Of the many cars vying for customers at the 2017 Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS), the Suzuki Ignis was the one that this writer wished he could buy. Sure, there was a Koenigsegg CCR in JIExpo, and my favourite big coupe was launched at the show – but the Suzuki Ignis is attainable cool. But only if you’re in Indonesia, where the little Suzy was launched two weeks ago.

The city car with SUV-inspired styling – a “new breed of urban SUV” according to the marketing spiel – is a funky and original design, one of many from the Japanese small car expert. Imported from India, the Indonesian-market Ignis looks identical to the JDM Ignis that surfaced at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. The iM-4 from Geneva 2015 survived the perilous journey from concept to production intact, and we’re really happy it did.

The cute little 3.7m hatchback has a distinctive and cartoonish face featuring LED eyes that are cradled by LED daytime running lights. The sides of the clamshell bonnet have fake vents, and there are three stripes on the rearmost pillars – I somehow find the cues cool rather than contrived.

The high ground clearance of 180 mm and black 15-inch wheels (on very slim 175/65 tyres for eco reasons) provide a rugged look. The car you see here is the range topping GX with optional contrasting roof paint. It’s the spec to have, as things such as the LED headlamps and DRLs, fog lamps and roof rails are exclusive to the GX.

Also on the GX are niceties such as keyless entry and push start, auto air con (check out the funky design) and audio/phone steering buttons. The option of a touchscreen head unit is best ticked, as the floating panel was designed with a screen in mind. Trim on the centre console and door pulls matches the body colour, and look out for that three stripe motif inside as well.

The featherweight Ignis (840 to 860 kg) is powered by a 1.2 litre four-cylinder engine with 83 PS and 113 Nm of torque. The K12M VVT motor is paired to a five-speed manual and a five-speed AGS automated manual gearbox with manual mode. Claimed official fuel consumption is 23.44 km/l for the AGS and 23.64 km/l for the MT.

Prices range from 139.5 million rupiah (RM45,352) to 169.5 million rupiah (RM55,106). If only…

GALLERY: Suzuki Ignis GX MT