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Suzuki Ignis has lots of fun appeal 

SUZUKI has a master touch when it comes to producing small cars.

And the all-new Ignis is a prime example of this.

It might be small but the newcomer can make a big impact on the compact crossover sector.

Launched in January, Suzuki has targeted 6,000 UK sales this year and 35,000 for Europe.

It’s a little eye-catcher and looks a fun car from the front with LED headlamps, strong lines of the front grille and clamshell bonnet giving the Ignis a smiling face.

And you are guaranteed lots of happy motoring in what is a terrific city car and also loves a spin in the country.

Ignis is available in the usual Suzuki grades – SZ3, SZ-T and SZ5.

There’s also four-wheel drive available on SZ5 models.

Under the bonnet is a 1.2-litre Dualjet engine with 89bhp and there’s the option of Suzuki’s mild hybrid system – SHVS.

This incorporates a starter generator that adds to the power when pulling away and accelerating.

It generates electricity though regenerative braking and this helps to achieve a fuel consumption figure of 65.7mpg for two-wheel drive models, with a CO2 a low 97g/km.

Ignis is built on the same lightweight platform as stable mates Baleno and Swift with the lightest model weighing just 810kg.

Entry model is the £10,499 SZ3 and you get bags of standard equipment for your money.

This includes air con, DAB radio and Bluetooth, 15-inch wheels, body coloured door mirrors and front electric windows.

All Ignis models also get guide me lights with the dipped beam headlamps remaining on for 10 to 25 seconds after the door is locked or unlocked.

SZ-T adds sliding rear seats, satnav, rear view camera, wheel arch extensions, side mouldings, roof rails and 16-inch alloy wheels.

Step up to SZ5 and this brings auto air con, LED headlights, daytime running lights, front foglights, dual camera brake support, cruise control, rear electric windows, keyless entry and button start.

My test car was a top-of-the-range SZ5 ALLGRIP and I loved my few days with it.

For a small car it’s surprisingly roomy up front and with its high seat position all-round vision is excellent.

The two individual rear seats can slide to provide greater luggage capacity or give rear passengers more leg room and seat backrests have a two position recline function.

The 4×4 has a little less boot room than two-wheel drive models at 204 litres and this expands to 1,086 litres with seats folded.

The Ignis is ideal for driving in town and parking in tiny spaces – it’s just 3.7metres long so you don’t really need that rear view camera.

The slick five-speed manual box allows quick changes going up and down the gears and the acceleration from the punchy 1.2-litre engine was fairly swift.

It felt quicker that the stated 11.1 seconds from standstill to 62mph and with a top speed of 103mph wasn’t too noisy at motorway speeds.

With its permanent four-wheel drive, this model was super agile when cornering at speed with more torque transferred to the rear wheels when required.

It handled superbly with good grip that allowed fun and fast driving out on some winding country roads.

This 4×4 Ignis would also be ideal for winter motoring and for tackling tougher terrain.

The large seven-inch touchscreen on the centre of the dashboard allowed easy access to radio, satnav and link to smartphone with Apple CarPlay.

The combined fuel eco-nomy figure for the test car is 60.1mpg and I achieved over 53mpg despite driving it hard and pushing up the revs.

This range-topping Ignis is priced at £15,499 and repre-sents excellent value for a high-spec compact crossover.