Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Both Ignis engines have variable valve timing, with 94bhp from the 1.3-litre and 99bhp from the 1.5-litre, which is used in the auto and 4Grip models.The 1.5 4Grip is heavier than other models, carrying the equivalent weight of an extra passenger over the 1.3, because of its four-wheel-drive hardware, and is heavier than the 1.5 auto. Although it delivers decent performance when needed, the extra weight seems to take the edge off the performance.

Effectively, in both auto and 4Grip models, the extra power of the engine makes up the deficit caused by the auto transmission or the four-wheel-drive system. The 4Grip covers the 0-62mph sprint in 11.0 seconds, the same as the auto and 0.1 faster than the 1.3.

The Ignis doesn't feel as nippy about town as some small cars, and although its electronic power steering is light and makes the car easy to park, it has an artificial feel when it gets heavier at higher speeds. Despite its height, it is possible to gain confidence in the Ignis quickly when cornering, with less body roll than you might expect and decent levels of grip.

In the 4Grip, the four-wheel-drive system provides excellent traction and feels more secure in slippery conditions. Disappointingly, the ride is rather fidgety, and feels unsettled along poor urban road surfaces as well as undulating dual carriageways.