The Ignis GLX has plenty of muscular looks.   Picture: MOTORPRESS
The Ignis GLX has plenty of muscular looks. Picture: MOTORPRESS

Suzuki might have quietly dropped its pseudo crossover SX4 from the local line-up, but fear not because it has something cooler and definitely cheaper joining its range in June.

With a debut at the 2015 Paris Motor Show, the Ignis shows just what the Japanese manufacturer can produce when it puts cool slightly higher up its list of priorities. It has fun written all over it as a package that is designed to be practical and trendy in the city but with a dose of ability should you venture further afield.

The styling is bold, with a chunky look enhanced by those wide wheel arches to give it the appearance at least that it is capable of venturing beyond the tarmac. The high roofline also gives it the look of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) yet it is a compact package measuring 3.7m long and 1.69m wide, with ground clearance of 180mm.

All models are powered by the company’s 1.2l four-cylinder engine from the Swift. But with a weight of just 850kg it should prove sprightly around town. The engine’s power output is 61kW at 6,000r/min, while torque is 113Nm at 4,200r/min.

The standard transmission is a five-speed manual, driving the front wheels but there is also the option of an automated manual transmission, which allows the driver to manually change gears without the need for a clutch.

Suzuki claims that the manual transmission model accelerates from 0-100km/h in 11.6 seconds with a top speed of 165km/h. The auto does the dash to 100km/h in 13 seconds with a top end of 155km/h.

It is available in GL and range-topping GLX versions with standard items across all models including electric windows, remote central locking, air-conditioning, electric power steering and MP3-compatible CD sound system with USB port and 12V power socket.

The interior is cool.   Picture: MOTORPRESS
The interior is cool. Picture: MOTORPRESS

"The highly anticipated arrival of the Suzuki Ignis continues the brand’s tradition of providing the motoring public with cars that are distinctive, innovative and fun to drive," says Charl Grobler, the manager of sales and product planning at Suzuki Auto SA.

"The Ignis is further proof that Suzuki’s small car expertise remains unrivalled. Despite its ultracompact form factor, the interior is comfortable and surprisingly spacious, while the combination of wieldy dimensions and raised ground clearance ensures driving pleasure across a range of conditions."

The interior is a highlight, with a dual tone to the trim, which includes black plastic for the upper sections and white for the lower. The inside door grips and the centre console panels are finished in bright colours — including red, blue and titanium — depending on the exterior colour. The centre console features the same slit-like design element featured on the car’s C-pillars.

Slightly less funky is the black plastic square mounted on the dash, which would look cool if it had a touchscreen infotainment system in it. Instead there is just a traditional radio. Fortunately there is a touchscreen system available as an option and you can link up Apple Carplay and Android Auto devices to it too.

The rear shows that pseudo SUV look.   Picture: MOTORPRESS
The rear shows that pseudo SUV look. Picture: MOTORPRESS

The rear bench seat is split 60:40, and folds flat forwards to increase boot space from the standard 260l to 469l. Additional storage is provided by two front and one rear cup holder, while there are bottle holders in both the front and the rear doors. A storage box is located at the base of the centre console.

Safety items include crumple zones, a chassis that distributes the impact energy and a rigid passenger safety cell. Active and passive measures include dual airbags in front, door-mounted side impact protection beams, three-point inertia reel seatbelts and Isofix child seat anchors. There are also ABS antilock brakes, incorporating electronic brakeforce distribution and electronic braking assistance.

Pricing starts at R169,900 for the GL, rising to R204,900 for the GLX auto.

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