When I first drove the Suzuki Ignis at the Australian Launch earlier this year I was impressed, how could they make something so simple, yet feature packed and keep the price low.

So I’m going to put it to the test, over a couple of months – lets see what it’s like to have one in the driveway day after day.

Now let me be clear, this was not forced upon me, I’ve been asking for this all year – as a Mazda 2 owner this seemed like an interesting alternative.

Under $17,000 it’s price comparative with the Mazda 2 but really is a smaller and different class.

The high stance makes it a “Micro SUV” in some ways, and frankly driving it up over the gutter onto a bush track is not something I’d do with many cars this size.

Size and Space

Sure it’s smaller, but as a driver you don’t notice that, other than the fact more car parks seem a breeze when you’re the smallest thing other than a Smart FourTwo possible.

Boot space is great for a big shop, again smaller than the Mazda 2, but that’s rarely filled.

The real issue comes in the back seat.  The Ignis is a four seater! This was not something I realised.  I took the three kids on the train to meet Geoff Quattromani who had picked the car up for me, and offered him a lift back to work, only to kick him out after realising there were just the two seatbelts in then back seat.

Not a deal breaker frankly, we’ve never had five people in the Mazda 2 and I doubt most owners have.

That’s why I keep making that comparison.  Many Mazda 2 owners are older, and this is their shopping runabout.  The Ignis smashes the Mazda because at that base price you’re getting more tech.

The Tech

Honestly, If Suzuki can put Apple CarPlay into their smallest and cheapest car, there’s simply no excuse for any other car company. None.

Plus it’s got a reversing camera of great quality, as well as navigation and the touch screen infotainment when Apple CarPlay isn’t in use.

The Drive.

Love it.  Simple around town.  Power is low, but hello! This is not made for that.  Easy tight turning circle, smooth transmission and gentle steering which is a bit loose but weighty enough to feel a connection to the road.

I’ve never once hesitated to get in the Ignis since it’s been here.

As far as first impressions go, if you can get past the almost awkward tall stance and look of the car, for those spending under $20,000 I’d be surprised if you weren’t leaving the dealer contemplating the Ignis if you take the time to actually take a test drive.

I’ll check back in again soon!