Sprint Review: Suzuki Baleno Manual GLX

The darkest horse of them all

The Suzuki Baleno was introduced into the Southern-African market in 2016 and while it has not created many waves since, we at NamWheels believe it to be the other way around. Why look away from a car with outstanding fuel consumption, massive amounts of space, a reliable engine, and a B-segment price, even if it challenges the price offering of most C-segment cars?

Even Toyota could not shy away from its appeal.

Let us leave the stirring for now and rather look at what the Baleno has to offer.

Joining the fray as Suzuki’s largest hatchback, the Baleno stands at just under 4 metres long. It is therefore some 70mm longer than the incredibly popular Swift. This roughly translates to 355L of luggage capacity, which easily results in 1085 litres when the rear seats are folded down. Rear legroom is therefore also not a surprise, with long individuals fully capable of sitting with ease.

A 1.4 litre engine powers this 915kg car, developing 68kW (at 6,000rpm) and 130Nm (at 4,000rpm). Although these figures will not set new records, the Baleno is fully capable of carrying quite a load with ease. Running through the gears can also be a lot of fun, with this 5-speed manual gearbox delivering great output under high revolutions.

Inside, our GLX derivative featured a 7-inch touchscreen with a reverse camera, smartphone connection (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as USB and Bluetooth), cruise control and a very stylish climate control.

In terms of safety, the Baleno is fitted as standard with ABS (with EBD), pedestrian protection, ISOFIX points, as well as five front airbags.

Suzuki’s recent month-to-month sales records (as well as the Maruti partnership with Toyota) indicates the potential of this brand. We are glad to see that more and more people are realising this.

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