Johannesburg - One of South Africa’s most affordable B-segment hatchbacks, the Suzuki Baleno, has been given a midlife makeover.
Now available in local showrooms, the Baleno gains numerous design enhancements both inside and out. Although the front end retains a familiar presence, there is a new bumper with larger side air inlets as well as a resculpted bonnet with new crease lines, redesigned grille with thicker chrome surround and new headlights that sport a 3D look, while full LED lamps adorn the GLX model. The range-topping GLX also receives new ‘diamond cut’ alloy wheels.
A new colour called Magma Grey joins the menu along with five other existing hues.
Talking colour, the Baleno now has two-tone seat-upholstery and door trim, featuring a combination of black and blue, while new brushed aluminium garnishes adorn parts of the dashboard, instrument cluster and steering wheel.
On the mechanical front, the Baleno carries over the previous 1.4-litre unit that produces 68kW and 130Nm and as before, it’s available with five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmission choices. It’s a perfectly adequate engine in our experience, particularly considering the car weighs just 915kg, but we would certainly like to see the new 1.5-litre motor under this hood, and one or two of Suzuki’s new Boosterjet turbo motors for that matter.