A minor facelift sees the headlights adopting a 3D design, and they’re LED powered in the higher-spec GLX model.Picture: SUPPLIED
A minor facelift sees the headlights adopting a 3D design, and they’re LED powered in the higher-spec GLX model.Picture: SUPPLIED

Suzuki’s Baleno range in SA has been updated with a new look, upgraded trim and upholstery, and a specification upgrade on both the GL and GLX models.

In the past few years the compact hatchback has become popular for its B-segment price and near C-segment space, and at 3,995mm long it is 70mm longer than a Suzuki Swift.

For 2019 the three Baleno derivatives adopt a restyled grille and modernised headlights with a three-dimensional design, while on the range-topping GLX specification the high-impact discharge (HID) lights are replaced with LEDs.

The GLX models have fog lamps, polished diamond-cut alloy wheels, exterior chrome embellishments, a rear spoiler and dark privacy glass at the rear. A new Magma Grey metallic has been added to the palette of colours.

Inside, the Baleno is jazzed up with a new two-tone colour treatment, brushed aluminium detailing and a classier-looking cloth on the seats and doors.

The standard GL model, available only in five-speed manual, gets features such as aircon, electric windows, remote central locking, and a radio with Bluetooth and USB socket. Safety fare comprises ABS brakes and dual front airbags.

Cabin adopts a new dual-tone look with classier materials. Picture: SUPPLIED
Cabin adopts a new dual-tone look with classier materials. Picture: SUPPLIED

The higher-specced GLX in addition lays on features such as cruise control, climate control, rear park distance control with a camera, and an infotainment system with a full-colour touchscreen and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The airbag count is increased to six, and braking power is boosted by using discs instead of drums at the rear wheels.

The GLX is also offered with a choice of a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic, the latter offering better commuting convenience but a slightly higher claimed fuel consumption (5.4l/100km vs 5.1l).

Mechanically the vehicle is unchanged from the pre-facelift version, retaining the normally aspirated 1.4l petrol engine with variable valve timing. Power outputs are 68kW and 130Nm but there is more spring in this car’s step than those numbers suggest due to the Baleno weighing a flyweight 915kg.

PRICES:

Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GL manual — R209,900

Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX manual — R244,900

Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX auto — R259,900

Prices include a five-year/200,000km warranty and four-year/60,000km service plan.