, the genial sales and product-planning manager at Suzuki Auto SA, told The Corner in a media release: “The Ignis continues the brand’s tradition of distinctive, innovative and fun-to-drive cars. The Ignis is further proof that Suzuki’s small-car expertise remains unrivalled.

2017 SUZUKI IGNIS: Image; Suzuki SA / Quickpic
2017 SUZUKI IGNIS: Image; Suzuki SA / Quickpic

“The cabin, despite the car being ultra-compact, cabin is comfortable and spacious, the wieldy dimensions and ground clearance ensure comfortable driving across various conditions.”

The design, the media release added, was unmistakably Suzuki and drawn from previous and current models. The newcomer’s lines have an emphatic and unequivocal identity.

The bold headlights are described as “almost square, their daytime running lights frame a narrow grille and the deep front bumper is home, on GLX models, to large air intakes and fog lights”.

2017 SUZUKI IGNIS: Image; Suzuki SA / Quickpic
2017 SUZUKI IGNIS: Image: Suzuki SA / Quickpic

The rear treatment includes a neat bumper, large, trapezoidal tail-lights and a smooth, full-width tail window. Slim roof rails, a high third brake-light and a bee-sting aerial complete the Ignis picture.

The top half of the cabin’s facia is black, the lower white. The same contrasts are applied on the door panels. The door grips are finished in bright colours – red, blue, titanium – according to the exterior colour.

A CD/FM/AM tuner fills the centre of the facia, the aircon controls are in the same centre stack. Rectangular vents in the centre and spherical vents each end frame a compact instrument binnacle behind a tilt-adjustable steering-wheel on which are multifunction audio and phone controls – that last in GLX units.

2017 SUZUKI IGNIS: Image; Suzuki SA / Quickpic
2017 SUZUKI IGNIS: Image: Suzuki SA / Quickpic

The Ignis has “an extensive list” of active and passive crash protection features, among them crumple zones, a chassis designed to distribute an impact and a rigid passenger cell. Further, there are two crash bags in front, door impact protection beams, and three-point inertia-reel seat belts front and rear.

The standard Ignis GL runs on 15” steel wheel rims with full covers. A full-sized spare is standard.

The Ignis GLX is available with a five-speed manual or five-speed “automated manual”. The latter,” Suzuki explains, “combines the efficiency of a manual gearbox with the convenience of automated no-clutch gearchanges.”

HALOGENS, DIODE HEADLIGHTS

The GLX has everything in the GL butt adds a further level of comfort and convenience, as well as enhanced exterior appeal of which the most obvious are 15” piano-black alloy wheels rims, wheel-arch extensions, and roof rails. The black grille has chromed accents.

The GL’s halogen headlights make way for projector-type diode designs with daytime running lights; the exterior mirrors include turn signal repeaters.

A start/stop button gives keyless starting, the aircon is automatic and rear speakers and front tweeters take the speaker count to six.

…AND A COLOUR TOUCHSCREEN, TOO

The instrument binnacle of the each model adds a rev counter to the left of the large speedometer, a multi-info display is to the right and includes instant and average fuel consumption, driving range and average speed, digital clock, gear-shift indicator in the case of the manual model. The AMT version has a gear position indicator.

Optional is a central colour touchscreen display which can be linked to iOS or Android smartphones. An SD card slot can be used to delivers satnav.

The Suzuki Ignis is covered by a standard three-year or 100 000 km warranty and a two-year or 30 000km service plan. Services intervals 15 000km or 12 months.

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