The engine line-up is based the 89bhp 1.2-litre Dualjet engine, as used in the Baleno and Swift. An SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) version will also be available exclusively with SZ5 trim models. It uses an ISG (Integrated Starter Generator) with an integrated power generator and electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack. The hybrid Ignis emits 97g/km of CO2 in its most efficient spec.
The Ignis will be offered with front-wheel drive as standard, with Allgrip four-wheel drive available as an option. For fuel efficiency, the Allgrip system sends 90% of power to the front axle through a viscous coupling in normal driving conditions.
Suzuki’s use of lightweight structures across its model range means that weight has been kept to a minimum; the Baleno weighs 905kg, and Suzuki confirmed that the Ignis weighs about the same. This should lead to ultra-low running costs, as is expected in the city car class.
We first saw the new Ignis at the 2015 Tokyo motor show, but the European-spec car that followed in 2016 is 10-15cm longer than its Japanese counterpart, which adheres to Japan’s strict 3.6m guidelines, although the floorplan remains the same. Revised bumper designs swallow up the added length, according to a source at Suzuki.
The Ignis gets even more cutesy styling than other compact Suzuki models like the Celerio, which sits above it in the brand's range. At the rear is a trio of D-pillar indents that reference the rear-engined SC100 'Whizz Kid' of the late 1970s, and plenty of options including several colours for the roof give buyers a large amount customisation.
Unlike previous generations of the Ignis, no Sport model is offered, and the four-wheel drive variant will also be identical to its front-drive counterpart, meaning that there won’t be an off-road-styled Ignis akin to the Ignis Trail concept, either.
The Ignis’s somewhat niche appeal means that rivals are thin on the ground, with the Fiat Panda Trekking and Cross among the only direct competitors. The two-wheel drive Panda Trekking is priced from £13,210, while the micro-SUV Panda Cross costs £16,360 with the entry-level 0.9-litre engine.