The Suzuki Ignis is a light or subcompact car, designed and built in Japan by Isuzu Motors over two generations from 2000 to the present. This microcar competes with other small city cars like the sporty Ford Fiesta and the stylish Kia Picanto. Since 2016, it has been marketed as a mini crossover. It boasts of 180-mm ground clearance, substantially higher than that of Mazda CX-3.
This high-riding funky-looking compact car is a front-engine front-wheel drive, although a four-wheel drive could already be in the pipeline.
1st Generation: 2000-2008
There were two series to the first generation of Suzuki Ignis, which came in 2000-2006 and 2006-2008.
The first series was a hatchback in 3-door and 5-door configuration. In Japan, the Ignis was branded as Suzuki Swift. This series was presented with two engines, and models were coded depending on the motor attached to them, thus:
1. Model HT51S – 1.3L M13A DOHC I4 petrol engine (65 kW)
2. Model HT81S – 1.5L M15A DOHC I4 petrol engine (81 kW)
These engines came standard with a 5-speed manual and optional 4-speed automatic. Outside of Japan, the 1.5L engine was only available for the Sport range, and the 1.3L was modified to generate 60 kW instead of 65 kW.
In Australia, this car was offered in GA and GL levels, both variants with the same engine under their bonnet (60 kW and 106 N⋅m) and same 5-speed manual transmission offered as standard and 4-speed auto as an option. Here was how they differed:
1. GA (base) – 3 doors, five seats; dual front airbags, CD player, central locking, cloth trim, engine immobilizer, power steering, seatbelt pre-tensioners/front seats
2. GL – 5 doors, five seats; base trim plus air conditioning, central locking remote control, power mirrors, power windows/front, roof rack
Variants with manual transmission consumed fuel at 5.81L/100km, while the automatic options consumed more at 6.42L/100km. The Sport range was not distributed in Australia until 2004. When it did arrive in 2004, it was packed with the 1.5L engine but with a slightly higher power than the regular version (83 kW and 143 N⋅m) and featured anti-lock braking system, leather steering wheel, power windows, 4-speaker radio/CD, sport seats, and 15-inch wheels.
2006-2008 – Cruze-based series
The first series was discontinued in 2006, and the second series of Ignis was produced based on the Chevrolet Cruze. It ran from 2006 through 2008. In Australia, however, the first-generation Ignis ceased and was only available until 2005. It was heard of again in its second generation in 2016.
2nd Generation: 2016 – present
The 5-door Ignis hatchback finally crossed over as it debuted in 2015 at the Tokyo Motor Show following the unveiling of its 4WD concept version in Geneva a few months earlier. It sported a new yet retro look in its second appearance.
The second-generation Ignis was manufactured in Japan, Hungary, India, and Algeria. The version that was released in Australia and New Zealand was produced from Japan and powered by a 1.2L K12B petrol engine (66 kW 120 N⋅m) attached to a 5-speed manual or CVT gearbox.
The Japan-spec Ignis was introduced in Australia in GL and GLX range, all in front-wheel drive, despite the crossover drumbeat and 4WD concept. The GL range is available in either 5-speed manual or CVT versions, but the GLX is only available in the CVT gearbox. The same engine is used across all variants. The GL level (base trim) loads up a great list of features, which makes the Ignis a well-appointed and fully-equipped small SUV.
For starters, the base features include airbags (dual front/window/side), anti-lock braking system, adjustable speed limiter, brake assist, cruise control, child seat anchor points, child seat ISOFIX anchors, electronic brake force distribution, engine immobiliser, reversing camera, seatbelt