Suzuki Baleno: return of a compact

Stefan Baldauf /Guido ten Brink
Prices Suzuki Baleno
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The Japanese automobile manufacturer Suzuki already had the new edition of the compact hatchback model B aleno presented. The Baleno should score with a stylish design, generous interior space and new innovative technologies.

At the Geneva Motor Show, Suzuki had already given an outlook on how the compact car division should be expanded with the iK-2. The manufacturer called the principle of the lines 'liquid flow design'. A one-liter turbo gasoline engine with direct injection was installed in the concept car. Now the new Baleno is on sale. The Japanese give the base price for the 90 hp version at 13,790 euros. With the 111 hp petrol engine on board, the Baleno costs from 17,990 euros.

Suzuki Baleno also with hybrid drive

The new Suzuki Baleno is almost four meters long, 1.75 meters wide and 1.47 meters high. With a wheelbase of 2.52 meters, the Baleno should offer space for 5 people and a luggage compartment of 355 liters.

When it comes to the drive, customers can choose between a one-liter turbo gasoline engine with 111 hp and 170 Nm torque and a 90 HP strong 1.2-liter gasoline hybrid drive. The turbo gasoline engine comes with a manual 5-speed gearbox or a six-speed automatic. The hybrid with an integrated starter generator works with a 5-speed gearbox or a CVT box.

The Suzuki Baleno also features an emergency brake assistant, an adaptive cruise control with speed limiter and a smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay.

The predecessor models of the Suzuki Baleno were built from 1995 to 2001. At that time, a compact car, a station wagon and a notchback were on offer. There was also a choice of three petrol engines from 86 to 121 hp and a diesel with 75 hp.

Stefan Baldauf /Guido ten Brink
The interior is permeated of hard plastic. But it's no wonder: after all, the Baleno is a car for little money.
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Seat sample Suzuki Baleno

First the positive: The space in the Suzuki Baleno is right. Four people fit into the small car without any problems - sensational in view of the short exterior length. The relatively long wheelbase of 2,520 millimeters helps. After all, nine centimeters more than the Suzuki Swift. The trunk volume is Suzuki with 355 liters. That's very neat for the B segment. The glove compartment is a bit small. The exhibition Baleno has already suffered a bit, welcomes us with a seat that squeaks as soon as you sit down and move a little. Hopefully the series Baleno will be spared that.

Inexpensive hard plastic dominates the interior. The material processing lags behind the otherwise routine Suzuki standard in some places: the plastic cover with the Suzuki logo on the steering wheel has a small but sharp edge at the back. There is still a piece missing for the series finish.

Suzuki has installed a small touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard. This reduces the number of buttons and keys. The volume for the radio can be adjusted with a swiping motion. Or alternatively via the steering wheel. There is no controller below the touchscreen. Really great: the audio system is compatible with Apple Carplay.


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