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The Suzuki Ignis is a funky compact crossover that's perfect for new drivers living in a city like Singapore.

20 Oct 2021


Suzuki is that default carmaker to go to for small cars that are suited for city driving. You have the Suzuki Swift, the juicer Swift Sport as well as the cool and compact Suzuki Jimny off-roader.

Now, potential small car buyers have another choice - the Suzuki Ignis - a compact crossover that's shorter and narrower than the already compact Swift hatchback.

But it doesn't even look that small!

The 12V mild hybrid system makes for smoother and quieter start/stop
Even as the Ignis goes against rivals like the Hyundai Venue and the Mazda CX-3, the Suzuki's length of 3,700mm is still shorter than its peers. That's not a bad thing, really, considering parking - parallel and reverse - was a cinch during my time with the car.

Plus, its kerb weight of just 890kg makes it the lightest in its class, with the others tipping the scales of over 1,100kg.

This helps the car move from point to point in a relatively perky manner. It's not the most enthusiastic powerplant out there, but the Ignis does the job decently. The 1.2-litre powerplant that's also found in the Swift Mild Hybrid puts out 82bhp and 107Nm of torque to the front wheels, assisted by a 12V mild hybrid system that helps with acceleration in the lower rev range.

Perfect for city driving

The century sprint is completed in 12.7 seconds
Thus, the Ignis will hold its own well off the line. It feels zippy around town, with little issues keeping up with the pack. You do get the inevitable racket from the CVT as you bury the throttle to up its pace, but it manages to settle down once you get up to highway speeds.

Where it lacks, though, the Ignis more than makes up for it with its fuel economy and cultured ride. During my four days with the car, I managed to achieve 16km/L. This included a decent mix of highway and around town where I experienced an unstoppable amount of road works, which gave me the chance to see how the new compact crossover coped over coarse and uneven stretches of asphalt.

16-inch wheels are a good size for fuel economy
While the ride can get a tad bumpy, there was never a time when vibrations were sent to the steering and cabin. What gets sent into the cabin, unfortunately, are external noises. Even at legal speeds on highways, wind and road noise were fairly prominent. There was once when I could even clearly hear the exhaust note of a small motorbike that stopped beside me at the lights.

Unconventional in the flesh

Admittedly, while all these hitches are things that you have to live with on a daily basis, there's an apparent charm to the car that you cannot deny - the sort of charm that makes all of the car's qualms acceptable.

260 litres of hauling space for your weekly needs
For starters, the Ignis is quite unconventional in the flesh. If you're the type who can appreciate cars that are quirky and aren't a common sight, this car is it. From the boxy shape and eye-catching front fascia, to the flared arches and attractive colours available (like our test car here), the Suzuki Ignis oozes plenty of character.

Functional and safe under the skin

On the inside, the car will swallow four occupants without any problems. You could squeeze more adults at the back with adequate head and legroom, but due to the lack of shoulder room, three at the back is probably best left for shorter journeys. Even so, with its compact dimensions, you still get usable 260 litres worth of boot space, which will work well for the weekly grocery shopping.

The Ignis comes with a traditional handbrake
Elsewhere, you get solid plastics around the cabin, leather benches, simply laid-out dash and a traditional handbrake that’s becoming a novelty amongst the sea of cars with electronic park brake button.

More importantly, the Ignis also comes with a suite if active safety systems that includes pre-collision system, Dual Camera Brake Support (DCBS) that uses stereo cameras to detect vehicles and pedestrians, lane departure warning function and weaving alert function to keep you driving safely within the lanes.

Best for new driver in a city landscape

Cabin is simply laid out and is highly functional
Unfortunately, all these come at a rather high cost, which is the only problem I can think of. At $108,900 (as of 14 October 2021), the Suzuki Ignis will set you back about $11k and $7k more than the Hyundai Venue and the Mazda CX-3 respectively. This coud make it hard for buyers to swallow, methinks.

That said, if money isn't a problem, it's good to note that the Ignis is the sort of car that's very much suited for new drivers living in a city landscape like Singapore. It is undoubtedly a very manoeuvrable and functional compact car that's easy to handle around tight spaces. Best of all, it manages to do so in style and charm.

Car Information

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Suzuki Ignis Mild Hybrid 1.2 Standard (A)
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Price

: $117,900

Engine Type

:

1.2 Dualjet

Engine Cap

:

1197cc

Horsepower

:

-

Torque

:

107 Nm / 2800 rpm

Transmission

:

CVT (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

12.7sec

Top Speed

:

155km/h

Fuel consumption

:

18.5km/L

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