Classic race cars go up for sale
IT MIGHT NOT LOOK LIKE MUCH, BUT JUSTIN CONNOLLY FOUND MUCH TO LIKE IN THIS HATCHBACK
NOW, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the rush of the push of the pedal to the floor as much as the next person, but I have to admit: I’m a bit of a lazy driver.
I can’t wait for the days of true automation (as long as you can turn it off on the weekends, of course).
Imagine it - an extra half-hour of nod as your autonomous vehicle transports you quickly and safely to work. Bring it on.
Which brings me to this week’s test vehicle, and the point I’m slowly getting to. Honest.
I give you the Suzuki Baleno 1.0 SZ5 Boosterjet. It might not look like much, and at £16,484 (and that includes £400 for fancy paint as well) on the road, your expectations might be set accordingly.
But you, would, I suspect, be as surprised as I was to find this car fitted with one of the greatest inventions mankind has ever come up with (bested only by the Space Shuttle in my book) - of course, I’m talking about adaptive cruise control.
Sadly, it was not teamed with an automatic gear box, but at that price you have to make choices. And if you do a decent amount of motorway driving (especially if that motorway is the M60), you should understand just how valuable adaptive cruise control is. It makes everything easier.
So far, so good, then. But what about the rest of it?
Well, it has one other big thing going for it - it’s an excellent drive.
Although we’re looking at only 1ltr power units (which return around 60mpg combined), the fact that the car is so nicely set up, and is so very light, it’s a lot more fun behind the wheel than it looks (even when you’re using the cruise control...).
Its looks are perhaps the only downside given the price - I can;’t see anyone preferring the lines here to those you might find on many of its rivals. It’s just a bit ordinary-looking. If that is something that doesn’t concern you (and there’s no reason why it should), you’re getting a lot for your money. That’s especially tru when you consider the bottom end of the range comes in at around £13k.
Another drawback is (perhaps a consequence of its lightweight body), it can feel a little bit flimsy - curiously the rear doors feel different to the front doors: there’s a lot less heft to them and they surprise when you open them.
The light body also allows a good deal more noise into the cabin, especially on the motorway.
Still, something has to be compromised when the price is as low as this.
I think they’ve made the right choices on that front, and whether you feel the same or not, there’s no denying you’re looking at good value for money.
Suzuki Baleno 1.0 SZ5 Boosterjet