Suzuki Baleno an ap­peal­ing op­tion

Pilbara News - - Mo­tor­ing - Derek Ogden

Some­thing old, some­thing new, some­thing bor­rowed and, if you wish, some­thing (Pre­mium Ray) blue. That’s what’s on of­fer with the new Suzuki Baleno — the name, the de­sign, the en­gine and the colour.

Sound­ing more like an ex­otic dance, the Baleno took its first steps in the 1990s as a “light” pas­sen­ger car. Now it has jumped the fence into the small pas­sen­ger seg­ment, hav­ing the ex­te­rior di­men­sions of the former with in­te­rior space of the lat­ter.

The new Baleno comes in two spec­i­fi­ca­tion lev­els — GL with a 1.4-litre en­gine, with ei­ther a fivespeed man­ual or four-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, and the GLX Boost­er­jet 1.0-litre tur­bocharged vari­ant, with six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Big­ger than its sibling, the topselling Swift, it shares en­gines and trans­mis­sions in some models.

The tur­bocharged Baleno, our test car, fea­tures a new three-cylin­der di­rect-in­jec­tion Boost­er­jet sys­tem.

The new Baleno comes to mar­ket from $16,990, drive away, for the 1.4litre GL five-speed man­ual, with the four-speed auto adding $1000 to the price.

The top-spec 1.0-litre Boost­er­jet turbo six-speed auto joins in at $22,990.

The Baleno has taken the road of the ma­jor­ity of mod­ern small hatch­backs with a rea­son­ably sleek look, with­out com­pro­mis­ing in­te­rior space and all-round vi­sion.

Suzuki Baleno GLX does what a top-spec ve­hi­cle should do — add lit­tle touches pleas­ing to the eye, if not to the pocket.

Up front there are high-in­ten­sity dis­charge head­lamps, in­cor­po­rat­ing day­time run­ning lights, while the look is lifted with 16-inch twin­spoke al­loy wheels.

Cabin width has been im­proved by re­duc­ing door liner in­tru­sion into the front seats.

There is ex­cel­lent knee and legroom be­tween the front and rear seats and the Baleno can carry four adults with ease.

Even with the rear seat backs up, the cargo area can carry 355 litres of gear. In an in­ter­est­ing de­sign move, re­mov­able side trims in the boot de­liver more space.

A cen­tral dis­play screen, sit­u­ated high on the cen­tral dash­board, is ide­ally placed at driver’s eye level with links to Ap­plePlay and Mir­rorLink smart­phone in­ter­faces as well as nav­i­ga­tion and rear cam­era view­ing.

The 1.0-litre Boost­er­jet three­cylin­der mo­tor, with its six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, has it all over its 1.4-litre non-turbo brother in per­for­mance and fuel ef­fi­ciency. But there is a price to pay — $6000 to be pre­cise.

Six airbags are stan­dard across the Baleno range, front and rear seats are equipped with pre-ten­sion­ers, side doors are fit­ted with anti-in­tru­sion beams.

Ac­tive sys­tems in­clude elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol,and anti-lock­ing brakes with an elec­tronic brake-force dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem.

Also adding to safety is a new, lighter stronger plat­form that makes use of some ex­tra-high-ten­sile ma­te­ri­als.

On tak­ing po­si­tion, the driver is in­tro­duced to the Baleno via an in­for­ma­tion dis­play at the heart of the in­stru­ment clus­ter giv­ing a clear pic­ture of the state of the ve­hi­cle.

A 4.2-inch colour LCD screen dis­plays a range of in­for­ma­tion in­clud­ing fuel ef­fi­ciency, en­gine out­put, aver­age ve­hi­cle speed and driv­ing style. A com­bined fuel cy­cle con­sump­tion of 5.2 litres per 100km for the 1.0-litre turbo is close to re­al­ity, some­thing not all that com­mon these days.

In the real world, the Boost­er­jet test car clocked 5.7 litres per 100km in city traf­fic and 3.6 litres per 100km at mo­tor­way speeds.

The Baleno ride and han­dling up with the best in the seg­ment, while disc brakes all round on the GLX rein in the Boost­er­jet power when re­quired.

The rein­vented Suzuki Baleno is a world away from its 1990s coun­ter­part, while Boost­er­jet power de­liv­ers pleas­ing per­for­mance with wel­come fuel econ­omy. It’s an ap­peal­ing pack­age.

Pic­tures: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

The Suzuki Baleno re­turns — with the lat­est looks and ex­cel­lent cabin space.

The cargo area can carry 355 litres of gear.

The Baleno can carry four adults with ease.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.