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MOTORING: Suzuki Baleno

Suzuki have recently launched an array of new vehicles to the South African market. One of the new models is the Baleno.

This new hatchback is pitched directly at cars like the Hyundai i20 and Polo Vivo. The vehicle is well designed with its angular headlights and upside-down triangular grill, which bears the Suzuki S badge. The round fog lights in the lower corners of the bumper complete the look.

The side view of the vehicle is where you can see the genius in the design as the car is not big, but as they have raised the roofline, the interior of the vehicle appears larger than it actually is. The rear is simple and basic with clean lines with some models having a rear spoiler above the rear windscreen. This adds sportiness to the look. There is also a fair amount of chrome trip below the rear windscreen and side windows, as well as flanking the grill. The standard mag wheels on the test vehicle looked good and completed the overall hot hatch appearance.

Inside, the vehicle is surprisingly spacious for all passengers. The driver’s cockpit is simple yet has all the bells and whistles required. There is touchscreen infotainment and Bluetooth connectivity and the system even has a remote control in case you want to control it from the rear seats. The instrument cluster is simple with blue inserts that give a somewhat energetic look to it. In between the speedometer and the tachometer is a digital display for fuel consumption, etc. As this car is aimed at the youth segment, there is the option to change this display to show power and torque. This looks cool but I think it is definitely aimed at the younger generation.

Boot space is decent and they even managed to fit in a spare wheel. That said, as the boot is deep and the sill a bit high, loading heavy items may become a bit of a challenge.

The 1,4-litre motor was surprisingly powerful and a lot of fun to drive. The car feels solid on the road and in typical Suzuki fashion, there is a slight growl from the engine, which gives a feeling of satisfaction.

On the whole, this new offering from Suzuki is a worthy contender for a first car or even a run-about city car.

It’s easy to drive and unassuming, with uncompromising reliability.

Engine – 1,4l  4 Cylinder

Power – 68 kW

Torque – 130 N.m

0–100 Km/H – 10,9 Seconds

Price – From R199 900


Author: Torque Talk is a member of SAGMJ