Suzuki is happy as a brand to market themselves as the ‘small car experts’ and in early 2017 they added yet another small car to their range in the shape of the new Suzuki Ignis. Ignis joins Celerio, Swift and Baleno in Suzuki’s small car range. That’s quite a portfolio.

But Ignis is a little different. In fact you could almost say Ignis sits in a class of its own. Is it a city car or is it a 4×4?

Well it’s a bit of both. Suzuki class Ignis as a compact crossover, and the cute but chunky, boxy looks are bound to divide opinion.

Pricing starts at a budget friendly €12,995 for a 2WD model, rising to €17,995 for a top spec model equipped with 4WD.

2017 Suzuki Ignis Review Ireland
The Suzuki Ignis has the tough look of a mini off-roader

Inside, the cabin is constructed from a mix of hard plastics that’s common in this segment, but the two tone colour scheme with orange accents provides light relief. In short, it’s a bright and pleasant cabin that is modern and easy to navigate. Infotainment is provided via a seven inch touchscreen on all but the base model, which is compatible with Apple Car Play and Android Auto.

In terms of interior space, the boxy design bodes particularly well. There is ample room up front and in the rear: headroom and legroom is very generous. Only the base model has five seat capacity: the other trims are four seaters with two individually sliding rear seats. The boot is 260 litres, which is good for this size of car too.

The Ignis has a slightly elevated ride height and driving position so you do feel as if you are driving a mini off-roader. There is just one engine available, a 1.2-litre with 90hp, but it’s more than up for the job as the Ignis is very light weighing as low as 855kg. It always feels lively and is robust enough for motorway driving. The engine is paired to a five speed manual gearbox, while there is also an automatic option. My 4WD test car returned close to 50mpg.

2017 Suzuki Ignis Review Ireland
The interior of the Suzuki Ignis

The Ignis is good fun to drive with quick, accurate steering and an agile chassis, but there is some lean in corners. It’s best in the city and gets noisy at high speeds, while rough, uneven surfaces will cause some discomfort in the cabin too.

Three trim levels are offered for Ignis in Ireland: SZ3, SZ-T and SZ5. SZ3 is available from €12,995 and equipment includes air con, front electric windows, digital radio and Bluetooth.

SZ-T (from €14,495) adds satellite navigation, rear view camera, wheel arch extensions, side mouldings, roof rails and 16-inch alloy wheels.

SZ5 (from €16,495) adds auto air conditioning, LED headlights with LED DRLs, front fog lights, rear electric windows, keyless entry and start, Dual Camera Brake Support and cruise control.

2017 Suzuki Ignis Review Ireland
The Suzuki Ignis comes with a 1.2-litre petrol engine

Suzuki’s Allgrip 4WD system is an option on SZ5 trim. Automatic gearboxes are available on each model for €1500 on top of the list price.

The Suzuki Ignis is certainly not like any other city car and brings a lot of rugged charm to the city car class. This is a spacious small car and offers good value for money, while the 1.2-litre engine is efficient and makes the Ignis good fun to drive. It feels a bit more basic when it comes to comfort and refinement, but at this pricing you can forgive it some of those ills.

Model tested: Suzuki Ignis 1.2 Dualjet SHVS SZ5 ALLGRIP
€17,995 (Range starts at €12,995)
Engine: 1.2-litre petrol
Torque: 120Nm
11.1 seconds
Top speed: 166km/h
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax:
€190 per year

2017 Suzuki Ignis Review Ireland
The Suzuki Ignis has plenty of rugged charm

Caroline Kidd

If you are looking for a city car, you might also like this review of the Volkswagen Up.