Having been in the market for a car that is as minimal fuss as possible after having been a long-suffering VW owner, my demands were pretty simple – I was looking for the ultimate urban daily – simple to service, easy to park, fun to drive and with as many mod-cons as my budget could stretch to.
The Ignis stood out as quite the Jack-of-all-trades.
I was immediately taken by it's weird-beard-Kawaii-retro-future details and Stormtrooper helmet side profile. The smiling headlights reminded me a bit of Baymax, which isn't reason enough to buy a car... but it didn't hurt.
Simple mechanics with not a whole lot to go wrong was the next appeal. I am not a smart man when it comes to mechanical elements, and anecdotally, many friends who have Suzukis speak of their reliability and simplicity. The six-monthly service intervals were a little off-putting, but the capped-priced servicing costs aren't exorbitant.
The interior accompaniments were also very welcome. The inclusion of sat-nav, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay were very welcome. The reality is, the system does have a tendency to run slower than I'd like, but an extra two to three seconds sitting there waiting for my phone to pair isn't the end of the world – and it'll pay for itself should I avoid a fine for mobile phone use!
I've also found my inner reverse-parallel parking deity, with excellent all around vision, a rear-view camera and the sheerest of backsides meaning there are very few spots I can't wiggle my way into.
Misses? I find the CVT hunting fairly regularly through the rev range in an effort to find peak fuel economy, and the small engine, while being a near petrol tee-totaller, does need to work to get things moving. It's all just a case of modulating the throttle and picking your moments in traffic – and once underway I've found in-gear acceleration perfectly serviceable.
It's also not particularly quiet. The little engine that could does have a tendency to drone, but the tyre roar is most noticeable on the types of roads where the higher ground clearance of the Ignis should stand it in better stead.
The driver's seat is adjusts to my lanky frame well, save for the headrest – I would have enjoyed another notch so that I can set it without it digging in between my shoulder blades.
I would have also loved the option of buying the hybrid model. The omission of both this and the four-wheel drive option does leave a few blank switches dotted about the cabin – a reminder that you get what you pay for.
There are plenty of good choices at this end of the market, including within the Suzuki stable. For me it was a case of head meeting heart meeting wallet. That the Ignis has oodles of character and puts a smile on my face is just an added bonus.