“With a Fiat Panda you laugh at everyone.” Who remembers that commercial? The slogan was coined because the Panda was economical, spacious and particularly advantageous in road tax. We get exactly the same feeling in the new Suzuki Ignis. A distinct and surprising Japanese crossover.
Suzuki Ignis 1.2 Smart Hybrid exterior
Suzuki’s Ignis got a facelift in May this year. Although it is modest at first glance, the necessary things have been adjusted, especially under the skin. There is little news to report on the outside. We detect other bumpers with cool skid plates, LED lighting all around, a modified grille, a rear spoiler and Suzuki has introduced new colors. An armrest for the driver and co-driver debuts in the interior. In addition, Suzuki has changed the clock shop.
Suzuki Ignis 1.2 technical adjustments
The technical adjustments are perhaps even more interesting. For example, the suspension is a bit firmer to prevent the Ignis with, for example, four occupants from clapping on the bump stops if you drive too fast over a threshold. It has not become uncomfortable due to the firmer suspension. In fact, it has a pleasant suspension comfort. You hardly need to slow down for most thresholds.
Suzuki Ignes engine
The 1.2 DualJet SHVS four-cylinder petrol engine (K12C) with 90 hp and 120 Nm tested in 2017 has been retired. Suzuki has further developed the engine and slightly adjusted the bore and stroke. In the brochure, Suzuki now talks about engine code K12D. The new 1,197 cc four-cylinder is slightly less strong with 83 hp at 6,000 rpm. It also delivers less torque than before with 107 Nm at 2,800 rpm.
Suzuki Ignes 1.2 Smart Hybrid
Nice then: then you buy a ‘lesser’ engine? Well, not really. Because the designation ‘Hybrid’ adorns the back of this Ignis. That is a bit exaggerated, because this is not a real hybrid. The Ignis is a mild hybrid, or Smart Hybrid as Suzuki says.
What does that mean? A starter generator (ISG) is the heart of the hybrid drive. The energy released during braking is stored in a new lithium-ion battery with a larger capacity (10 Ah). This battery is placed under the front passenger seat for good weight distribution. The stored energy feeds, among other things, the air conditioning, helps with starting, driving and acceleration and is used for lighting and playing your favorite music, for example.
Suzuki Ignes 1.2 performance
While driving, you can easily follow the operation of the system on the display of the on-board computer. You can see when the petrol engine drives the front wheels, when the system recovers energy and when the ISG supports the petrol engine. Although the electric motor only delivers 3.1 hp, you still notice when the system gives the petrol engine an extra push. That’s because the electric motor delivers 35.4 Nm. The acceleration is acceptable. You sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 12.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 165 km/h.
Suzuki Ignes 1.2 Smart Hybrid manual shift
For the first time, the powertrain can be combined with a stepless automatic CVT gearbox. AllGrip four-wheel drive is available as usual, only in combination with a five-speed manual transmission. We drive the regular variant, with a five-speed manual transmission. That box shifts fine, but don’t expect too much from it. The stroke is light, as is the clutch. The steering, on the other hand, is a bit heavier. In addition, the steering wheel ‘sticks’ around the middle position. You have to get used to it in the beginning.
Suzuki Ignes drawbacks
And now that we mention some caveats, we also fall in with the rest of our test findings. The seats of the front seats are a bit short. The view to the rear is somewhat limited by the thick and sloping C-pillar. In addition, the Ignis especially on the highway – not really his thing – very wind feeling. That is not very strange, because it is narrow (1.69 meters), high and weighs just as much as the battery pack of an average Tesla. In the city, the Ignis is more in its element. Then the mild hybrid system also comes into its own because you recover energy by braking each time.
Ingnes road tax
The Panda, remember? Yes certainly everyone laughs at the amount you have to pay for road tax. When ready to drive, it weighs 935 kilograms, but the road tax is determined on the empty weight, which is 835 kilograms. As a result, you pay only 56 euros per three months in North Holland. That’s almost as much as for a motorcycle, hahaha.
Suzuki Ignes 1.2 Smart Hybrid fuel consumption
The fuel consumption is also not that bad. An average consumption of 5.1 liters per 100 kilometers should be feasible, according to Suzuki. Without too much effort you get 1 in 20, so Suzuki is right. However, you will have to refuel regularly, because the fuel tank has a capacity of only 32 liters. Count on a range of approximately 600 kilometers.
What else did you notice? In any case, that Suzuki applies the same infotainment system. It’s not the best on the market, but everything works just fine. It is sometimes difficult to read in the sun. Furthermore, the interior is made up of hard plastics. The door trim is scratch-sensitive, but everything feels solid and seems built to last. It is a no-nonsense car.
Suzuki SC 100 GX
The center console has a striking design. The colorful element of the center tunnel has three distinctive slots that are also used in the C-pillar. These design details refer to the Suzuki SC 100 GX, a sports coupé from the 1980s. The number of seats of the Ignis varies. The Comfort – the slip-on with a fixed rear seat – has five seats. More expensive versions (Select and Style) have sliding rear seats. In that case you have four seats.
Suzuki Ignes 1.2 Smart Hybrid price
The Comfort is available from 16,850 euros. Fortunately, it already has air conditioning as standard. Most buyers opt for a Style version, according to Suzuki. The tested Ignis Smart Hybrid is such a Style and it costs 19,850 euros. Admittedly, it’s not very cheap. The Style is the top version in the program with almost all the bells and whistles.
Suzuki Ignes 1.2 Smart options
To better explain the differences between the versions:
Ignis Comfort: air conditioning, stop/start system, light sensor, central locking with remote control, front electric windows, LED lighting (headlights, taillights and daytime running lights) and audio system with Bluetooth (hands-free calling) and USB.
Ignis Select (from 18,250 euros): heated seats at the front, a reversing camera, 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass at the rear, Suzuki Multimedia System (a 7-inch display, DAB+ radio, Apple Carplay / Android Auto), rear seat can be moved in two parts and can be folded down , optionally available with CVT automatic transmission or as four-wheel drive AllGrip.
Ignis Style (from 19,750 euros): regulated air conditioning, navigation, cruise control, rear electric windows, optionally available with CVT automatic transmission or as four-wheel drive AllGrip.
The Suzuki Ignis Style also has the necessary safety systems, bundled under the name Suzuki Safety System. This package consists of Dual Camera Brake Support (DCBS), Automatic Brake Assist (Emergency Brake Assist), Lane Departure Warning (Lane Departure Warning) and Vehicle Sway Warning.
The Suzuki Ignis is not cheap. The design will certainly not be to everyone’s taste. One finds it very funny, another has his doubts. The Ignis certainly has character, distinctiveness too. And don’t forget: it’s spacious, comfortable and economical. In that respect, you laugh at most people with an Ignis like you did with that Panda. You take it for granted that people sometimes smile at you. You know better.