Another month of ambling around town in a bid to stay legal in the eyes of the state had me discovering another quirk of Ignis motoring. Unlike some cars I’ve run in the past, the Ignis’ engine stop-start feature appears to be one of the more polished examples. And it’s one of the more relaxed interpretations of the technology; with the car in neutral and you coasting at walking speed towards your inevitable stop, the engine cuts out and you glide the remaining few metres in relative silence.
I love this more liberal approach to engine shutdowns, and it’s certainly more civilised than stopping then experiencing the shudder of an engine abruptly ceasing all its activities. But there’s more. I’ve belatedly discovered that you can also steer while coasting with the engine off. Normally, pressure on the steering wheel would immediately cause a rival car’s engine to spring back into life, shattering the previously calming engine-less cabin ambience. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to discover this, or why I found it so exciting, but it’s just another quirky facet of the Ignis’ character. Yes, I really am that easily pleased.
You know what doesn’t please me, though? Poor design. Fortunately for Suzuki’s crayon wranglers it’s hard to find fault with the Ignis – inside or out. Apart from one thing: the car’s tailgate handle. It’s great that one exists, and you’re not forced to constantly reach for the key fob to unlock the boot, but thanks to a glitch in the car’s aerodynamics, the handle seems to attract a lot of dirt. Winter motoring has resulted in much cursing and many a grubby hand. The nearby reversing camera hasn’t escaped either, as it needs regular wiping to ensure its output is still of value when the weather is less than pleasant.
In contrast, the car’s screen wash reservoir rarely needs refilling thanks to how little fluid is required to clean the windscreen, which is just as well, as I still struggle to locate the bonnet release catch. It’s there somewhere, but my fat fingers still haven’t perfected the knack of opening the bonnet in a timely manner. Thankfully the plucky Ignis has behaved itself and only routine checks have been required.
It’s still the funky buzz-box that encourages me to opt for A-roads over motorways, and it still allows me to squeeze through gaps in urban traffic that bigger cars cannot. Parking hasn’t been a chore for months, while my last visit to a 1960s era car park didn’t involve any swearing as the diminutive Ignis felt right at home in a facility designed for Lilliputian motorists.
As an aside, negotiating the car park’s steep down ramps reminded me of how much engine braking the Ignis’ tiny motor possesses. While no EV, you don’t need to hammer the brake pedal as much as you think. The bonus benefit is that you’re constantly topping up the car’s hybrid battery. Which is important, as it’s easy to drain that battery when you’re having fun. And I’ve still been having a lot of fun zooming around, much to the surprise of fellow motorists. I’m not sure that they really expect to see the little yellow-ish car in their mirror keeping pace with their big, bloated SUV on the local ring road.
Date arrived 26th October 2020
Economy (WLTP combined) 51.9mpg
Economy (On test) 51.3mpg