At the Wesbank Consumer Awards event earlier this year, Suzuki won the coveted “brand of the year” title, amongst other accolades. The reputation and distinction of this brand is definitely on the rise, and it was with great excitement that I approached Suzuki Centurion to check out their smallest vehicle – the Ignis, a derivative of the Latin word for “Fire”.  The extremely capable New Car Sales Executive Johnathan has the low-down on this Fireball, which – I have to admit – strikes me as quite an interesting-looking vehicle.

At the outset, the Ignis presents with a completely distinctive look, which is unlike anything else on the road at present. It has a cheeky, aggressive front, with assertively styled headlamps that seem to convey a “poised to pounce” stare. A clamshell hood with lovely chrome finishes play off the stocky wheel set and the bold, almost boxy, lines of the side and rear. One thing I know for sure is that this look is fresh and contemporary, and the more I look at it, the more I really, really like it.

Slipping into the cabin, I experience something I have not experienced in a long time when reviewing a vehicle. I laugh out loud in surprise and delight – the cabin itself is completely innovative and deviates from the normal all-black, technologically-crowded system of buttons and levers. A floating dashboard style with dual tones, and an infotainment system that is somewhat elevated, smacks of modern design with a twist of style that resonates with my creative (and admittedly sassy) side. It honestly looks amazing, and has a splash of colour on the door handles which is completely original, and down-right delightful. The dynamic colour scheme in the cabin is designed to complement body-colour accents, and I feel – for once – that I am in a car that is touching on something new and unique. Johnathan notes that the Ignis offers a top-quality sound system that has USB, Bluetooth and MP3 capabilities, electric windows all round, power steering and climate control on the GLX variant.

Suzuki markets this little vehicle as a compact SUV Crossover, which at first seems odd to me. Then I note the little SUV-reminiscent touches, such as push-start technology, reverse parking sensors, electronic adjustable rear-view mirror and other advanced technologies you would expect to find only in big-daddy SUV’s. Surprisingly, there is also more than enough space in the front, ample leg room in the back, and it boasts a very sizeable boot for its class.

In terms of engine capacity and ability to perform, the Ignis is hooked up to a strong 1.2 litre engine which (according to the Suzuki Centurion team) is deliciously economical as it makes use of lower engine friction, better combustion and results in – round of applause – lower emissions too. The TECT body structure of the Suzuki speaks of classic Suzuki responsibility to safety, and is designed to absorb and disperse energy from an impact safely, protecting the passengers. Dual airbags and ABS with EBD comes standard. ISOFIX child seat restraints are included for the family-oriented buyers, and a host of great pedestrian-friendly features are also noted which is yet another noteworthy new feature to mention.

With the Suzuki Celerio winning Budget Car of the Year, and the Vitara taking the Compact Family Car of the Year at the same awards ceremony, it is clear that the Suzuki brand is growing in popularity as well as recognition for their incredibly products and dedicated service to clients. The Suzuki Centurion team upholds these values with pride. For more info on their host of products, as well as the amazing Ignis (which has a superb price tag, by the way) contact details can be found at: Suzuki Centurion

By Desh Pillay Bechan