2021 Suzuki Ignis II GLX 1.2MT

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Pros – unique styling; comfortable high up seating position; solid ride and handling. Great engine
Cons – Expensive (Should it be priced above a Swift); cheap finishes on the interior. Love it or hate it styling at the rear.

Suzuki has launched its new ‘not quite an SUV, not quite a compact’ compact SUV; the 2020 Ignis has been overhauled, and now bears the II moniker.

The unconventional looking car has charming looks and features pretty up-to-date technology, in a package that might best be described as fun-sized motoring. Much like the original MINI and Volkswagen Beetle, it’s ambitious yet enjoyable.

In terms of price and functionality, the Ignis occupies an odd position within the Suzuki family, sitting between the Swift and the Jimny. In contemplating who would buy one, we think it would be people who need more leg room than the Swift and more doors than the Jimny.

If that’s you, the quirky compact SUV could be perfect. In GLX spec, it comes with key-less entry and push button start, and an infotainment system with satellite navigation, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a reversing camera.

It’s got a bevvy of speakers and offers a decent sound when pumping the tunes, and while the glossy plastic dash might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it certainly complements the car’s unique nature.

Even with an Ignis’ low price tag, Suzuki has done a good job of making the interior more interesting than just throwing some grey plastic inside and calling it a day. The infotainment system has been integrated well, and the air-conditioning controls could be from an F-35.

As you click the buttons, it’s like firing up a fighter jet’s thrusters and sending it to Mach-1. The steering wheel has your usual cruise control, radio control and phone answering buttons too, meaning minimal distractions.

The storage inside the car itself is quite good too. With the seats folded down there was an adequate amount of space in the back to tackle those big shopping trips to Makro for a few dozen toilet rolls if you’re one of those panic shoppers.

The manual gearbox shifts nicely, and it has just enough steam to get away at the lights and up to speed with the rest of the traffic, especially considering it only has a little K12 1.2-litre engine making 66kW and 120Nm.

When driving carefully though, it could be as economical as 4.9-litres/100km. But that’s not where this car really shines. It’s in its capabilities that it stands out. For a small car it has a surprising amount of ground clearance.

In spite of its front-wheel drive, it handled loose gravel roads quite well, even going over bumpy roads and up square gutters. The 16-inch alloys finished in Piano black on the GLX gives the Ignis a ground clearance of 180mm; more than enough to tackle rough country roads.

The Ignis has a list of safety feature like six airbags, traction control and ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, hill hold assist, vehicle stability control and brake assist.

It’s a fun car to drive; the suspension handled bumps well and despite a few little hiccups, like some pieces of the interior feeling cheap, it’s a good car overall.

Some small SUVs feel like they’ll topple over in a sidewind, but the Ignis, weighing in at only 865kg, felt stable at 120km/h.


The 2020 Suzuki Ignis II GLX is a bit of a loner in class. It doesn’t attach itself to any labels or categories. It just works. Its looks are a little eccentric, but we certainly don’t think it could be called ugly. It comes with a 5-year 200 000 kilometre warranty.

It is a perfect first car too. While you are learning the rules of the road, it is not so powerful that you will get speeding fines, and it is also not too expensive and very easy to park. It’s available in Pure white, Fervent Red, Mineral Grey(as on test), Super Black, Ivory Pearl and Khaki Pearl.

Retail Price as tested R230 900 

Always check with your local dealer to see if deals are still running*
Review Overview
  • Driving experience
  • Exterior styling
  • Interior look and feel
  • Technology and connectivity
  • Family friendliness
  • Value for money


Pros – great fuel economy; lots of space with the seats folded down; unique looks.
Cons – no ANCAP safety rating; some of the interior feels budget; engine lacks punch against some rivals.

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