Sun | Dec 3, 2023

Something different ... in a practical way

Published:Wednesday | September 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMKareem Latouche

It is hard to describe what the Ignis is. The best way I can put it is - what the Jimny is to the Vitara is what the Ignis is to the Swift. In other words, it's much more rugged than its refined sibling, the Swift, which means that you can take it on more adventurous journeys.

Admittedly, it has a quirky look that is definitely not for everyone. It's like the subcompact version of an armoured tank. However, if you can get past the appearance, then you will realise that much of it is built around practicality.

First, the 16-inch alloy rims help to beef up the ground clearance, which goes up to seven inches. There is also the height of the vehicle, which is 5'3", a figure that is much larger than other vehicles in its class. For example, the Swift, which is 4'10".

This extra head space is ideal for tall occupants or loading the vehicle with a large item such as a mini-fridge. Believe me, it can be done when the back seats are lowered. It does feel very spacious if four persons are in the car due to the elevated ceiling. What is also notable is the 271 litres of trunk space with the rear seats up. This compartment can easily accommodate two small suitcases.


Coming with a different colour


Suzuki tries to jazz up things with the Helios Gold Pearl Metallic exterior colour against the black roof, which gives it a sport look. On the interior, there is the contrasting titanium and black theme, which, aesthetically, tries to lively up the rugged appearance of the vehicle.

The layout is quite logical, with a protruding slab on the dashboard that controls the multimedia system. A favourite of mine are the two controlling knobs that are covered with a soft material that feels very comforting to turn. The same can be said about most of the controllers in the vehicle, especially the steering mounted ones.

As for the Bluetooth connectivity, it was pretty straight forward. Simply press the designated button and pair your phone. It took me about two tries, but once it was connected, everything functioned seamlessly.

A standout point is the power of the A/C unit. Of all the vehicles I have test-driven, this and the S Cross have the most impressive A/C units, where power is concerned. The car got cold very easily, and I often had to turn up the temperature and lower the fan speed.

Another plus is the audio system, which comprises four speakers and two tweeters that work in unison to produce a clear and powerful sound.


Giving an Economic drive


Despite its large appearance for a subcompact car, at 1,330kg, it is relatively similar in weight to many vehicles in its class. This is due to Suzuki's lighter, yet stronger, high-rigidity frame, which is used throughout the vehicle and can be felt when driving it as it is very easy to manage. The 1.2 litre CVT engine has a lot of low-end torque, which is great for quick overtaking. However, it tapers off very quickly, so drivers must not get too excited.

Given its boxy dimensions, it is also easy to manoeuvre around town, especially in tight parking spaces. With a turning radius of 4.7 metres, there are very few spots where this vehicle cannot be parked. With an approach angle of 20 degrees, it is even possible to mount it on an embankment if needs be.

The braking system, with ventilated discs at the front and drum brakes at the back, does take some getting used to as the abs system can be a bit aggressive. If it senses the slightest amount of gravel, it is activated and gives the brake a grinding feeling when pressed.

This is definitely a vehicle for a person who prefers function over form like a young adventurer who wants to drive out of town every weekend.

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Model tested: 2018 Suzuki Ignis GLX, priced at $3.295m

Size Class: subcompact

Weight: 2932.148lbs

Drivetrain: CVT

Engine info: Normally Aspirated 1.2 litre gas

Power output: 81hp

Gas tank volume: 32L

Available at: Stewart's Auto Sales Ltd, 49-53 South Camp Road. Tel (876) 968-0930 (876) 968-0931.