As the number of local miles driven have increased, I’ve become more impressed by the agility of Suzuki’s mighty little Ignis. I was concerned that small might not be beautiful when the car was delivered – it’s tasked with carrying more than just a modest weekly shop and occasional passenger. It has, however, managed to impress in both its ability to swallow bulky loads and easily slot into parking spaces that would have drivers of bloated modern superminis struggling.
And while critics might be dismissive of the whole ‘micro off-roader’ concept, I’m not going to knock the car’s elevated driving position. Being able to see over parked cars, low hedges, and see further ahead is a plus if you value better forward visibility and the added safety it affords you. It will be quite the come down – literally, I suspect – when I’m forced to surrender the Ignis for something altogether more conventional.
Before that day comes, I hope I can make the most of the diminutive Suzuki’s size when scurrying around town. It’s certainly a liberating feeling to look over your shoulder and not be confronted with acres of space, because all that room would mean trying to find a correspondingly generous parking slot, or breathing in when navigating car parks that were designed for an original Mini, not an SUV.
Proper off-roading activities may have alluded me so far, but a recent spate of heavy rain did allow me to briefly test the car’s ‘ALLGRIP’ all-wheel drive system on muddy rural tracks and patches of standing water. I’m sure most regular two-wheel drive cars would’ve managed just fine, but it’s always good to know that if the situation changed rapidly, or you were a bit silly, then that safety net of additional grip would save your blushes. I can definitely see the appeal if you were a rural dweller who didn’t travel that much, but did want the added security of the increased ride height and the all-wheel drive option for the winter months. And for all the jokes about the Ignis being the child’s toy that fell out of your cereal box, I’d be the one laughing when trundling down narrow country lanes and not having to worry about folding the mirrors in to pass oncoming traffic.
Ah yes, those mirrors. They’re a good size, but they are prone to fogging up when the temperature drops. Why should you care? Well, there’s no heated function, which is odd considering Suzuki’s generosity regarding kit for its flagship SZ5 variant. Suzuki’s not off my Christmas card list though, as the car’s keyless entry and ignition system just works. I’ve used the physical key maybe three times so far, which is the best endorsement you could give the technology.
Speaking of tech, the plucky 1.2-litre motor continues to plug away without complaint. I’ve barely improved on past fuel economy performances, but I have made full use of the punchy added thrust from the mild hybrid system when overtaking and tackling hills. Although pleasingly refined at urban speeds, its coarse edge intrudes at motorway speeds. It makes for an impressively flexible companion on cross-country drives on a variety of different road types, though, highlighting its flexible nature well.
Date arrived 26th October 2020
Economy (WLTP combined) 51.9mpg
Economy (On test) 52.1mpg