2021 Suzuki Ignis Review: Out of the box

Lionel Kong

Driving Experience

The car is marketed as a mild hybrid, and like in the Suzuki Swift, the integrated starter generator is an acceleration booster to help the little 1.2-litre engine get the car off from a standing start quickly. That’s all it does and the Ignis cannot cruise with the engine shut off. 

As you would expect from a car with a total of just 81 horsepower to its name, attempting to drive it fast is not the best way to get the best from the Ignis. 0 to 100km/h comes up in around 12 seconds and the car makes a real buzz getting to it. When you give it full beans, the continuously variable transmission pegs the engine at 6,000rpm then the speed gradually increases with an ample helping of torque from the electric motor. 

Driving a low powered car like this one efficiently is all about maintaining momentum, meaning that the cut-and-thrust style of driving with a larger car cannot be applied here. It does best when you can carry speed on the highway, lift off the throttle early on the approach to traffic lights, and avoid scrubbing speed with unnecessary braking.

It’s peppy enough with just two occupants in the car, but once loaded up with four adults its relative lack of pulling power becomes apparent when trying to accelerate quickly.  

The engine note is coarse at the upper operating limits but the good thing is that it’s neither rough nor clattery. Suzuki knows how to make small engines well from its motorcycle building experience, and the 1.2-litre four-cylinder here is a proven powerplant. 

What the car is exceptionally good at is cruising between 80 to 90km/h. Despite it being a featherweight at 890kg, the car is rock steady even when driven past 90km/h, something that a lot of other compact cars cannot do well. As long as you’re not revving the engine, the car is actually very quiet at highway speeds too. 

Fuel economy is right on the stated claim of 5.4l/100km over the four days we drove the car, but that was with a lot of highway driving. Expect around 6.5l/100km if you spend a lot of time stuck in urban traffic.

The car may be decently efficient with fuel, but the petrol tank has a volume of just 32 litres so you do have to fill it up quite often.

But also consider this: the Skoda Octavia, with almost twice as much power and much more space, returns a similar fuel economy figure as the little Suzuki Ignis.

1. Introduction
2. Design and Appearance
3. Interior and Features
4. Driving Experience
5. Competitors and Conclusion

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5


5 seat 5-door ignis petrol SUV Suzuki

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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