Suzuki SA beefs up Baleno safety kit as its Toyota twin’s launch looms
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JOHANNESBURG - We’re not sure how nervous Suzuki might be about the imminent arrival of Toyota’s Starlet, which is essentially a rebadged version Suzuki’s own Indian-made Baleno, but the local importer has just announced a safety upgrade for its compact hatch.
According to Suzuki Auto South Africa, electronic stability program (ESP) has just been made standard across the Baleno range, at no extra cost. As a reminder, ESP systems combine stability control and traction control into one system that helps keep the vehicle on the road in slippery or challenging conditions.
As before, the Baleno GL models come with dual front airbags as standard, while the fancier GLX adds side and curtain bags.
The comfort spec list remains as before, with the GL packing all the basics like aircon, electric windows, audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, multi-function steering wheel, keyless entry and a height-adjustable driver’s seat.
The GLX sweetens the deal with automatic climate control, cruise control, rear park distance control, push-button start, a front armrest and an 17.8cm touchscreen infotainment system with reverse camera as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Also as before, power is provided by a 1.4-litre normally aspirated petrol engine that produces 68kW and 130Nm, with power going to the front wheels through either a five-speed manual or four-speed autobox.
The GL is priced at R221 900 and the GLX starts at R259 900. In the sales race against its Toyota twin, which launches this coming Monday, Suzuki will no doubt be emphasising its five-year/200 000km mechanical warranty and four-year/60 000km service plan.