After driving the diddy Ignis on its launch in Italy. we always had a niggling feeling that it had more Jimny in it than it let on. So we asked for a loan of an Ignis AllGrip, to really see what this little car could do.
Powered by a plucky 1.2 litre DualJet engine the Ignis produces 88 BHP and 120 Nm of torque. Which means a 0-60 time of 10.7 seconds, which feels spritely enough in a car this size.
But what we really cared about is how this thing takes to mud and ruts. Now the manual says this isn’t an SUV and to ‘beware the field covered with grown grass’ so you shouldn’t go ‘off-road’ in the Ignis. Anyway…
Not wanting to be a total Clarksonesque tool we weren’t going to throw it at anything that was obviously beyond its abilities. Deep ruts and high ground clearance was obviously a no no, but mud choked fields after a week of near torrential rain? Sure.
In the depths of Lincolnshire there’s all manner of open fields with tracks leading into them. So we chose one, slowed down and crawled up off the road. Now the AllGrip system is ‘always on’ so when slip occurs the rear axle is engaged, you never quite know when it is or isn’t working.
Trundling along the first grass covered muddy track we ambled along without drama, rain lashing against the windscreen on a dank misty day the little Ignis braved the conditions without faltering.
Trying something a bit more extreme on our standard road tyres, we engaged Grip Control. This little switch is like Peugeot’s pseudo all-wheel drive system, it uses the traction control to brake wheels that are slipping. This gives the wheels that actually have grip more purchase, dragging you out of a sticky situation.
A field that looked like the start of the Somme was beckoning. Thick slushy mud that had only seen tractors navigate it, I wasn’t feeling confident on standard road tyres.
Keeping up momentum is key, as soon as you lose motion you’re stuffed. Hearing the traction control grabbing at the wheels in overtime the Ignis slid and slipped sideways, giving it some more gas and mud was soon flailing up past the side windows and onto the roof.
Again, the Ignis pulled us through and back onto solid tarmac in a flurry of sludge.
The only thing that really lets the off-road abilities of the Ignis down is the rubbery front splitter beneath the bumper. It’s quite chunky and takes a good inch or so off the Suzuki’s approach and departure angle. If you’re looking to own one long term for off road duties you may as well remove it before it gets torn off.
Sticking the Ignis down a further green lane and across another field the testing was complete. This is far more hardcore than any owner would realistically take their little Ignis. In ‘real world’ scenarios you’ll buy an AllGrip if you live in a remote area that gets snow a few times a year.
Stick some winter tyres on this thing and it will no doubt be unbeatable.
There’s some cool customisation options for the real off-road look. The rear spoiler at £365, the mountain graphics set £199, and possibly the roof rack at £150. Add some additional lights onto that, and you’ll have the most awesome little apocalypse proof off-roader in a dinky little package.
As the below shows, we managed to get the dinky Ignis to the exact same spot as the AT35 Arctic Truck. It’s pretty damn capable.
Sadly, it’s only the range topping SZ5 with the ‘mild hybrid’ system that can be specced with AllGrip. That means one of those will currently set you back £13,499 with the basic Fervent Red paint. Any other colour is optional at £465, or £650 if you want the two-tone effect.
£14k is still very good value, especially when you consider its abilities. A set of more mud biased tyres would undoubtedly extend this even further.
Read more: carwitter.com