Suzuki Ignis and Toyota Aygo X in test

Suzuki Ignis and Toyota Aygo X in test

If you have an interest in high-capacity piston engines with horsepower in the three-digit range, excessive lateral dynamics, or luxurious air suspension, we suggest exploring other captivating articles featured in this edition. Alternatively, you can dare to delve into the fundamental aspects of the automotive world, which can be equally intriguing.

The primary focus here lies in achieving a means of transportation that is inexpensive and provides simple mobility, irrespective of public transportation schedules. However, the small car segment has ceased to be truly affordable for quite some time now. Just a few years ago, we published articles with titles like “Everyone under 10,000 euros.” Nowadays, even with 5,000 euros, such options are scarce. Why is that? Firstly, prices have generally surged, and secondly, the basic features now include functionalities that were once considered extras.

Moreover, due to the impending Euro 7 emission standard, which is expected to impact vehicles with combustion engines, we seize the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the possibilities within an area of approximately 6.3 square meters.

Efficient utilization of space is a key consideration. The Ignis, although not a particularly spacious car (offering a volume of 260-1,100 liters for luggage), incorporates a sliding rear seat to enhance versatility.

Even before driving the Ignis, we uncover various aspects of the vehicle. Despite its compact 3.70-meter body, it manages to provide ample interior space through a short hood, steep windscreen, and high roof. The luggage compartment, situated behind a comparably low sill, accommodates at least 260 liters of storage capacity. This is equivalent to three carry-on trolleys alongside sports bags.

Desire more space? Simply slide one or both rear seats forward. This allows room for a few six-packs of water in the rear area, albeit with limited legroom for rear passengers behind the front seats. Still insufficient? In that case, the rear passengers would need to exit the vehicle. By folding down the rear seat backrests, the storage capacity expands to 1,100 liters.

It’s worth noting that folding down the rear seats, moving the rear seat, and tilting the rear seat backrests are only possible with the Comfort equipment line (priced at 19,560 euros). If you wish to enjoy these adaptable advantages, it means forgoing a seat in the back. However, this isn’t a significant issue, as the rear door panels provide only 1.33 meters of space, accommodating a maximum of two individuals, regardless of whether they are adults or secured in child seats using Isofix.

In its class, the unassuming Ignis makes it remarkably easy to access the second row. This is achieved by forgoing stylistic design elements like sweeping rooflines and forward-sloping C-pillars. As a result, the vehicle boasts relatively large door sections that open nearly perpendicular to the body, providing a rather wide aperture (note: caution should be exercised to prevent dents when parked in tight spaces adjacent to other vehicles).

Less pretty than functional

Suzuki Ignis

Hans Dieter Seufert

The functional cockpit of the vehicle features imprecise gap dimensions and a vertically adjustable steering wheel as its primary features.

The rear seating area does not offer exceptional comfort, but it is suitable for more than just accommodating children in car seats. However, individuals with larger feet may find their feet pushed under the front seats. Drink bottles with a maximum capacity of 0.75 liters can be stored in designated door compartments or at the rear end of the center console between the front seats.

The outer arm can be casually rested on the support integrated into the door. In situations where the air becomes thick or stuffy, the windows can be lowered by simply pressing a button, even in the second row. Alternatively, the standard air conditioning system can be activated, which operates automatically from the Comfort+ model onwards, priced at 20,400 euros.

The cockpit design incorporates functional plastic components with a utilitarian appearance. It lacks aesthetic appeal but emphasizes practicality. The presence of a few color accents adds some visual interest. However, there are some noticeable gaps that deviate from the intended alignment. Positioned in front of the driver’s seat is a steering wheel that can only be adjusted for height.

The steering wheel features buttons and is accompanied by analog speed and tachometer dials, along with a simple black-and-white digital display located behind them. In addition to displaying fuel levels and typical driving information, the digital display also provides tire pressure readings. This feature may be particularly relevant for Ignis drivers with four-wheel drive capabilities, as tires play a crucial role in off-road performance.

Operating the controls behind the steering wheel, including the buttons, can be somewhat cumbersome. The climate controls are also placed in an ergonomically unfavorable position, relatively low on the center console. However, this inconvenience is mitigated by the fact that the temperature can be adjusted without the need for direct contact or manipulation of the controls.

Generally, the Ignis relies on analog interfaces, with the exception of a touchscreen display. The touchscreen interface, though slightly less sensitive and powerful, serves as a means to access the navigation system (available from the Comfort+ model onwards) and control music from a connected smartphone. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features from the Comfort+ model onwards.

Weak on the brakes

Suzuki Ignis, Toyota Aygo X

Hans Dieter Seufert

The Ignis exhibits a significant braking distance of 41.2 meters when decelerating abruptly from a speed of 100 km/h until it reaches a complete halt. This distance is considered excessively long and raises concerns. Similarly, the value of 39.3 meters is not an acceptable specification. I must express my dissatisfaction, dear Aygo X.

The lackluster driving experience of the Ignis can be attributed to various factors. On the road, one encounters a mildly hybridized four-cylinder engine that has been refined and is supported by an integrated belt starter generator operating on a 12-volt power system, powered by a small-sized battery. This configuration enables swift engine starting, acceleration support, and energy recuperation when lifting off the gas pedal. Consequently, it leads to marginal fuel savings and satisfactory acceleration performance, providing a slight sensation of exhilaration.

