The Suzuki Baleno is a value-packed vehicle offering big-car feel for less money than a Polo. However, it was always missing one thing - stability control.
The Baleno was recently facelifted towards the end of 2019, introducing a new infotainment system complete with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The Baleno also acquired some new styling additions in the form of LED lights a new front bumper design and a revised grille.
The rear end featured a new tailgate-mounted spoiler giving it a sportier look from what was originally a fairly plain design.
For this latest update, ESP is added across the range as standard fitment. You get traction control and stability control included in this system which bolsters the Baleno’s safety equipment levels. Previously, not having ESP seemed to be a major downside to the Baleno’s high-value offering and often stopped it from being included in the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards - powered by WesBank. The awards system places a high value on safety especially in a segment where families are often transported.
The entry-level GL Baleno comes fitted with 2 airbags, ABS, EBD and brake assist as well as the new ESP suite. The GLX builds on this with a total of 6 airbags.
The engine remains the same, fuel-efficient 1.4-litre petrol. It puts out 68 kW and 130 Nm of torque and with a 5-speed manual transmission claims to use 5.1L/100 km. The 4-speed auto is claimed at 5.4L/100 km.
The improvements to Baleno are no doubt a prequel to Toyota SA's announcement that it would bring the Toyota Starlet to SA in October. The Starlet is a carbon copy of the Baleno but features a Toyota badge on the front and rear.
Suzuki Baleno Pricing
Baleno 1.4 GL M/T - R221 900
Baleno 1.4 GLX MT - R259 900
Baleno 1.4 GLX AT - R274 900
The Baleno is sold with a 5-year/200 000 km mechanical warranty and a 4-year/60 000 km service plan.