I’ve always been fascinated by the names that vehicle manufacturers bestow on their cars, and test driving fiery new Suzuki Ignis, this SUV certainly lives up to its chosen epithet. By Des Langkilde.
The meaning of the Latin noun Ignis is ‘fire’, hence deus ignis (god of fire) or ignis fatuus (wisp), from which the idiom ’will-o-the-wisp’ (elusive or impossible to achieve) arises. With the all new Ignis, Suzuki has achieved the ‘impossible’ and the fiery brand name is reflected in their boastful marketing phrase “Like No Other”.
Presumably, Suzuki set out to appeal to the Generation Z demographic, which is evident by the protruding infotainment system mounted on the dashboard, which besides providing radio and CD music options, has Bluetooth and MP3 capabilities (via a USB Ancillary port) with a good-quality sound system. Being Bluetooth enabled (GLX only) means that Gen Z can sync his or her smartphone to the system to play music and receive or make hands-free calls.
Adding appeal for techno conscious Gen Z’s, the GLX model comes with other techno-features, such as keyless push start button ignition, power steering, power controlled front and rear windows, climate control, reverse parking sensors, and electronically adjustable mirrors.
Taking the Gen Z appeal further, the Ignis has a range of personalisation options for both the interior and exterior look of the vehicle. In the cockpit, the dashboard (airflow louvre trims, gearshift console, and front door grip bars can be colour coded in red, blue of titanium. On the outside, the front grille, fog lamp bezel, side mirrors, mirror covers, roof edge spoilers, lights and bumpers can also be colour coded, as can the roof colour. A range of accent decals is also available to customise the body sides and wheels. Then there’s a range of add-ons, like roof rack carrier options for bicycles, skis, or just additional luggage storage space.
A big plus for me though is the Ignis’s safety features, which come standard across the range. Besides the built-in alarm and immobiliser, the safety shield includes an impact absorbing body structure, dual front airbags, and front seatbelts with pretension and force limiters. And seeing as most Gen Z’s have kids, Suzuki has included an ISOFIX child seat restraint system for the back seats. Suzuki has even considered the safety of pedestrians outside the vehicle in the event of an accident by including collapsible wipers, impact-absorbing headlamps, and a ’pedestrian-friendly’ bonnet into the design.
In terms of utility space, the Ignis has 60-40 split rear seats, so the backrest can be folded forward to make space in the luggage area for larger items like the kid’s bikes. This increases the luggage space from 260ℓ (with rear setback raised) to 469ℓ. The luggage area comes with a removable moulded cover to conceal contents from view but what is missing, I thought, are some hooks or straps in the boot to stop loose items from sliding around.
What really impressed me about the Ignis GLX, is its power, fuel efficiency, and road holding capability. The 4-cylinder, 16-valve, multipoint fuel injected 1.2ℓ engine delivers 61 kW of power at 6000 rpm and a torque of 113 Nm at 4,200 rpm – certainly enough power to overtake or ascend hills without having to gear down from 5th to 4th or 3rd gear (of course, the automatic transmission option does this all for you).
Fuel consumption at 5.1ℓ/100 km on the open road is pretty good, as is the emission ratio of 119 g/km. A useful fuel efficiency feature is a setting to determine the remaining fuel to mileage ratio before the tank runs dry and leaves you stranded miles from the next garage.
Road holding is enhanced with all four chunky wheels planted firmly on the extreme corners of the car, which extends the overall width of the vehicle to 1,690 mm (to wheel arch extensions).
Priced between R169,900 (GL 5MT) to R204,900 (GLX 5AMT), the Ignis costs a bit more than its sister hatchbacks, the Celerio (1.0 GL) starting at R150,900, but is comparable to the Swift (1.2 GL), which starts at the same price as the Ignis.
Overall the Ignis is a fun car to drive with plenty of tech features to satisfy the most discerning of Gen Z drivers, and even fossilised millennials such as myself.
For more information visit www.suzuki.co.za