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In-depth reviews

Suzuki Ignis SUV - Engines, drive & performance

The Suzuki Ignis is great fun to drive around town, but less so on the open road

Carbuyer Rating

3.7 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.5 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.0 out of 5

If you want a nippy, manoeuvrable small car that’s easy to drive around town, look no further than the Suzuki Ignis: it’s perfect for the urban jungle.

The Ignis develops a fair amount of body lean when cornering on faster A and B-roads, though. This, together with its vague steering, discourages spirited driving. Motorway journeys are certainly doable, but we found wind and road noise were fairly pronounced at speed. Those who regularly venture further afield may want to consider a model that’s quieter at speed – like the Skoda Citigo – or generally more powerful, like the larger and more expensive Vauxhall Mokka X with a 138bhp engine.

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The Ignis comes as standard with a five-speed manual gearbox, which is easy and satisfying to use. There’s an automatic option, too, but this isn’t a conventional automatic gearbox, rather a ‘robotised’ manual, so it doesn’t change gears very smoothly.

Suzuki Ignis petrol engine

Both Ignis models feature the same 1.2-litre petrol engine. This is smooth and eager during general use, but due to the fact it makes most of its 89bhp at relatively high revs, things can get quite noisy quite quickly. This is far less of an issue in town, though. Suzuki quotes a 0-62mph time of 12.2 seconds for Dualjet model and 11.8 seconds for the SHVS version. We found the front-wheel drive non-SHVS Ignis slightly more enjoyable to drive than the 4x4 mild hybrid version, although the difference is fairly minor.

We enjoyed the SHVS hybrid Ignis’ setup. Again, it’s not hugely quiet when accelerating to high speeds, but this is less of a problem around town. In this environment, the SHVS Ignis is eager, nippy and great fun to drive. The hybrid isn’t any more powerful than the standard Ignis on paper – they make the same 89bhp – but the upgraded starter motor makes getaways from traffic lights faster, giving a welcome shove during initial acceleration. 0-62mph is pegged at 11.8 seconds for the front-wheel-drive SHVS Ignis and 11.5 seconds if you tick the 4x4 box.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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