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Suzuki is riding a wave of good fortune. Their sales are up, despite a pressurised economic climate (July saw them selling 774 units - a record month), and they have been winning accolades from industry authorities like Cars.co.za and Car Magazine Best Buy awards.
With good reason - Suzuki offers cheap, cheerful products that render sound reliability. We need that - times are tough!
In keeping with current trends, for crossovers, Suzuki has launched a new entry-level and budget-friendly variant, the Ignis. Similar in size to the very popular Swift, yet with a raised ride height. The four-door Ignis may be compact but offers ample space for four bigger adults. The petite Ignis is also big on value. Prices range between R170 000 to R190 000 for the manual models and for the convenience of having an automatic, you'll need to fork out another R15 000.
Its quirky design, that makes the Ignis look like a shrunken SUV - fresh from the tumble dryer - takes its cue from a Suzuki from yesteryear, the Cervo (aka Whizzkid) from the 70's.
The playfulness of the Ignis carries through into its interior. Depending on your choice of exterior colour, this same paint colour is carried through into the interior trims - door grip handles and center drop down the console. This brighter trim is mixed with off-white and black plastic. Interesting shapes are used for the functional bits - tachometer (home for the speedometer and other instrumentation), air-vents, climate control panel and radio. It's all much more fun than the conventional interiors on other cars. The Ignis is a budget-friendly vehicle, so the materials are harder to the touch. Not to be mistaken for feeling cheap; the Ignis is well put together. I'd suspect that you'd have many happy motoring miles without any irritating rattles. Standard items across all models include electric windows, remote central locking, air-conditioning, electric power steering, and a MP3-compatible CD sound system with USB port and 12V accessory power socket.
Also included in the GLX specification is Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free telephony and audio streaming. Thus, the three-spoke steering wheel gains multifunction controls for the audio system and Bluetooth-based telephony.
A highlight of the Ignis is its zesty 1.2-liter four-cylinder motor (61kW). It works beautifully with the lightweight car (only 850 / 860 kilograms) meaning acceleration (0 to 100km/h in 11.6 seconds) and braking are an effortless affair. Combined with its ease of motoring, its frugal fuel consumption - combined highway and urban adventures - yielded a fantastic figure of 5.9 liters per 100 km/h. The Ignis is mated to 5-speed easy-to-use manual or a self-shift automatic gearbox.
From a driving perspective, the Ignis "light-as-a-pancake" feeling is carried through into its driving experience; feather-weight gear changes, steering and pedal inputs. The Ignis has been designed to make your driving experience effortless. The suspension is compliant (supple - like a baby’s bottom). All these elements, together with its raised seating position, make for a relaxed driving experience. Don’t think this little crossover is going to corner like a Range Rover Sport, nor dart at the sight of a green light at a robot. Rather, its character is willing and able. Happy on the road, and some soft off-roading, but again, don’t expect its 18cm ground clearance to go too far off the beaten track like a Range Rover either.
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1.2 GL Manual R169 900
1.2 GLX Manual R189 900
1.2 GLX Automatic R204 900
Maintenance and warranty
The new Suzuki Ignis is covered by a standard three-year/100 000 km warranty, as well as a two-year/30 000 km service plan. Services are at 15 000 km/12-month intervals. The warranty on all new Suzuki's sold between July and December 2017 is five years or 200 000km.
1.2 GLX Manual R189 900
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