Sam says it ticks all the boxes


Suzuki released a new look Baleno with a number of upgrades to the exterior, interior and its specifications. It needs little else to make it a competitive and appealing option in the segment.


From my first interaction with the Baleno, it is a car that I have had a lot of respect for because of all it has to offer at a competitive price. The latest version raises it even higher because it has even more to offer and is even better to look at. Drivers who want a taste of the tech that modern cars have to offer but not necessarily the budget to spring for a C-segment car, will find the Baleno to be a very appealing option.



The drive

The Suzuki Baleno is available in the GL and GLX model. Both have 5-speed manual transmissions, with 1.4 K14B petrol engines. A 4-speed automatic GLX spec is available. The hatch has a power output of 68 kW and 130 Nm of torque.


It makes for a car that handles well and has enough power to gain speeds quickly and maintain them easily. There were a few occasions where it did struggle slightly on inclines, however, not enough to be a disadvantage.


The claimed fuel consumption was 5.1L/100km and impressively, we were able to achieve 5.2L/100km in varied driving conditions. Ultimately, it is likely one could get much better than this, in the right conditions, making the fuel consumption one of the most impressive aspects of the Suzuki Baleno.


The exterior

While not dramatically different from its predecessor, the Baleno has made some adjustments to the exterior which were some of its most obvious and appealing changes. These changes are based on Suzuki’s ‘Liquid Flow’ design language that was introduced to their new generation of vehicles.


The ‘Liquid Flow’ changes are most evident in the chrome detailing in the grille, swathes across the bonnet and at the rear boot lid. Interestingly, this style has given the Baleno a wind-cheating aerodynamic ratio, making it one of the most aerodynamic hatchbacks in the local range

The interior

The interior of the car makes for an exceedingly comfortable drive. You feel as if you are cocooned inside. Most notable is the two-tone seat upholstery and door trim and the leather covered steering wheel in the tested car. The centre sections on the front and rear seats have a deep blue high-grade cloth that is mirrored on the door panels. There is also aluminium detailing across the dashboard, AC vents, steering wheel and instrument cluster.


One aspect that both myself, as the driver, and some passengers that I drove with found very appealing was the space that the car has to offer. An average height passenger can sit in the front of the vehicle without their feet touching the front of the car and the back passenger still has plenty of room as well.


Likewise, the boot offers similar benefits. As it is a hatchback there is only so big that the boot can be without sacrificing interior space. The Baleno, however, creates extra space with a boot that has more depth than what similar cars in the segment have to offer.


As with the roomy rear of the car, the rear passengers are not neglected either. There are perks like a USB port with a nifty compartment to put your phone in whilst you use the port to charge it.


The technology is impressive for a B-segment car. The tested vehicle, which was the GLX model, has reverse cameras, parking sensors, a push-start button, keyless access, auto-headlights and fantastic climate control. It also smartphone compatibility. Sometimes, this segment does not even offer reverse cameras never mind that and much more.


There is no other option than to be thoroughly impressed by the Suzuki Baleno. It is a fine looking car perfect for the driver who appreciates current vehicle technology at a competitive priceGood to know

The specs of the Suzuki Baleno GLX  

Engine: 1.4 litre K14B petrol

Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission

Power:  68 kW

Torque: 130 Nm

Claimed fuel efficiency: 5.1L/100km

Price: from R244 900

Warranties and service plans: four-year / 60 000 km service plan and Suzuki’s promotional warranty of five years / 200 000 km



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