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Ignis 1.2 GLX | Suzuki

Date of Release: May 2017
Number of Reviews 2

As a “small car” specialist, Suzuki has made a success out of incorporating style, technology and affordability into their smaller cars. With that being said, the 2017 Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GLX seamlessly boasts all three attributes.  

The Torque Rating:  



Hatch Lifestyle

City slicker
Boot/seat versatility
Still looking cool
Robot racer
Overall Driver Rating: 



Hatch Lifestyle

City slicker
Boot/seat versatility
Still looking cool
Robot racer


In terms of design, the 2017 Ignis 1.2 is a curious-looking car, with a simplistic but contemporary design that makes it stand apart from the crowd. Although it’s quite compact, it looks bold and ready for outdoor adventure.  

Don’t be fooled by its nimble dimensions, as the Ignis’ cabin is generously spacious, in the front and rear. In addition to its commodious interior, it also come...


The Ingis is available with a manual or automatic transmission which both offer a solid ride quality from a light and nippy 1.2 petrol engine. Overall, fuel economy is great and ride quality makes it perfect as a small city car.


As for safety, the 2017 Ignis is well-appointed with active and reactive safety features like ISOFIX child seat anchors, ABS with EBD and dual front airbags.


The small, affordable car market is easily one of the most competitive markets there is. On the sales front, the VW Polo Vivo doesn’t just sell more than its direct rivals, it sells more than any other car, month after month. The market is plagued with fairly basic offerings due to manufacturers trying to keep costs down, luring in new customers on the basis of price alone. Suzuki itself has been a strong player with its Celerio and Swift models, the later selling particularly well.

Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GLX studio pic

Riding that wave of success, Suzuki has introduced something completely new to the market. The Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GLX (manual). Never before has a car of this price range and size been packed with so much value and some fresh style to boot! It’s easy to see why the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) has declared this little “winner” a 2018 Car of the Year Finalist (COTY). If you’re not familiar with the Top 10 cars, see the list below:


THE TORQUE was able to speak directly to a few of the COTY judges and we learned that, along with a myriad of other criteria, one thing they really like when selecting a winner is “value-for-money”. Based on that alone, the Ignis has a strong chance!

Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GLX Studio Pic - Rear

Imagine your standard small car; a metal shell with a basic, hard plastic interior. Now compare that to this:

  • LED projector headlamps
  • Stylish LED daytime running lights as well as fog lamps
  • Keyless entry with push start/stop
  • Bluetooth enabled infotainment system and on-board computer
  • Automatic climate control
  • Multifunction steering wheel
  • Electric mirrors and windows
  • Stylish alloy mag wheels
  • Reverse park sensors
  • Two-tone exterior (including colour coded door handles) as well as a two-tone interior
  • ABS brakes and airbags

It’s as though the Ignis refuses to be your traditional small car, adopting many of the features you generally find in much bigger, way more expensive cars. Its shape and size is unique too. As mentioned in our intro, Suzuki has dubbed the Ignis as a “Compact Urban SUV”. For us, that’s just clever marketing as we all know how popular the SUV and crossover market is. In our opinion, the Ignis is a small hatchback that has been stretched vertically.

The front-end of the car is ‘WOW!’ and is likely to go down well with a younger market. The side profile incorporates more straight lines, with an added nostalgic touch thanks to something that looks like the Adidas logo on the rear end of the car – the crimped C-pillar is actually paying homage to the 1979 Suzuki SC100, also known as the ‘Whizzkid’. Will the Ignis prove to be the new Whizzkid on the block?

Front pic of the 2017 Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GLX

Unfortunately, as with all things in life, all the good stuff comes with a bit of the bad. As impressive as the front-end of the car is, the rear-end simply isn’t. Suzuki themselves describe it as ‘quirky’. For us, that’s putting it politely. It strikes you as really narrow, with rear taillight clusters that look… well, odd!

Anyway, back to the positive aspects of this impressive car. Exterior styling highlights include:

  • We like how the rectangular matrix grille stretches the full width of the car, housing those eye-catching headlamp clusters. The entire grille is lined with a strip of chrome
  • On the lower-front grille, the Ignis features large fog lamps with double fin accents
  • Similar to its bigger brother, the Suzuki Vitara, the Ignis also has a clam-shell bonnet
  • Bold wheel arches housing the shiny black 15-inch alloy mag wheels
  • Two-tone electric mirrors with built-in side indicators
  • Integrated roof racks

On the inside, the styling remains fresh. We like how the colour of your car is carried through to a few interior metallic panels, noticeably with the gearbox housing and front door grips. The interior is also two-tone, adopting a black and white (light grey) theme. While the white panels look great when you climb into a shiny new car, we are worried about how well they will age. You might land up with a black and white, with brown patches theme.

