Launched: Suzuki Baleno

South Africa’s automotive industry is ever evolving with different cars coming into showroom floors almost daily. The all-new Suzuki Baleno has been launched to take on the Volkswagen Polo Vivo and Toyota Starlet, and we headed to KZN to sample this product.

What is it about?

The Baleno slots above the Suzuki Swift making it the more premium offering in the stable. It was first revealed in February 2022, donning super cool new looks and Suzuki’s new design language called Crafted Futurism. This design language encompasses dynamic lines, large headlights and a wider front air intake, making it a new and more appealing car than its predecessor.


Upon arrival in Kwa-Zulu Natal, we had two models on offer, GL and GLX but only in manual guise. The Baleno drives well, the noise insulation is good and the size of the vehicle is decent. I was highly impressed by the boot space of 314 litres, and when the seats are in a 60:40 split, you can get 1057 litres, which is really commendable. I was also impressed by the interior upgrades. In the GLX model, you get a heads-up display, a 360 degree camera and a large 9 inch infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity. The standard specifications in the GL include a 7-inch infotainment system, cruise control, a multi-function leather steering wheel, LED front fog lamps and a reverse camera. The technology in the Baleno is easy to use and intuitive, making it a great car for almost any consumer.

The ride

Underneath the bonnet, you get a 1.5l engine that produces 77kW/138Nm, which is an eager and spritely engine. The ride of the Baleno is smooth – noise insulation in the cabin is good and the seats are fairly comfortable, making the drive something bearable and fun. Our route began from King Shaka airport and we ended in up in the cold KZN Midlands for our overnight stop, and there was little struggle to get there with this car. This is the same engine that one will find in the Suzuki Jimny and Ertiga. Suzuki claims a fuel consumption of 5.4l/100km, which is the exact figures we need with these ever-escalating fuel prices.


Overall, the launch experience of the Baleno was good. With Suzuki’s current success in sales, the Baleno will definitely do well in South Africa, especially with the asking price of R225 900 for the GL model. If you want more niceties and are crazy over spec, the GLX is your guy, priced at R295 900. Suzuki is targeting monthly sales of 500 units of the Baleno, and with the extensive offering, decent standard spec and competitive pricing, they have got a good product on their hands.

All Baleno’s are sold with a 5-year/200 000km warranty and a 4-year/60 000km service plan.

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