2017 Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SHVS SZ5 ALLGRIP long term test & review – part one

Update 1

Start mileage on clock: 5,838 | Miles covered this update: 776 | Average (UK) mpg: Town: 51 mpg | Motorway: 60 – 64 mpg | Mixed routes: 55 – 60 mpg

I like large cars and SUVs/4x4s. They’re the type I’ve owned personally for years now. I like the roominess, practicality and decently powerful engines with a bit o’ grunt. Even the long-term test vehicles tend to be larger normally too, so when it was suggested I test the new 2017 Suzuki Ignis for four months, I had to stop and think for a minute or ten.

I’d not seen the Ignis in the metal previously, and from the images on the Suzuki website it looked city-car small and runs using a little 1.2-litre engine. To add to that, I’m also a big fan of automatics – simply because I enjoy the ease of not have to change gear – and that’s the transmission my own cars have, but the Ignis tester was offered in manual guise (although there is an auto available) too. Four months, small car, manual changes. Well, let’s see how it goes eh.

The specification level offered was good; the highest grade SZ5 with the SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) mild-hybrid system and ALLGRIP 4-wheel-drive, plus the rather fetching optional Boost Blue paint which is an extra £465.00.

Before moving on, I’ll give you a rundown on some of the facts, stats and specs of the Suzuki Ignis and also what this particular model has on.

  • One engine for all models; a 90 horsepower, 1.2 litre, 4-cylinder DualJet naturally-aspirated petrol motor.
  • Available with an SHVS mild hybrid system, manual or automatic and in ALLGRIP 4-wheel-drive.
  • Transmissions available are a five-speed manual or five-speed electro-hydraulic AGS; ‘Auto Gear Shift’ (dependant on model).
  • Standard safety equipment on all Ignis’ includes airbags, ABS with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution), ESP (electronic stability program), ISOFIX points, side impact protection and tyre pressure monitoring.
  • Standard spec on all Ignis’ includes air conditioning, DAB digital radio & Bluetooth, rear tinted windows,
  • Kerb weight starts at just 855 kilograms (1,885 lbs).
  • Priced from £10,999 to £14,499 (figures correct October 2017)

My SZ5 test cars’ spec highlights include;

  • LED projector headlights and LED daytime running lights.
  • Keyless entry and start.
  • Automatic air conditioning.
  • Dual Camera Brake Support.
  • Pioneer touchscreen system with satellite navigation, rear-view camera, DAB plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as MirrorLink.
  • SZ5 with ALLGRIP includes Hill Descent Control and Grip Control.
  • Cruise control with speed limiter.

Now those are out the way, let’s get on with the first impressions. The Suzuki Ignis is a funky-lookin’ little thing, and while it has slightly unusual styling I really like it for that – there’s nothing that looks anything like it on the road. It’s cooler in the metal, and there’s something quite tough about Ignis with its stocky bodywork, wide-n-low stance, fat arches and mean front-end countenance.

The little slats on the side of clamshell bonnet make it reminiscent of the Range Rover Evoque (certainly no bad thing), while even the back end of the Ignis looks interesting, starting with those three grooves on the C-pillar – which I really wasn’t sure of at first but have come to like them now – that are taken directly from the Suzuki Cervo (or SC100/Whizzkid), and I think the full-width fat rear bumper makes that rear end interesting while practical.

From the exterior, you’re looking at a small city car, but once you get sat in either the front or rear and close the doors you’ll probably have the same surprised reaction as almost everyone who goes in the Suzuki; how is it this spacious in here!? 

Yes, there really is a whole load of room in the Ignis’ cabin, and even now – weeks after having the car – I’m still slightly bemused at how Suzuki has managed to give it such great leg, head and elbow room front and rear, and not only that, but there’s an actual airy feel about it too. Quite amazing, and more on that in the upcoming updates.

