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Barely a week goes by these days without there being a new small SUV crossover announced, but few manufacturers have more experience in this part of the market than Suzuki. Whether you want to call the 2017 Suzuki Ignis asubcompact car, SUV or crossover, the Japanese manufacturer's track record in this segment means the Ignis is a vehicle that deserves attention. So, here's a look at some of what the current Suzuki Ignis has to offer.
If you've ever been to places like Malta, you'll probably have seen lots of small roadside car-hire businesses, and they always seemed to have Suzuki 4x4s for hire. It was probably partly to do with the questionable quality of some of the road surfaces, but also because the Suzuki "jeeps" were as affordable as they were capable. The Ignis is descendent of those early versions of what we now call subcompact SUVs, and what a long way we've come. The 2017 Ignis is about as carlike as any small SUV, not just in terms of how it drives, but also how it looks. It is a little taller than a car, but only just, but not being as upright as many of its rivals gives a decidedly sporty look to the Ignis. It's a little squarer than many other small crossovers, which makes a pleasant change and gives a very contemporary feel to the Suzuki.
If you are serious about how a vehicle drives, it could be easy to dismiss the Ignis based on it having such a modestly powered 89 brake-horsepower 1.2-litre Dualjet engine. That would be a mistake though, and that's because this is a pretty small vehicle and it's actually hard to feel a need for anything more in a car like this. It's quicker than its main rivals from South Korea, and the amount of available torque at low revs means you're not changing gears furiously to accelerate away. There is an available five-speed automatic gearbox, and even a hybrid version of the Ignis, but there's nothing about the way the 1.2 Dualjet and manual gearbox combination performs that would make you look beyond it.
If you expect a harsh ride in the Suzuki where you can drive over a coin and feel whether it's showing heads or tails, think again. The Ignis is set up for a pretty soft ride that's comfortable, and provides a decent cushion against some of the appalling road surfaces we have to endure in Britain much of the time these days. But the real trump card of the Ignis is its optional four-wheel drive system that allows you to go off-road. Suzuki's Allgrip technology is probably designed more for crossing muddy fields rather than negotiating Alpine mountain ranges, but the availability of such a system with proper SUV gizmos like hill descent control in such a small car really is impressive.
If you like the concept of crossovers, as most people appear to these days, the Suzuki Ignis is tough to beat in its class. It's not the most luxurious small SUV on the market, but it does offer a lot more than most people would expect for such a very low price. The Ignis is cheap to buy and run, it's got a surprisingly spacious interior, and the levels of standard equipment are impressive to say the least.
The 2017 Suzuki Ignis is available now from Sportif Suzuki, so get in touch today for more information and to arrange a test drive in this sensational little crossover SUV.