THE compact car market is here to stay, mostly for economic factors as the global economy continues to bite into the resources of people in the lower rungs of the economy. However, driving a smallish car should not be a tedious experience and the Baleno shows, from every angle you look at it, that you can be in a small car and still enjoy going places.
Sizewise, it’s a pleasure to know that the Baleno compares very well with compact car giants such as the Hyundai i20 and big enough to match the Mazda2. The Baleno is also more spacious and boasts features of modern personal technology and all. For example, Baleno GLX features a 6.2-inch infotainment system, a useful tool in 21st century motoring.
Back to space capacity, Baleno is just excellent with a boot size of 355-litres, which can extend to 1 085-litres when the rear seats are folded down.
All models have fabric seats, albeit of satisfactory standard, with the top of the range GLX boasting a leather ensconced steering wheel. The Baleno GL is fitted with 15-inch steel wheels while GLX stands on 16-inch alloys.
More superior features for the GLX include cruise control, automatic air-conditioning and rear park distance control. While the GL has two airbags, the GLX boasts additional four to raise safety stakes to commendable standards. The GLX also has rear disc brakes, compared to the GL’s rear drum brakes. However, all this does not make the GL anyway a slouch in looks and performance. The USB and Aux ports are standard feature across the range.
Fuel economy and performance
Suzuki puts the Baleno’s petrol economy at 5.1 L/100 km for the manual and 5.4 L/100 km, a handsome ching back into the pocket in a long term for the owner. The Baleno is not built for power performance but once it is past its rather sluggish 0-100 kph sprint in 10.9 seconds, the automatic a bit slower at 11.6 seconds, this compact vehicles pays back with keen, steady and smooth drive.
Baleno 1.4 GL MT R199 900
Baleno 1.4 GLX MT R229 900
Baleno 1.4 GLX AT R244 900