New Baleno is Due Midyear. We’ve Taken a Look and it’s Pretty Good
Suzuki recently invited us around to take a peek at its next-generation 2022 Baleno and our man returned impressed. You should know the Baleno. You know the Suzuki hatchback that Toyota also sells? Well, there’s a new one on its way and Suzuki, which actually builds all the cars, is justifiably excited about it. Packing a brand new design philosophy and specification like you’ve never seen before in both GL and GLX spec, and improved performance and handling, we took a closer look. Even if we were only able to pore over the aesthetics at this stage.
BALENO IN SA HOT OFF WORLD LAUNCH
“We are delighted to confirm our local Baleno product line-up and its all-new specifications just two days after the global reveal,” Suzuki marketing suit Brendon Carpenter admitted. “We are most excited about the new Baleno, which will no doubt prove a treat for buyers. “New Baleno also signals much of what we can expect from Suzuki in the coming decade.”
Originally launched in 2015, the existing Baleno introduced a new Suzuki Liquid Flow design language in a high specification lightweight weight, yet powerful compact hatch. This new Baleno
ushers in a new ‘Crafted Futurism’ design philosophy with market-leading spec and an even sharper power to weight solution. Featuring a blend of of organic and dynamic lines, a new 3D grille and striking headlights in a purposeful stance, step inside to find a multi-layered dash and higher-grade materials for a more spacious feel. Nice to look at and smooth to operate, too.
Even GL models now gain cruise and rear vents climate controls, 7” touchscreen infotainment with two USB As and a USB C port. That adds to the leather multifunction steering wheel, cruise control and power windows and wing mirrors. New Baleno also adds Hill Hold Control to its ESP, dual airbags with EBD and BAS anti skid braking. GLX steps up to a crisp and striking custom 9-inch CarPlay and Auto infotainment with 360-degree view cameras. Add a first in segment Heads-up display, keyless entry, button start, six airbags, LED DRL headlights, and cool 16” alloys.
NOW LIGHTER, MORE POWERFUL
Suzuki’s new 77 kW 138 Nm 1.5 litre K15B engine adds 9kW and 8 Nm to the outgoing 1.4 litre lump. New Baleno weighs 955 kg for a best-in-class 81 kW per tonne power-to-weight ratio. That’s 10% less than its class average for a 30% better power-to-weight ratio. Little wonder Toyota buys these things by the tens of thousands to sell with different badges on! Steering and drivetrain are also tweaked for a more engaging drive and Baleno’s patented TECT high-tensile steel safety shell is now even more rigid. Can’t wait to drive it!
What we can tell you for now, is that the new Suzuki Baleno boasts a great soft touch cabin and solid build quality. It’s big, yet light for for its segment and that 1500cc normally aspirated engine delivers turbocharged levels of power and torque. But how well will that translate at Reef altitudes? Time will tell. Baleno will come in the choice of a five-speed manual or four-speed automatics, in both GL and GLX grades. And it will come in a broader choice of colours too. Expect new Baleno in SA, and more details, around midyear. — Ken Hawkins