Big, Bold, and Beau­ti­ful Baleno

Premier Magazine (South AFrica) - - Motoring -

Mak­ing its world de­but at the 2015 Frank­furt Mo­tor Show, the Suzuki Baleno hatch­back (a fair ri­val to the new Yaris and Corsa) has been avail­able in South Africa since the last quar­ter of 2016, and might just be one of the most sur­pris­ing re­cent mod­els. The first im­pres­sion when climb­ing into the Suzuki Baleno for a road test was “wow”. The new Baleno’s fo­cus on lightweight con­struc­tion en­sured that the 1.4-litre nor­mally as­pi­rated four-cylin­der en­gine’s en­thu­si­asm is put to good use, re­sult­ing in a brisk per­for­mance at 68 kw. The in­te­rior is stylish as well as spa­cious, sport­ing more than enough room for four peo­ple. The lug­gage com­part­ment is gen­er­ous at 355 litres with the rear bench seat raised, and can be ex­tended to 756 litres with the rear seat folded flat. The to­tal rear vol­ume to roof height with the seat folded is 1,085 litres. The in­te­rior also fea­tures a use­ful 6.2-inch in­fo­tain­ment screen, USB and aux­il­iary ports, and six airbags in the GLX model, which en­joys the ad­van­tage of a leather-cov­ered steer­ing wheel, and 16” al­loy wheels. Test­ing the Baleno for a week was a fun ex­pe­ri­ence, and the car has a good build qual­ity, cruise con­trol, park dis­tance as­sist, and the ad­e­quate 3-year/100,000 km war­ranty, as well as the 4-year/60,000 km ser­vice plan – in­di­cat­ing that Suzuki is se­ri­ous about pro­vid­ing a vi­able al­ter­na­tive to brand en­thu­si­asts and b-seg­ment buy­ers who may find the Swift just too small for their taste. Price: From R199,900

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