The recently updated Suzuki Baleno is accelerating the interest in a car that ticks so many boxes of your ‘bout that fit’ lifestyle needs, with no compromise in its quest to be the best there is in the hotly - contested, small hatch segment.
The Baleno facelift looks better than ever before with a new front-end, a sleek palette of colours, and an upgraded trim level with a higher specification level on GL and GLX models, but still boasts the features that made this compact car a firm favourite.
Features you will love about the latest version include the generation Heartect platform which makes the Baleno fast and fuel efficient with the K14B petrol engine, that is fitted with a tumble flow intake manifold and aluminium head, delivering 68 kW at 6 000 r/min and 130 Nm at 4 200 r/min.
With a stated fuel consumption of 5,1 l/100 km in a combined cycle, GLX buyers can swap the manual for a four-speed automatic gearbox, which is rated to use 5,4 l/100 km.
However, it is not only the powerful, yet frugal engine that is ‘bout the fit’ – the Baleno is spacious inside and has a best-in-class boot capacity of 355 litres. With a body length of only 3 995 mm, the interior offers plenty of legroom and shoulder room, front and back. With easy-to-use stowing compartments, comfort is something you can expect from the Baleno.
Built at Suzuki’s India-based manufacturing plant, the Baleno is handed an immediate market advantage by virtue of being one of the longest vehicles in this segment. As a result, it offers enviable levels of rear-passenger legroom and class-leading luggage space.” CAR Magazine.
As before, the Baleno is a specification leader in this market segment. The GL-model, which is available only with a five-speed manual gearbox, has air-conditioning, power steering, electrically operated windows front and rear, a radio with Bluetooth, MP3 playback, USB socket and CD player, and steering-mounted audio controls.
Added to this, Suzuki also offers remote keyless access, front and rear 12V accessory sockets, a height-adjustable driver's seat, and a luggage area light.
In this model, Suzuki protects the occupants with ISOFIX mounting points for child seats, two crash bags in front, and ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assistance (BAS).
In the GLX, owners gain additional features such as cruise control, fully automatic climate control, keyless entry with a push button start, leather trim on the steering wheel, rear park distance control with camera, and a front armrest.
The jewel in the GLX crown is perhaps the new infotainment system. This system integrates the image from the reverse camera, voice commands, all infotainment features and smartphone integration through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay into one beautiful 7-inch full- colour touch screen.
“Understated. That's probably the best way to describe the Baleno. It doesn't jump at you with its subtle looks, but you just can't help but take notice of it. And sometimes that's a good thing.” Charlen Raymond, Wheels24.
In the new model, the signature Liquid Flow line is more accentuated thanks to a wide and more three-dimensional chrome strip that frames a new grille and S-emblem. The grill itself is more aggressive, and the chrome strip now passes through the front headlights to end at the fender-line.
The headlights feature a new three-dimensional design, and on the GLX specification, the high-impact discharge (HID) lamps have been replaced with LEDs.
Rounding off the new look is a deeply - sculpted lower bumper with a hexagonal centre intake. Sharper creases mirror those on the bonnet and add to the more aggressive profile. The GLX models have integrated fog lamps in this lower section.
The Baleno in GLX specification also adds new polished diamond - cut alloy wheels and chrome on the door handles, beltline, and on the rear tailgate. There is also a spoiler on the rear tailgate and dark privacy glass on the rear doors and tailgate.
Suzuki has launched the upgraded Baleno with six colours to choose from, including the new Magma Grey metallic finish.
Inside the Baleno, the two-tone colour treatment on the seat upholstery and door trim is brand new. Suzuki’s interior designers have replaced the centre sections on the front and rear seats with deep blue high-grade cloth which is mirrored on the door panels.
Also new is brushed aluminium detailing across the dashboard, including on the air conditioning vents, the steering wheel, and instrument cluster.
“. . . the Baleno is extremely frugal, fun to drive, and well-equipped with safety features. It has also been praised for its ride quality and it wins with space, as its generous wheelbase gives rear passengers capacious legroom. Furthermore, Suzuki also has a good track record when it comes to reliability.” Ané Theron, AutoTrader.
With a baby on the way, the Baleno answered all our questions about a reliable car that is low on maintenance and running costs, while being big enough and with all the right safety features to accommodate the growing family.” Denis Andrews, Owner.