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Full Road Test
Nobody has ever come up with a convincing explanation for why the Suzuki Ignis came into being. Despite its butch quasi off-road styling it's nothing more than a completely conventional supermini underneath, and although the option of a four-wheel drive system on the range-topping version gives it some marginal appeal to those who live at the top of muddy tracks, most will struggle to see the point.
The design is inoffensive enough, the Ignis being tall and different enough to stand out from the crowd in a typical carpark. Unfortunately the interior is far less imaginative, with lots of cheap-feeling materials and poor control layout. Space is reasonable for front seat occupants but it feels tight in the back, although the boot is decently proportioned by supermini standards.
On the road the Ignis is similarly dull. The small capacity 1.3 litre petrol engine in the entry-level version needs to be worked hard to achieve respectable performance. Ride quality is poor too - the Ignis getting very bouncy over bumps and ridges - and lots of road noise gets into the cabin at cruising speeds. The more powerful 1.5 litre version is barely any quicker thanks to its dire standard automatic gearbox. The optional four-wheel drive system on the range-topping 4Grip version gives the Ignis some appeal to rural types, but it's nothing like as good a car as the Fiat Panda 4x4.
Running costs are reasonable and Suzuki's excellent reliability record means that it should be thoroughly dependable.