After six months in the CarAdvice garage, it's time to say goodbye to the Suzuki Ignis – a micro car we've come to love and appreciate for its value, flexibility and funky design.
There is much method to the madness of the CarAdvice long-term fleet. The CarAdvice vehicle assessment team is obviously skilled in sampling, noting and critiquing the vagaries of any given vehicle over a solid week behind the wheel – as you’d expect, we spend a lot of time out of the office driving.
However, the long-term theory is a little different. Different in terms of the methodology, and different in terms of the range of drivers who wrangle some seat time over a period of three-six months.
There’s no doubt the things you learn about a car during the course of commuting, heading out of the city for the weekend, loading it up for a road trip with the family, or even parking it in the same space day after day, is a little more extensive to what you’ll experience in an intensive week.
The idea of the long-term fleet then, is to either fall further in love with a car that has impressed us from the outset, or fall right out of love with one we weren’t quite sure about.
In the case of the 2017 Suzuki Ignis, our appreciation for this diminutive city runaround has only grown.
As you’ll know if you’ve looked at the previous five updates, we've made sure all senior testers, including the big boss man, have spent time in the Ignis. Curt took it for a country drive, and I spent most of my time with it running round town, loving it’s practicality, miserly fuel usage and manoeuvrability.
Different drivers are key too – as many as possible in fact. Something I might love, Curt might not and vice versa. Extrapolate that out across the broader CarAdvice team and you have a vast array of both experience and opinion. And yet, the Ignis impressed everyone who came into contact with it.
The pricing – $19,990 drive-away – is the first feature beyond the funky styling that gets your attention. How can you argue with sharp pricing that is even more impressive given the standard kit on offer? You cant. Hence the appeal of the Ignis for city buyers on a budget.
Those of you who need a second car to augment a larger, family sedan or SUV need look no further. Car for the kids to learn how to drive? It’s perfect for that too. Despite the compact exterior, it really is a multi-talented little hatch.
The Ignis in fact, is a properly modern example of how much cars have changed in the last two decades. Not so long ago, ‘cheap and cheerful’ meant tacky, rubbish interiors, ugly design, no standard equipment, and dubious safety credentials. Remember the original Hyundai Excel? Don’t worry, most people don’t. Not with any fondness, anyway.
Aside from the minor, noted gripes we had with the infotainment system, of which more than one road tester took note, there was not a single other negative we could discern.
We love the styling, and this colour in particular is an excellent way to showcase the style of the new Ignis. The interior is comfortable, robust and well laid out with plenty of clever storage space. There’s enough room for four adults to commute in comfort. And the drive experience belies the engine’s quoted power and torque outputs, and the fuel usage is comically low, no matter how you drive.
Factor in the way the Ignis behaved when Curt took it out of the city for a weekend, and you have a flexible, clever, usable daily driver that in theory should cost you next to nothing to run. Its lightweight design means it won’t chew through tyres and brakes, and we know it slurps precious little fuel. Work those numbers out over 80,000-100,000km and you’ve got a cheap daily driver or second car.
The measure then, of an excellent long-termer, is our enthusiasm when it comes time to hand it back to its maker. Let’s not get too misty-eyed here, but no one at CarAdvice HQ was in any rush to see the Ignis leave. We enjoyed our time with it, we learnt more about what makes it such a clever little car, and we appreciated its varied skill set.
The Ignis is also a reminder of just how much fun a cheap car can be. Often, on a Friday night, one of us would look at a $300,000+ car in the garage and mutter, ‘I don’t really want to leave that on the street anywhere, I’ve got to run up to the shops this weekend, I have a dinner in town I need to get to, I think I’d rather just take the Ignis’. That you’d come back into work on Monday morning rabbiting on about how much you enjoyed driving the Ignis over the weekend only served to cement its reputation.
If you’re on a budget and you need a city runaround, few tackle the task more effortlessly and with more fun than the Ignis. There are slightly cheaper, more conservative options out there sure, but life is too short to drive boring cars.
We’d have no hesitation whatsoever, recommending the Ignis after six months' ownership. Suzuki has in fact, captured some of the magic of the early Swift – maybe by accident, but it’s certainly noteworthy.
2017 Suzuki Ignis GLX