Business drivers are expected to welcome the chance to try something different in company transport when a unique small Japanese car model goes on sale in Britain next year.
The first compact crossover to be offered with the choice of two- or four-wheel drive, a hybrid powertrain, full personalisation packaging and affordable pricing will set a fresh benchmark in A-segment motoring, Suzuki believes.
“Fade away Fiat 500, move over Mini, there’s a new car category in town. What we have here is funky, iconic, retro cool and technically advanced – our new Ignis is so distinctive and different that it has all the ingredients to make it a must-have, storming success. I’m convinced it will create a new niche in the marketplace,” said Suzuki GB sales and marketing director Dale Wyatt.
“This is a model that should appeal to people who want their business transport to stand out and I think it will be as much a hit with midwives as it will be with estate agents and driving schools.”
Speaking at the media launch in Italy, he added: “I don’t think I’ve ever been so enthusiastic about a new model launch. I believe we’re on the verge of achieving a repeat of what Nissan managed to do with the Qashqai and then the Juke – this is a little icon that will be in demand from customers of our competitors.”
With surprising roominess in sharply-styled bodywork stretching to just 3.7 metres long, the Ignis reaches the showrooms in January and is expected to play a key role in boosting Suzuki’s registrations tally of 38,000 units this year to 45,000 in 2017.
“My conservative estimate for the first 12 months is 6,000 sales but because the car is so different, the total could well go to 10,000 and the good thing for us is that these will mostly be conquests. This is not a 25-plus fleet car, but it will still help us achieve 10,000 fleet sales next year. A substantial number will go to small businesses and utilities and it will be perfect for people in rural communities who need all-drive capability,” Wyatt told Fleet News.
Keenly priced from £9,999, the Ignis is available in three grades as well as mild hybrid or all-drive form along with extensive paint finish and trim options for personalisation. With air conditioning, DAB radio, Bluetooth, sat-nav, a rear-view camera, 16-inch alloy wheels and roof rails all fitted as standard, the mid-range front-drive SZ-T is expected to be the most popular fleet choice. Also equipped with sliding rear seats, this version adds further carrying flexibility to a platform that holds between 514 litres and 1,100 litres of cargo.
With a lively demeanour, supple suspension and a slick five-speed gearbox, the Ignis has a size-bigger personality and punches above its weight in comfort and driving ability for a vehicle tipping the scales at just 855kg.