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Suzuki Ignis 2022 review: GLX long-term | Part 3


Urban score

3.5/5

And so my time with the Suzuki Ignis GLX has come to an end. After nearly three months of 'ownership', the funky 'light SUV' has been returned to its actual owner. And I've got to say, I'll actually miss it.

Yes, the Ignis is far from modern, but it has a certain charm to it that warmed the cockles of my cold, cold heart.

Given this is an UrbanGuide long-term review, it should come as no surprise that one of my favourite aspects of the Ignis is its diminutive size.

As mentioned in the second instalment of my thoughts, despite its tiny dimensions, the Ignis is surprisingly practical. But it's the ease of use afforded by its length, width and height that I really appreciate.

As we know, tackling city traffic can be daunting at the best of times, but in the Ignis, it's less intimidating as it can fit into spaces on the road, or in the car park, so damn easily.

Yep, pulling into tight gaps is feasible (with credit also going to the fabulous visibility), and parking is a relative breeze as there's no space the Ignis won't fit in (and the reversing camera is helpful, too)! It's such a pleasure to whip around the urban jungle in.

  • Pulling into tight gaps is feasible (with credit also going to the fabulous visibility). (image: Justin Hilliard) Pulling into tight gaps is feasible (with credit also going to the fabulous visibility). (image: Justin Hilliard)
  • Parking is a relative breeze as there’s no space the Ignis won’t fit in. (image: Justin Hilliard) Parking is a relative breeze as there’s no space the Ignis won’t fit in. (image: Justin Hilliard)

That said, some drivers may be taken aback by the Ignis' heavy, slow steering. It runs a more traditional hydraulic power steering system, so those characteristics are expected, but you really do need to work the wheel at low speed. At least it's replete with feel.

Around town, the Ignis handles with confidence, as it doesn't exhibit the level of body roll you'd expect from an SUV... because it's not really a high-rider in the first place. But again, it also doesn't pivot around corners due to its more casual steering set-up.

And then there's the Ignis' ride, which is arguably its weakest aspect, especially within the city limits. Needless to say, the coil-sprung suspension's front MacPherson struts and rear torsion beam don't specialise in comfort.

Yes, the Ignis is far from modern, but it has a certain charm to it that warmed the cockles of my cold, cold heart. (image: Justin Hilliard) Yes, the Ignis is far from modern, but it has a certain charm to it that warmed the cockles of my cold, cold heart. (image: Justin Hilliard)

The sight of a speed bump is enough to make you grimace in anticipation of the short, sharp impact. Naturally, potholes are even more devastating for occupants. Given the Ignis' short wheelbase, it was never expected to have a Magic Carpet ride, but still...

Speaking of expectations, a 66kW/120Nm 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol four-cylinder engine was never expected to light up the front wheels, but in the Ignis' favour is its svelte kerb weight of 820kg, which helps its performance credentials.

Even so, if you need to get going quickly – for example, when merging onto the freeway – you have to plant your right foot, but don't anticipate a sudden burst of acceleration when you do. Like I said, the Ignis has a casual personality.

A 66kW/120Nm 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol four-cylinder engine was never expected to light up the front wheels. (image: Justin Hilliard) A 66kW/120Nm 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol four-cylinder engine was never expected to light up the front wheels. (image: Justin Hilliard)

Now, when the accelerator pedal is buried, the Ignis' continuously variable transmission (CVT) is challenged to do its worst. Yep, revs are high and held until you reach your desired speed. This is no traditional automatic transmission with proper, progressive gear shifts.

As I said in the first instalment of this long-term review, I am not a fan of CVTs – and I'm still not a fan. But what I will say is within the city limits, the Ignis' version doesn't annoy you that often...

But if you venture out of suburbia and onto the highway, there's no avoiding the Ignis' droney CVT. As mentioned, this 'light SUV' isn't quick, so you really need to push it to its limits to get it up to speed. In doing so, a lot of consistent engine noise is created, especially when tackling a steep incline.

It should come as no surprise that one of my favourite aspects of the Ignis is its diminutive size. (image: Justin Hilliard) It should come as no surprise that one of my favourite aspects of the Ignis is its diminutive size. (image: Justin Hilliard)

All of this wouldn't be so bad if the Ignis had better noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels, but it doesn't. Yep, it feels tinny to say the least. But it's not just the engine, as tyre and general road noise penetrates the cabin with ease, too. And yes, I tried turning the sound system's volume up high.

Another thing that's particularly bothersome at speed is the Ignis' aforementioned lack of active safety systems. In particular, adaptive cruise control and lane-keep and steering assist are sorely missed when doing a long trip to a regional area, like I did.

That adventure did, however, give me the opportunity to see how frugal the Ignis can be on the open road, and it was damn impressive, bringing my average fuel consumption down to its lowest level yet.

  • Some drivers may be taken aback by the Ignis’ heavy, slow steering. (image: Justin Hilliard) Some drivers may be taken aback by the Ignis’ heavy, slow steering. (image: Justin Hilliard)
  • And then there’s the Ignis’ ride, which is arguably its weakest aspect, especially within the city limits. (image: Justin Hilliard) And then there’s the Ignis’ ride, which is arguably its weakest aspect, especially within the city limits. (image: Justin Hilliard)
  • Despite its tiny dimensions, the Ignis is surprisingly practical. (image: Justin Hilliard) Despite its tiny dimensions, the Ignis is surprisingly practical. (image: Justin Hilliard)

But first, it's worth mentioning I returned my Ignis to Suzuki Australia two weeks earlier than expected, as the Japanese brand needed it back urgently. So, while my third month with it was actually a half-month, I still managed to cover 520km, the majority of which was travelled in my day trip outside Melbourne.

So, in the end, I managed 5.9L/100km, which is highly commendable given the Ignis isn't available with any form of hybridisation locally. At a time when petrol prices are at record highs, this 'light SUV' presents itself as a new car that's relatively cheap to buy and run.

Across my three months of ownership, I averaged 6.2L/100km over 1523km of driving, most of which took place in the urban jungle. Again, I don't need to tell you how impressive that is, especially for someone like me, who has a very heavy right foot. In that regard, the Ignis is very well accomplished.

Acquired: April 28, 2022

Distance travelled this month: 520km

Odometer: 3038km

Average fuel consumption this month: 5.9L/100km

If you want a new car that's relatively cheap to buy and run, then the Suzuki Ignis GLX has to be considered. Sure, it lacks the active safety systems of some of its rivals, but it remains a surprisingly good buy.

After all, the Ignis has a distinctive design and is more practical than you'd think. But you will have to live with its harsh ride and the GLX's droney CVT. That said, I will remember my time with it fondly. Until next time.

$23,490

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Urban score

3.5/5
Price Guide

$23,490

Based on new car retail price

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.