2022 Suzuki Baleno review
With the Suzuki brand constantly on the rise in South Africa, we had a go in their all-new Baleno which we had sampled at launch and just like at the launch, the seven days we spent with it definitely convinced us that it was a winner.
From a look's point of view, the new Baleno has been given an all-new front end that features LED Headlights with DRL. New LED taillights complement the rear while 16-inch alloys on the GLX derivative look incredible. Under the skin, the steering and suspension have been improved, which Suzuki contributes to a smoother ride, while the body is stiffer and sleeker.
Inside, the Baleno has some great supportive seats while the multifunctional steering wheel feels and looks good. The 9-inch touchscreen infotainment unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionalities works without hassles. Our slight issue is the lack of physical buttons; something you thought we would get used to by now.
The addition of a USB and a USB-C port in the rear is something we appreciated quite a lot! Suzuki has also fitted heads-up display in the range-topping GLX models and although we could not adjust anything, it is a feature that makes this car in this segment stand out. Another nice feature is the 360-degree camera which works brilliantly. Overall, the cabin is spacious with enough room for four adults and the boot capacity is just impressive.
Features on the GLX:
- 9-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- 360-degree camera
- Head-up display
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- Keyless access with push-button start
- LED daytime running lights and projector headlamps
As far as safety is concerned, the Baleno range is equipped with enough safety systems. The GL model has two front airbags, ABS (anti-lock braking system) and electronic stability control while the GLX model we had on test has four more airbags (side and curtain airbags). Hill Start Assist is also standard on both GL and GLX trims.
The biggest change in the engine bay was the addition of a 1.5-litre petrol engine that is used by some of its stablemates. The powerplant produces 77kW/138nm of torque via. its 5-speed manual transmission or its 4-speed automatic transmission. The engine is punchy and most importantly frugal. We found ourselves beating the claimed fuel consumption figures which is something we always struggle to do so hats off to Suzuki!
Being the manual variant, the gearbox is incredible! It's direct and light and works perfectly with the clutch. Our only slight issue would be the loud rev sound it does once you are on the highway, a sixth gear would have solved this problem. However, it's nothing to cry about. The steering is pleasantly light and the car's handling is impressive.
Overall, the Suzuki Baleno is one impressive offering, especially in its price range. It is evident why the Suzuki marquee keeps making strides in our South African market, they keep offering value-for-money products and the Baleno is definitely one of those value-for-money products.
Suzuki Baleno 1.5 GL manual - R225 900
Suzuki Baleno 1.5 GL auto - R245 900
Suzuki Baleno 1.5 GLX manual - R275 900
Suzuki Baleno 1.5 GLX auto - R295 900