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Is another cheap SUV about to bite the dust? 2024 Suzuki Ignis expected to get the chop soon

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Launched at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2015, the Suzuki Ignis was an early leader in high-riding baby SUV runabouts.
Launched at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2015, the Suzuki Ignis was an early leader in high-riding baby SUV runabouts.

Speculation is mounting that Suzuki may discontinue the Ignis range in Australia in the near future, eliminating the cheapest new SUV on sale in the process.

Sources suggest this could be as soon as early in 2024, as the diminutive city-sized crossover falls victim to the lack of driver-assist safety equipment – namely Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).

“Ignis is finished (for Australia),” according to information from a dealer this week. "No AEB (is the reason)."

However, Suzuki Australia spokesperson, Joanna Montalto, denies this is happening right now, stating that the Ignis’ demise is not imminent.

“We have no plans to discontinue this model in the immediate future,” she said.

The loss of Ignis would be just as much a blow for Suzuki as consumers seeking an entry-level SUV.

When asked about its future in Australia in September, 2022, Suzuki Australia General Manager, Michael Pachota, said at the time that growing demand for the Japanese-built crossover since 2020’s butched-up facelift and price-repositioning had given it a new lease of life, despite already being on the market since 2016 and with no AEB in the pipeline.

"Once we updated that, (sales) took off," he revealed. "That styling was the change that product needed.”

Even since those comments were made, rising prices of alternatives and freer supplies on hand means that Ignis sales have jumped nearly 27 per cent year-on-year, to 1991 units to the end of October.

While that is a fraction of the light SUV segment-leading Mazda CX-3’s 13,324 registrations over the same time period (up 54.4 per cent year-on-year), the fact that the latter now starts from nearly $27,000 before on-road costs (ORC) has seen some consumers head into Suzuki showrooms instead.

Keen pricing, then, continues to drive Ignis volume.

From $20,490 before ORC (or $22,490 driveaway as advertised on the company’s website), the base Ignis GL 2WD 1.2-litre manual is currently Australia’s least-expensive SUV, and is followed by the automatic version which costs just $1000 more.

Both undercut the Hyundai Venue 2WD manual from $22,000, the Kia Stonic S manual from $22,290 (or $23,790 for the auto), while the better-equipped Ignis GLX auto kicks off from $23,490. All these prices are also before ORC.

Meanwhile, Australia’s best-selling small SUV, the MG ZS Excite FWD auto from the next size class up starts from $23,990 driveaway, while the ageing Mitsubishi ASX GS 2WD manual now commences from $24,490 before ORC – or $2300 more for the auto.

Clearly, then, Australian consumers are rewarding Suzuki’s democratically priced baby SUV, but for how much longer, nobody can say.

Despite Montalto’s response, our advice would be to get in quick if you’re in the market for an Ignis. Legislation regarding vehicle safety specification in the future is surely coming for it.

Byron Mathioudakis
Contributing Journalist
Byron started his motoring journalism career when he joined John Mellor in 1997 before becoming a freelance motoring writer two years later. He wrote for several motoring publications and was ABC Youth radio Triple J's "all things automotive" correspondent from 2001 to 2003. He rejoined John Mellor in early 2003 and has been with GoAutoMedia as a senior product and industry journalist ever since. With an eye for detail and a vast knowledge base of both new and used cars Byron lives and breathes motoring. His encyclopedic knowledge of cars was acquired from childhood by reading just about every issue of every car magazine ever to hit a newsstand in Australia. The child Byron was the consummate car spotter, devoured and collected anything written about cars that he could lay his hands on and by nine had driven more imaginary miles at the wheel of the family Ford Falcon in the driveway at home than many people drive in a lifetime. The teenage Byron filled in the agonising years leading up to getting his driver's license by reading the words of the leading motoring editors of the country and learning what they look for in a car and how to write it. In short, Byron loves cars and knows pretty much all there is to know about every vehicle released during his lifetime as well as most of the ones that were around before then.
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