Suzuki Ignis Hybrid 1.2 DualJet SHVS 2021 Review : Little Wonder [COTY2021]
Singapore - You wouldn’t think to look at it, but there’s a fine art involved in building and packaging a small car. Thanks to their iconic kei-car culture and the innovative cabin storage/space solutions that come with designing such compact cars, the Japanese have had plenty of practice with this.
Going by the Swift, the Jimny and now the Ignis, Suzuki has clearly been doing a cracking job of it and is the latter-day undisputed King of Smol Cars. Some may even recognise the models as ‘old’ namesakes with a good measure of history, but Suzuki hasn’t been sitting pretty on its hands expecting the cars to sell based on legacy alone.
Instead, the brand has been reinventing these tiny tykes and re-interpreting them for a new generation of audience to appreciate, often with distinctive designs and character quirks to give them a recognisable identity to disrupt the establishment.
There’s nothing cooler than small cars that have huge personalities and we’ve been smitten with the Ignis since we drove the original beige test-car (Caravan Ivory Pearl Metallic) at its launch.
Mind you, the colour choice wasn’t chosen because the Ignis is available in only a few colours. On the contrary, there are 18 different colours (!!) to choose from if you decide to buy the cheeky cherub.
In case you’re wondering, not many brands would be brave or daring enough to register a beige car as a demo – this can end up becoming your calling card and for lesser cars, beige = boring – and the last thing anyone wants is to be associated with beige.
But Suzuki dared to! Why? The retro-inspired, rugged-refined Ignis is a big and bubbly, larger-than-life character that doesn't rely on car colours to make or break it. In fact, there are compact cars with less personality that try to compensate through bright colours. The only thing that smarts is the high COE at time of writing.
Thankfully, it has a good amount of ‘smarts’ in the cabin that belies its 3700 x 1460 x 1605mm dimensions to pose a compelling proposition to someone looking to add a cheerful runabout to their garage.
The Ignis we’ve been assigned for the solo-car shoot is Neon Blue Metallic and as you can see, the colour really pops and crackles in our photos. It’s far more than just a cheeky face, because it is feature-packed with all the mod-cons you’ll need for urban warrior shenanigans.
Its compact proportions and light steering make even lighter work of manoeuvring in tight confines and the flyweight 900+kg kerbweight is perfectly suited to the 1.2-litre’s 80hp/107Nm to make reasonable progress.
The Ignis is spritely and agile, never a chore to chuck around and you’ll never feel it’s too precious to drive anywhere, because this could well be your go-everywhere car. The pace isn’t too quick (or too slow) to keep you on-edge; with the seamless shifts of the CVT, it is well-suited for leisurely progress so you can slow down, forget the rat-race, smell the flowers and simply enjoy life on the move.
Even the smallest parking lots are more than big enough for the Ignis to squeeze into and there’s plenty of space all-around that you won’t risk picking up door dings.
The rough and rugged feel of the cabin perfectly complements the chunky chic exterior styling and is well up to the task of putting up with life’s adventures. You’ll never have to worry about babying it during loading/unloading because such fit-for-function cars tend to hold up better to use and abuse.
The Ignis is an eager, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed companion that will gamely accompany you on your adventures with friends – two-legged and four-legged alike.
It is outfitted with roof-rails and boasts a boot capacity that can be expanded from 260- to 500-litres with the rear seats folded down. In people-carrying mode, it’ll happily accommodate four adults and this is what most people need these days. There are ample storage bins in the cabin, which also features wired Android Auto / Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity through the centre touchscreen.
In addition to the six air-bags and electronic driver aids, ‘big Car’ tech includes Lane Departure warning, a Weaving alert and DCBS (Dual Camera Brake Support).
At anything above walking pace, the DCBS engages and uses stereo cameras that are mounted beside the rear-view mirror to scan for vehicles/pedestrians meandering into its path to avoid collisions, or lessen the collision impact through sound alerts and automatic braking.
The Suzuki Ignis is just the sort of (reasonably) cheap and cheerful compact car that is missing in today’s market. It is the archetypal city car in the spirit of the classic Fiat 500 or classic Mini that will accommodate the needs of the starter driver, young couple, empty nesters, or simply as an additional fun and funky runabout for multi-car households.
It’s little wonder it really is… a little wonder!
PHOTOS Zotiq Visuals
2021 Suzuki Ignis Hybrid 1.2 DualJet SHVS
Engine 1197cc, inline4, MHEV
Top Speed n/a
Fuel Consumption 5.4l/100km