Name bashing is lame, but…
I know bashing the name of a car is the lowest hanging fruit of motoring reviews. If it were much lower to the ground, it would be a potato. But honestly and truly, I can’t write a single word about the Ignis until I address the fact that it’s called the Ignis.
It is a terrible name for a car. Terrible.
The second I heard it, words like ‘ignoramus’, ‘ignoble’ and ‘ignominy’ came straight to mind. Perhaps they were more hoping for the association with ‘ignite’; as in to arouse or inflame. But, as I was reviewing the Ignis on the the same week as F1 driver Romain Grosjean had his spectacular and fiery crash in Bahrain, that didn’t add to the appeal either.
So what does Ignis mean? Well the closest I could get to an answer was from the Merriam Webster dictionary which only defines ‘ignis fatuus’ as “a light that sometimes appears in the night over marshy ground and is often attributable to the combustion of gas from decomposed organic matter”. Lovely!
So what did I think of marshy gas light – I mean – the Ignis? In short (and I have to be short now because a lot of my word allocation has gone to the name) it’s a fun little car best suited to the city driver.
This tiny box is propelled by a petrol 1.2-litre four-cylinder. If someone asks you for more info just mumble, like a bad ventriloquist.
66kW at 6000rpm and 120Nm at 4400rpm probably rivals some high-end lawn mowers. The dollop of power is sent via a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Self shifters should not fret, there’s also the option of a five-speed manual.
One of the best things about the Ignis is the driving position: it feels quite high and gives you a good view of the road. It’s also a perfectly zippy and responsive car for hammering around the CBD. And parking! Ha! You’ll practically be able to back this baby into a bike rack. The reverse camera will help you do so, but you’ll have no parking sensors. I doubt you’ll need them.
But chuck the Ignis on the highway and you’ll soon feel the limits of the 1.2 litre four-cylinder petrol engine. That’s to be expected for a car in this class. I did feel like the handling was a bit loose and the suspension was a little on the harder side.
The Ignis is light (just over 800kg) perhaps in part because everything in the interior is made of plastic. By preference, I like a steering wheel to feel so heavy and solid, that were it to fall off the steering column it would smash my kneecaps into a million pieces. This is not how anything on the Ignis feels.
The screen which runs the entertainment system is appropriately sized for the car (7 inches). However, for the life of me, I could not connect my phone via Bluetooth. All my integration was through an iPhone cable. While it’s possible to do, my firm belief is that if you need a manual to find a specific function, that function does not exist.
Finally, it needs to be mentioned that the Ignis comes up a bit short in the safety department. It has 6 airbags but is missing a few safety features some might expect on a new car (like Autonomous Emergency Braking). While it’s greenlit to be on Australian roads, it has no ANCAP safety rating.
Bowen’s report card
The only instructions Bowen has given me is “just say what you think.”
So here we go.
In closing, the Ignis is a s##t name for a completely acceptable car. It registered a 75 out of 100 on Bowen’s report card scale.