However, the downside of this mild hybrid system is evident in the brake pedal’s softness, which lacks a defined pressure point. Furthermore, the steering and gearshift mechanisms do not exhibit precision or accuracy. The steering feels unresponsive and somewhat sluggish, with minimal or no feedback around the central position, while the gearshift lacks crispness and is accompanied by a slightly sunken knob. Nevertheless, the gearshift reliably serves its purpose of engaging different gears.

Despite these drawbacks, the Ignis maintains stability during driving and effectively absorbs most road irregularities, thanks to its chassis and suspension system. This is achieved even without complex damping technology, despite the vehicle’s short wheelbase. As a result, the Ignis offers a safe driving experience—until an emergency braking situation arises.

Regrettably, the Ignis falls short in emergency braking scenarios, as observed during testing conducted by our colleagues at our Lahr test site. Braking distances exceeding 41 meters, determined under such circumstances, are no longer acceptable and can pose a potential danger. The limitations are attributed not only to the rear drum brakes but also to the suboptimal coordination between the brake system, ABS control electronics, and the Bridgestone Ecopia EP150 tires in size 175/60 R 16. These tires prioritize fuel efficiency over grip, further exacerbating the issue.

Pronounced Cross, the X

Toyota Aygo X

Hans Dieter Seufert

If we are to discuss the driving experience, the Aygo offers a greater sense of enjoyment compared to other vehicles. The Aygo X, which is slightly flatter and wider than its counterpart, incorporates features such as unpainted plastic panels around the wheel arches and a subtle front underride guard, enhancing its exterior aesthetics.

Moving to the interior, the seating arrangement includes front cushions with a short leg rest and a non-adjustable headrest integrated into the backrest. This configuration places the driver approximately four centimeters closer to the road compared to the Ignis model. This closer proximity contributes to a better connection between the driver and the vehicle.

Furthermore, the Aygo provides more direct and communicative control, while effectively isolating the driver from disruptive frequencies. The control mechanisms are operated through a finely designed steering wheel equipped with an impact absorber and various buttons. However, it should be noted that the steering wheel cannot be adjusted axially, necessitating the adjustment of the seat position.

Based on the Toyota small car platform GA-B, the Aygo X offers enhanced control and road contact. This is achieved through a chassis with more binding springs, which results in a more intensive connection between the driver and the road surface without compromising comfort. The gearbox has been specifically designed to provide more precise shifting, despite the digital shift recommendation occasionally suggesting otherwise.

It is advisable to disregard the recommendation, as the Aygo’s three-cylinder, the naturally aspirated petrol engine can be sluggish, particularly during startup and when accelerating, only becoming more responsive at approximately 4,000 revs. To mitigate the potential loss of speed on inclines, it is recommended to frequently downshift by one or two gears.

Notably, Aygo’s four-valve engine, with a displacement of just 998 cubic centimeters, operates independently without any electric drivetrain components. Electrical power is solely utilized for consumer amenities, such as seat heating. The buttons for these functions are discreetly positioned deep within the center console.

Apart from this distinction, the vehicle’s core functionalities remain consistent. The touchscreen display, with its improved resolution and responsiveness, allows for easy control of entertainment, navigation, and system features. Positioned behind the nine-inch display in the center of the dashboard, these functions can be conveniently accessed via large touch-sensitive areas, enhancing precision.

Adjacent to the display on the left side, four analog direct selection keys further simplify the operation. Additionally, certain functions can be accessed through the semicircular analog speedometer, which frames the display. Notably, the Aygo offers atypical safety features for its segment, including an adaptive cruise control system.

In summary, the Aygo X delivers a more engaging driving experience, thanks to its improved exterior design, closer driver-vehicle connection, enhanced control, and road contact, as well as advanced technological features for convenience and safety.

Now it’s getting tight

Toyota Aygo X

Hans Dieter Seufert

The rear of the vehicle is not only cramped, but it also lacks sufficient lighting due to small hinged windows. Moving to the back, the bench provides better leg support compared to the Ignis, with one caveat. The Aygo’s narrow opening mini windows make it challenging to access the rear, requiring one to maneuver between the door, the forward-diagonally running C-pillar, and the wheelhouse foothills. This becomes particularly troublesome when attempting to load bulky child seats.

Despite the Aygo being slightly wider at the back, there is less headroom and legroom available. Furthermore, accessing the very back requires lifting luggage over a high threshold before reaching the carpet, plastic, and bare metal-clad luggage compartment. Additionally, a full-sized spare wheel occupies storage space beneath the floor. It’s worth mentioning that closing the glass-clad tailgate can often result in dirty fingers as there is no handle provided.

While these factors may deduct some points in terms of functionality, they do not alter the final outcome of the test, which determines the modern and safer Toyota as the winner.

Technical specifications

Toyota Aygo X 1.0 VVT-i Explore Suzuki Ignis 1.2 Dualjet Hybrid Comfort+
Basic price €21,230 €20,400
External dimensions 3700x1740x1510mm 3700x1690x1605mm
trunk volume 231 to 829L 260L
Displacement/engine 998 cm³ / 3-cylinder 1197 cm³ / 4 cylinder
Performance 53 kW / 72 hp at 6000 rpm 61 kW / 83 hp at 6000 rpm
Top speed 158km/h 165km/h
0-100km/h 16.1s 12.4s
Test consumption 5.4L/100km 5.6L/100km