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Suzuki has unveiled its new Baleno compact hatchback and confirmed that it will arrive in SA showrooms three months from now.
“The importance of the SA market to Suzuki is evidenced by the fact that we can confirm the product line-up and specifications of the all-new Baleno a mere two days after the global reveal,” says Brendon Carpenter, brand marketing manager of Suzuki Auto SA.
The new model reflects a new design philosophy called “crafted futurism”, and new levels of specifications. This includes elements such as a wider front air intake, the new three-dimensional grille design and the flow of the body lines and brightwork in one continuous swoop.
The Baleno grades continue as entry-level GL and higher-end GLX models but in all versions there’s a new a multilayered dashboard, as well as more comfortable and contoured seats in higher-grade materials.
The GL specification consists of a leather-clad steering wheel with multifunction controls, a cruise control systems, electric windows and mirrors, climate control with rear-mounted air vents as standard, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a pair of USB type A front and back. There’s also a Type C port in the rear for charging.
Safety features include hill hold control, stability control, dual front airbags and ABS brakes.
The GLX ups the ante with a 9-inch high-definition infotainment system integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an interface with a high degree of customisation, a 360° view parking camera and a head-up display.
It has six airbags, LED daytime running lights, LED projector headlights, keyless entry, push-button start and dual-colour 16-inch alloy wheels.
Under the new bonnet lies a new 1.5l petrol engine with 77kW and 138Nm, an improvement of 9kW and 8Nm from the previous 1.4l motor. The Baleno also gains an automatic model in the GL specification, resulting in a four-model range of a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic in both GL and GLX guises.
The new Baleno also boasts tweaked suspension and steering for a more engaging driving experience.
The car will go on sale locally in June, with pricing to be announced at the time.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.