Suzuki Baleno - Used

Car Review

Suzuki Baleno
Suzuki Baleno
Suzuki Baleno
Suzuki Baleno
Suzuki Baleno
Suzuki Baleno

WITH keen prices and generous standard equipment, plus very reasonable running costs and a high level of comfort, the Suzuki Baleno makes a very good smaller family hatch.

The company has an excellent record for reliability and the Baleno, which is a five door built between 2016 and 2019 is a brilliant car with room for four and a decent boot on top of many other class-leading attributes.

One of two power units available has a government economy figure of no less than 70 miles per gallon, which has to be fantastic for a petrol car.

From the outside it seems quite small, but that small footprint hides a Tardis-like interior.

The more powerful of two engines is Suzuki's excellent Boosterjet 1.0-litre turbo petrol, which in this guise, produces an excellent 110bhp.

To put that into context, it's not far off the power of some early 1.6 GTIi's, although they were a lot lighter.

It's good for 56mpg and will accelerate from 0 to 60 miles an hour in 10.9 seconds, although it feels quicker

The even more frugal option is a mild-hybrid 1.2-litre petrol with 88bhp, and this is the model that is rated at an excellent 70 miles per gallon. Obviously, it's a bit slower too, reaching the benchmark speed from rest in 11.9 seconds.

Both engines drive the front wheels through a slick changing five speed gearbox, and an automatic is available in some models.

Both are also smooth and quiet but the Boosterjet 1.0-litre is a gem, and beautifully tuneful when revved.

But there's actually little need to use the revs most of the time, because the turbo means it pulls happily from low speeds even in 5th gear.

The ride is brilliant - even in town at low speeds - and it stays just as good out on the open road, even when the surface is poor.

It takes speed humps and the multi-excavated town roads we all face every day completely in its stride

And despite some roll, it also holds the road really well, with excellent balance even when pushed very hard and good feedback from the decently tactile power steering.

Sharp changes of direction give it no difficulty and grip is excellent - despite fairly thin tyres to help economy.

This is a smaller car that I could easily live with because it's a joy to drive in almost every situation

Inside, it may not be particularly plush, but everything you need falls to hand and the seats are supportive and comfortable.

Taller passengers will be happy in the back, and access is easy through the wide opening doors.

The boot is also a good size, and will expand dramatically with the use of the split folding back eat.

All models come with excellent equipment including touchscreen infotainment with sat nav, stereo and a number of car functions.

They also have air conditioning, automatic lights, Bluetooth, USB, traction control and alloy wheels, so if you're downsizing, you won't miss out on much.

The SZ-T adds audio remote controls on the steering wheel, fog lights and parking sensors and the top SZ-5 gets autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and climate control among other extra kit.

The Baleno is likeable, good to drive, big inside, very comfortable and cheap to run. It's a real winner.

Pay about £5,700 for a '17 17-reg 1.2 Dualjet SZ-3, or £7,600 for a '19 19-reg 1.0 Boosterjet SZ-T.

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