Curiosity overcame me so I went to a Suzuki dealer, writes Richard Herriott (who has hijacked this post).
On the way I saw the Mk 1. First, this is a public service as the Mk1 is not so well photographed. Second, it’s a chance to share my current morbid fascination. Until recently I hadn’t noticed the Mk1 Ignis (2000-2006). It shares similar themes with the Mark 2 which means Suzuki liked the idea and were planning an evolutionary approach. There is slightly raised third window at the back and the distinctive groove running around the middle of the lower body. The headlamps are not so distinctive as on the follow-up car. Why do I like this car? There are some cars which are steady low-key sellers. They don’t generate much copy in the magazines and probably don’t have fan clubs. However, they have the ability to drag in customers who could have bought mainstream vehicles such as the Fiesta and the Clio or Polo and Ka. They usually have a quirk or two and run against the grain of what is considered sensible design and branding practice. The Ignis reminds of the Renault 4: straightforward, durable and practical and a bit odd. While it’s not a hose-out car with rubber mats, it could easily be great for odd jobs and running muddy lanes. Maybe it’s also a bit like the Panda before the Panda became too artfully styled though not half as rustic as the original.
Suzuki do a nice line in these unpretentious cars, products free of the intensity of gaze directed at Fiestas, Astra, Polos and Clios. And this makes them more interesting to look at. Quite possibly they might even have a fun character to them. This version probably rolls over bumps quite well. However, despite its looks it never had 4×4 – the successor did in the form of the rebadged Subaru Justy.
[Note: this item was originally an error message required because the editor managed not to post anything. I have since updated it as of Monday, 18 April.]