I took an immediate liking to the Ignis from the very moment I sat behind the steering wheel. It’s quite difficult to find a modern car with any soul or character, and most are completely uninspiring. Boring, even. But the Ignis makes me grin each and every time I’m in it. While the cabin is strangely roomy, you still get that slice of character that smaller cars tend to offer more easily somehow, and to drive it is a genuine pleasure, thanks to how little the car weighs, the connected steering feel and the zippy little 1.2 litre engine which has the most satisfy induction growl this side of sports car.

Driving video review below!


While there’s all that going for it, it also drives and rides unexpectedly well at higher speeds, and I’m getting 65+ (UK) miles-per-gallon on a motorway run. The combination of both a fun and ‘grown-up’ drive experience makes the Suzuki Ignis an unanticipatedly great all-rounder.

I’ll go into much more detail on the interior, spec level, fuel economy and drive in the upcoming reviews, so please keep an eye out on here for the next Ignis articles guys. You can also follow CarProductsTested.com on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram too.

Thinking of buying a Suzuki Ignis, have questions about it or simply want to share thoughts on your own? Leave a comment using the form below! 


Model (as tested)  2017 Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SHVS SZ5 4WD
SZ5 spec includes 16′ alloy wheels, wheel arch extensions, auto LED projector headlamps, LED running lights, auto headlamp levelling, electric adjustable & heated door mirrors, electric front & rear windows, automatic air conditioning, engine auto stop start system, rear tinted windows, keyless entry & start, Pioneer touchscreen with DAB radio, satellite navigation, Bluetooth, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay & reverse camera, 2 x USB sockets, cruise control with speed limiter See full spec here
Safety  ALLGRIP 4-wheel-drive, Duel Camera Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning, ABS with EDB & Brake Assist, ESP, Hill Hold Control & Hill Descent Control, 6 airbags (driver, front pass., side & curtain), emergency stop signal, tyre pressure monitoring system,  Euro NCAP safety rating of 3/5 stars (SZ5-spec autonomous emergency braking was not included in NCAP assessment)  
Options fitted  Boost Blue paintwork; £465.00
Off-road information  Ground clearance: 180 mm (7.08″) 
Price as tested (inc. options)  (correct Oct. 2017) £15,464
Engine  Petrol, 1.2 litre, 4-cylinder, naturally-aspirated + SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) mild hybrid system 
Power, Torque  Power:  89hp (66Kw) @ 6,000 rpm | Torque: 88 lb ft (120Nm) @ 4,400 rpm
Drive, Gears (as tested)  ALLGRIP all-wheel-drive | 5-speed manual
Towing capacity, boot space Towing: Unbraked:400 kg (882 lbs), Braked: 1,000 kg (2,204 lbs) | Boot capacity (VDA litres): Behind rear seats: 204, Rear seats folded: 490, Maximum capacity (to roof): 1,086
Top Speed, 0 – 60 mph, Euro NCAP  Max speed: 103 mph | 0 – 62 mph: 11.5 seconds
Fuel economy (UK mpg), CO2  Urban: 54.3, Extra urban: 64.2, Combined: 54.3 | CO2 (max): 106 g/km
Weight (kerb)   920 kgs (2,028 lbs)
Websites  Suzuki UK, Suzuki worldwide 

Words: Chris Davies | Photography/film: Chris Davies, Patrick Davies

4 responses to “2017 Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SHVS SZ5 ALLGRIP long term test & review – part one”

  1. Bob

    Excellent review, love this querky looking car.video review has convinced me to go buy one ,thanks.

  2. annemarie boettcher

    Are the shvs sz5 allgrip model of ignis avail in Australia? Cannot find one here to date…..

  3. Rich Barr

    Bought an AGS version 3 months ago, and in 2500 miles so far, it’s been a hoot. Ride a bit firm maybe, but handles well, and the engine is a peach, civilised when you want it to be, and rorty when you boot it. AGS is smooth, and you soon get used to it. Push the stick left and you get a quicker manual change which genuinely gives the car a bit more pace – actually feels quite quick. Loads of space and appears well screwed together. Averaging 60mpg approx in. mixed driving. 4

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