Suzuki has a strong history in producing small cars and the new Suzuki Ignis is yet another example of this. With the backdrop of Druids Glenn Hotel and Golf Resort we attended at the Irish media launch of the Suzuki Ignis to see just what it is made of.

As the advertising campaign for the new Ignis is rolled out by Suzuki, many will be asking, just what is it? Is it a super-mini or is it a crossover? In truth, it’s a bit of both. Whilst it retains the external dimensions of a small city car it gains the characteristics of a small crossover and is also available in 4 wheel drive with Suzuki’s All-Grip Auto system.

The new Suzuki Ignis which is available from dealers now will come with just one engine along with three trim levels. The 1.2 dual-jet petrol engine with a power output of 90 bhp along with a maximum torque of 120 Nm will be paired with either a five speed manual transmission or in the upper two trim levels can also be paired with an automated manual transmission. There will also be a further option of a more fuel-efficient mild hybrid version which we have previously seen in the 2016 Suzuki Baleno. Available for the SZ5 manual model, the SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) mild hybrid is a compact and lightweight unit that incorporates an Integrated Starter Generator (known as ISG) which acts as both a generator and starter motor, the ISG is belt driven and assists the engine during vehicle take off and acceleration and also generates electricity through regenerative braking.

The system also uses a compact high performance lithium-ion battery placed under the front passenger seat to store energy and incorporates an idle stop function operated via the Integrated Start Generator. The SHVS system only uses its conventional engine starter motor when first started from cold, under all other conditions it uses the ISG unit to allow smooth and quiet engine restarts. The ISG unit has a power output of 2.3kW and a torque figure of 50Nm.

Standard equipment for all Ignis models in the range is comprehensive and the SZ3 model includes six airbags, air conditioning, DAB radio with Bluetooth, 15-inch wheels, body coloured door mirrors, front electric windows and five seat capacity.

SZ-T adds satellite navigation, rear view camera, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, wheel arch extensions and four seat capacity with individually sliding rear seats.

SZ5 adds auto air conditioning, Dual Camera Brake Support, keyless entry and start, rear electric windows, LED Headlights with DRL and front fog lamps.

As part of the media launch I had the opportunity to test the SZ-T trim with five speed manual transmission. This will realistically be the volume seller for Suzuki within the Irish market. On the road it performs quite well. The 1.2 litre engine appears to be perfectly capable and given that the Ignis weighs between 810kg and 920kg depending on what spec you choose the engine carries it without any difficulty. On road grip levels are high but this can sometimes be undermined by a somewhat weightless feel to the steering. On the whole, the ride from within the Ignis is comfortable. Road and engine noise become more noticeable as you push the little 1.2 litre engine on a bit. Take on more confined areas such as narrow streets and car-parks and the Ignis really is at home. The turning circle is excellent making parking a doddle and its overall size is a massive plus in this respect also.

Inside, Suzuki have finished the Ignis to a level that is perfectly acceptable for the price they are charging. Given its overall size there is a sense of space from within the cabin. Materials that have been used appear to be up to scratch and only time will tell if they are as durable as they appear. While the base trim SZ-3 comes with a bench seat in the rear with seating for three passengers, when you upgrade to the SZ-T or SZ-5 trim the rear seats are replaced by two individual seats which can be tiled and slid forward and back to increase legroom or boot space depending on your needs. Interior colour finishes will be determined by your exterior colour choice. If you select an orange, black or white exterior the interior will be fitted with an orange trim while all other colours will be finished in a grey trim.

Boot space stands at 267 litres in all but the All Grip models. Whilst this is big for the segment that the Ignis falls into I couldn’t help but noticed that there is a sizeable drop from the boot lip to the boot floor which could make loading some heavier items a little more difficult.

Pricing on the Ignis starts from €12,995 for the SZ-3 trim going up to €14,495 for the SZ-T trim and up to €16,495 in SZ-5 trim. (All of the above prices are based on two-wheel drive and manual options.)

We await a more detailed and prolonged test drive in order to put the all new Suzuki Ignis through its paces properly however initial opinions would be that even ins its most basic form it is well spec’d and the engine appears to be perfectly capable and willing when called upon.