Suzuki Baleno a real gem


Suzuki Baleno a real gem
Hugh Maguire

Suzuki are well known as producers of some pretty good small cars.

Yet one of their biggest sellers over the years has been the well known Vitara 4x4.

Suzuki’s presence in Ireland is really very small in part due to the fact that they have lacked certain models in their range which meant some loyal Suzuki customers had no model to choose from should they wish for example to move up the range.

Suzuki hope that their latest car the Baleno will fix that.

The Baleno is a completely new car built on a new platform and is larger than the well known Swift at 3.99metres long.

It is powered by an all new 1.0 litre petrol turbo “Boosterjet” engine and comes in one 5 door hatch body style.

Another highlight of the new car is the extensive use of very strong but lightweight materials.

The new Baleno is one of the lightest cars in its class ranging from just 935kg to 980kg with resulting benefits in fuel efficiency.

This is a very smart and compact hatchback.

The style is attractive and there are nice detail touches such as alloy wheels and some attractive chrome trim to give it a classy feel.

This does not look like a car built to a budget. I like it.

The interior is functional and well designed with a good driving position and plenty of standard kit.

For example all models get six airbags, 16 inch alloys wheels, HID headlights, air conditioning, sat nav, DAB radio with USB and Bluetooth front electric windows and rear privacy glass. An impressive list by any standards!

The SZ5 (Boosterjet and SHVS models) add auto climate control, rear electric windows, a 4.2 inch colour trip display, LED rear lights Radar Brake Support, and Adaptive Cruise Control.

The quality of the materials used in the cabin is generally good though one or two items of trim could have had a more quality feel.

The cabin is roomy too and will seat four adults in reasonable comfort while the boot will hold a reasonable 320 litres of cargo.

This new Boosterjet 1.0 litre petrol turbo is a really impressive powerplant.

Producing a whopping 110 bhp with 170Nm of torque and mated to a 5-speed gearbox performance really is most impressive for an engine of this size.

I was most impressed with how the new Baleno performed.

Its quick with plenty of mid range urge for safe overtaking.

This new engine really is the best of both worlds offering decent performance but true frugality.

I returned an average test consumption of just 5.1 litres per 100km. A “mild hybrid” is also available.

Road tax for the 1.0 litre Boosterjet is €190.00 per year.

The new Baleno handles quite well. The suspension set up is naturally geared towards comfort.

The Baleno is surefooted on wet or dry roads though there is a bit more body roll in corners due to that softer set-up.

Noise levels are well suppressed making the new Baleno a pleasant car in which totravel.

The new Suzuki Baleno is a real gem! Its a compact 5 door hatch that delivers in allareas.

Its quite roomy, very well kitted out, economical and inexpensive to run and own.

The new Baleno comes with a full 3 year warranty.