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New and more powerful Suzuki Baleno confirmed for SA, will spawn new Toyota Starlet

Published Feb 28, 2022


Johannesburg - Suzuki Auto South Africa has confirmed that the extensively updated Baleno hatchback will arrive in South Africa in June this year.

Although the basic shell of the previous Suzuki Baleno carries over, the front and rear ends have been completely redesigned, as has the more feature-packed cabin, and there’s also a new engine beneath the bonnet.

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A redesigned Baleno also means a new Toyota Starlet, which should be nearly identical, and it appears that this model will launch soon after its Suzuki counterpart.

Maruti Suzuki of India has made extensive changes to the structure and mechanicals of this vehicle. Most notable is that the current 1.4-litre normally aspirated petrol engine makes way for Suzuki’s more modern 1.5-litre unit, which boasts 77kW and 138Nm. That’s 9kW and 8Nm more than before, and the car is still impressively light, with a kerb weight of 955kg.

Suzuki has also improved the suspension and steering, while the shell has been made more rigid through the use of additional high-tensile steel.

Moving inside, the dashboard has been completely redesigned and buyers can look forward to more features. Suzuki SA has also added a GL automatic model to the range, meaning that both spec grades are now available with both gearbox options.

In terms of spec, the entry-level GL model is equipped with several new features, including a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control, automatic climate control, hill-hold control, two USB sockets and rear ventilation. This comes in addition to existing standard features like electric windows and mirrors, leather-covered multi-function steering wheel, dual front airbags, ABS and ESP stability control.

The more luxurious Suzuki Baleno GLX model upgrades to a new 9.0-inch high-definition infotainment system, and it also gains Heads Up Display and a 360-degree view camera. Other standard features include keyless entry with push-button start, colour information display, LED headlights and foglamps, six airbags and 16-inch alloy wheels.

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The new model will be available with five new exterior colours: Celestial Blue Pearl Metallic, Opulent Red Pearl Metallic, Luxe Beige Pearl Metallic, Grandeur Grey and Splendid Silver Pearl Metallic. These join the existing Midnight Black Pearl and Arctic White Pearl hues.

Pricing will be announced nearer to launch.

IOL Motoring

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