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ALL THE LATEST NEWS, VIEWS AND STORIES FROM AROUND YOUR LOCAL AREA:SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER


MOTORING NEWS


Suzuki Ignis SX5 4x4 PHOTO © M.BOBBIT


A few months ago I mentioned Suzuki’s new small SUV in the shape of the Ignis. Since Suzuki produced its first 4x4 nearly 50 years ago, it has acquired an enviable record of building affordable go-anywhere vehicles.


larger cars to shame. What’s more, the rear seats not only slide forward to give increased boot space, they fold flat to make this a capacious load carrier. Up front, the seats are supportive for long journeys and it’s easy to find the perfect driving position. Visibility is generally good thanks to the car’s raised seating, but the wide rear quarter panels can restrict rear vision, hence the need to rely upon the side mirrors and reversing camera.


Ignis interior


Having spent a week with the Ignis covering more than 500 miles over different types of terrain and road surfaces, it was interesting to see how this demure SUV performed. The Ignis comes in a choice of models, the least expensive, with front-wheel drive, is priced below £10,000. Upgrading gives more equipment, including a mild hybrid arrangement, but it’s only the top range SZ5 model that’s on test which has Suzuki’s renowned ALLGRIP four-wheel drive system. Its price tag a little below £14,000, the car comes with features normally found on much more expensive vehicles.


With an overall length of 3700mm, a smidgen longer than its main rival the Fiat Panda 4x4, the boxy-shaped five-door Ignis comfortably accommodates four adults. Indeed its spacious interior puts many


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Under the bonnet, the 1.2 litre four- cylinder engine is willing and has huge torque. Coupled to a five-speed manual gearbox – automation is only available on the two-wheel drive models – it never feels stressed, nor is there a need to constantly work the gears. The transmission itself is precise and makes for slick gear changes, which is


convenient when navigating hairpin bends. The ride quality is excellent courtesy of the compliant suspension which is sufficiently tuned to give a feeling of complete security on more difficult surfaces.


seem incongruous negotiating narrow and twisting roads, the fun-loving Suzuki’s agility is matched by its mountain goat tenacity. The permanent all-wheel drive system is completely automatic and sends maximum grip to all four wheels where it’s needed most.


Easy living Ignis! PHOTO © M.BOBBIT


Though all four wheels are driven and there’s hill descent, the Ignis is not an off- roader in the sense of a Jeep or Land Rover. Instead, it’s a capable all-road machine that will cope exceptionally under all conditions, summer and winter.


Easy to live with, and with the tightest of turning circles, the Ignis despite its modest footprint offers more space and comfort than many medium size cars.


It’s Ignis in Nenthead PHOTO © M.BOBBIT


Over challenging routes through Cumbria, Northumberland and straddling the Scottish border, the Ignis has that vital energy. Unlike enormous SUVs which


comprehensively equipped too with all the bells and whistles, and even in the most demanding conditions expect between 63 and 57mpg fuel economy. The engine on this miracle of design and engineering is fairly audible at 70mph on motorways, but you can live with that.


Malcolm Bobbitt www.wheelspinautomedia.co.uk


21 SEPTEMBER 2017 ISSUE 418 PAGE 35


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