Interior shot of the Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GLX

Interior styling highlights include:

  • A floating, single colour infotainment system with the all-important Bluetooth Audio streaming function. The controls are large and easy-to-use whilst on the go. You can also operate the system (including phone calls) via your multi-function steering wheel
  • Fully automatic climate control with easy-to-use, large controls
  • Sporty looking, fake carbon fibre air vents on either side of the dash
  • 12v power point, audio jack and USB port cleverly hidden underneath two small flaps

Thanks to its vertically stretched nature, headroom is very impressive but legroom and boot space, is similar to what you would find in other small hatchbacks. The added height also affects the Ignis’ handling and performance. It feels a touch top heavy, producing slightly more lean-angle than your usual hatchback. Suzuki has cleverly counteracted this by placing all 4 wheels in the far corners of the chassis. As a net result, once you are confident about the Ignis’ handling limits, you can enjoy a spirited and sporty drive, powered along by a free-rev'ing 1.2l engine, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Stats wise, the engine might not seem super impressive, but you need to remember that the Ignis is light, so we recommend test driving it to experience its enjoyable performance for yourself.

At this point during our reviews, we like to give our readers an idea of what a car would be like to live with on an everyday basis, by assessing it against our lifestyle judging criteria. For the first time, we weren’t sure which set to use – hatchback or SUV? Our SUV criteria are more family orientated, and whilst you could use the Ignis as a family car (the rear seats are equipped with ISOFIX points), we think you will be constantly frustrated with the lack of space, particularly in the boot. The Baleno or Vitara would prove to be better cars for your family (click on the names to read our full reviews). Sorry, Suzuki, but for the purposes of this review, we are going to rate the Ignis against our hatchback lifestyle criteria:

  • City Slicker (5 out of 5): Is parking a breeze? Can you whizz through traffic etc.? The Ignis is happiest in the urban jungle. Four doors, a wide-opening boot, Bluetooth, a zippy engine and a fashionable front-end – the Ignis scores top marks here.

  • Boot/Seat Versatility (3 out of 5)A touch on the small side with 260l of space, but you are able to fold down the 60:40 split rear seats for more. The Ignis houses a full-size, black, steel spare wheel.

  • Entertainment (4 out of 5): Everything you need with a decent sound system. The only thing letting the Ignis down is the old-fashioned, single-tone display screen.

  • Still looking cool (4 out of 5): 5 out of 5 for the front, 2 out of 5 for the rear. From most angles, the Ignis looks good with striking features. The car has already proven to be a top seller for Suzuki.

  • Robot Racer* (3 out of 5)One needs to really rev the engine to get the most out of it, but the 61kW/113Nm 1.2l petrol engine seems to thank you for it. What the Ignis lacks in flat-out straight line acceleration, it makes up for with great fuel economy. Suzuki claims a combined average of a very low 5,1l/100Km, but our average was 6,7l/100Km. As we said, this car is fun to drive!
    *THE TORQUE encourages responsible, law-abiding driving.


Extra space, fresh looks and ALL the features you want! Prices start at R169 900, but we would definitely recommend going for the GLX option which currently costs R189 900. That’s a good price for your standard small car, and the Ignis is anything but standard.


  • Packed with ‘big’ car features
  • Striking front-end and attractive paint colours
  • Easy to drive


  • The rear-end exterior styling
  • White panel interiors
  • Single tone infotainment display

Do you own or regularly drive the all-new Suzuki Ignis? Tell SA what you love about your car by quickly rating it on THE TORQUERegister today!


THE TORQUE is an independent platform dedicated to car reviews. Instead of judging a car based on one or two people’s opinions, THE TORQUE allows you to see what like-minded, real people, who actually own or regularly drive the cars have to say about them.

In addition, THE TORQUE team shares their own ‘lifestyle orientated’ and easy-to-understand reviews on selected cars. Combining the two, gives one the ability to make a truly informed purchasing decision on what the best car for you is. After all, buying a car is a big decision! Register today and tell SA what you love about your car! 


Showing 1 of 1

Philip Sorrell 

Overall rating:  

Date reviewed: January 20, 2018

Only having this new automatic in Tinsel Blue since beginning of the month, we are still enjoying...

Only having this new automatic in Tinsel Blue since beginning of the month, we are still enjoying the novelty. It is very easy to drive , with very good all round visibility. The remote locking / door locking / unlocking buttons on car very user friendly. The reverse sensors are good but parking in garage as I reverse in becomes continued beeping but can turn off with button on dash . The car drives well and auto gear change works well but an be sluggish if rather gentle on throttle.



Hatch Lifestyle:

City slicker
Boot/seat versatility
Still looking cool
Robot racer

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