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Suzuki Baleno Review

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

1/10

Suzuki Baleno

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Suzuki Baleno

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Suzuki Baleno

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Suzuki Baleno

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Suzuki Baleno

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Suzuki Baleno

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Suzuki Baleno

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Suzuki Baleno

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Suzuki Baleno

10/10

1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2016
      Body type
      Small hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol
00/10
heycar rating
The surprisingly good supersized hatch

Best bits

  • Punchy and efficient petrol engines
  • Excellent specification for the price
  • More practical and spacious than the Swift

Not so great

  • Interior lacks quality
  • Humdrum and forgettable styling
  • No diesel option

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Suzuki Baleno Front Side View

Overall verdict

Suzuki Baleno Driver's Seat

On the inside

Suzuki Baleno Front View

Driving

Suzuki Baleno Right Side View

How much does it cost to run

Suzuki Baleno Rear View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Suzuki Baleno is far from perfect, but don’t its the humdrum styling and absence of charm fool you, because this is an underrated gem. Not only is it good fun to drive, it comes with a long list of equipment and it will be cheap to run."

Suzuki Baleno Front Side View

Suzuki put a lot of work into the Baleno. It’s based on what was then an all-new lightweight platform and it featured Suzuki’s first mild hybrid system. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine was also the second application of Suzuki’s brilliantly named Boosterjet technology.


Suzuki put a lot of work into the Baleno. It’s based on what was then an all-new lightweight platform and it featured Suzuki’s first mild hybrid system. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine was also the second application of Suzuki’s brilliantly named Boosterjet technology.


How did you reward Suzuki’s efforts? By totally ignoring the Baleno. Although the supersize supermini has enjoyed success on the global stage, it was largely bypassed in Europe, which led to its withdrawal in 2019.


It deserved better. Beneath the humdrum styling and drab cabin lies a surprisingly characterful car that offers exceptional value for money. If you’re struggling to place it in the market, it’s a more practical version of the Suzuki Swift, with a larger boot and enough room for five adults.


Because it’s so light – some versions tip the scales at just 935kg – the Baleno can make the most of its small petrol engines. The 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine is an absolute riot, giving the Baleno a terrific turn of pace to go with its agility and nimbleness. A 0-62mph time of 11.4 seconds for the manual version might not seem quick on paper, but it feels faster in practice.


There’s also a 1.2-litre non-turbocharged petrol engine which is available with the Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki (SHVS) mild hybrid technology. By using a separate electric motor for engine restarts, the SHVS delivers a modest improvement in efficiency. It’s not a proper hybrid, so we’d opt for the hugely enjoyable Boosterjet instead.


Dynamically, it’s a bit of mixed bag. It’s clear that Suzuki wanted to maintain some distance between the Baleno and the Swift. As a result, the Baleno majors on comfort and ease-of-use, rather than dynamic thrills. That’s not to say that the Baleno is unable to entertain. Show it a corner and it will handle it with a touch of body-roll and a huge dollop of grip.


Inside, the cabin is as dour as the exterior, with the dashboard looking like it was lifted straight outta the 1990s. It doesn’t help that the plastics feel cheap and scratchy, although there’s a sense that everything was built to last.


In the back, there’s enough room for three adults, while the boot is larger than you’ll find in most superminis. It falls somewhere between a supermini and a family hatchback, so the Baleno is the car to opt for if a lack of space was the only reason you didn’t buy a Suzuki Swift.


Standard equipment is fine on the entry-level version, but the mid-range and flagship models offer better value for money. Some of the kit fitted as standard would cost far more in a car with a premium badge, so there’s a real sense that you’re getting more for your money.


It’s a good car. It might lack the badge appeal or smart styling of many of its rivals, but the Baleno is one of the sector’s most underrated gems. It’s not too late to make the discovery.

Ready to get your top quality Suzuki Baleno?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked

Suzuki Baleno

1.0 Boosterjet SZ-T 5dr

  • 2019
  • 8,185 miles
  • Brenwood
  • Fife, KY13NH
Price:£8,250
PCP: £147.68/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £147.68, Customer Deposit: £1,237.00, Total Deposit: £1,237.50, Optional Final Payment: £3,505.00, Total Charge For Credit: £1,661.30, Total Amount Payable: £9,911.30, Representative APR: 10.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 10.34%, Excess Mileage Charge: 4ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Suzuki Baleno

1.2 Dualjet SZ3 5dr

  • 2019
  • 7,000 miles
  • JCT600 Approved Boston
  • Lincolnshire, PE217QS
Price:£7,750
PCP: £145.84/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £145.84, Customer Deposit: £1,162.00, Total Deposit: £1,162.50, Optional Final Payment: £3,002.50, Total Charge For Credit: £1,519.40, Total Amount Payable: £9,269.40, Representative APR: 10.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 10.85%, Excess Mileage Charge: 7.2ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Suzuki Baleno right for you?

If the Suzuki Swift isn’t practical enough for you, the Baleno could be just the ticket. In many ways it’s the more mature and grown-up version of the Swift, with the Baleno trading magic and sparkle for practicality and economy.


Technically it’s a supermini, but the Baleno rivals some cars from the class above in terms of boot space and rear-seat accommodation.


It’s also surprisingly good fun to drive, especially if you opt for the punchy and efficient 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine. You just have to put up with the rather drab styling and the questionable interior quality. But given the level of spec and the low prices, we think you’ll cope.

What’s the best Suzuki Baleno model/engine to choose?

Brilliant by name, brilliant by nature. The 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine sounds like one of those space rockets you drew as a child. Although it won’t take you to the moon and back, it does offer long-legged economy and a terrific turn of pace. It makes the Suzuki Baleno one of the gems of the supermini sector.


A 0-62mph time of 11.4 seconds doesn’t sound quick on paper, but it feels more rapid on the road. This is thanks in so small part to the Baleno’s low weight, with Suzuki’s supermini tipping the scales at less than 1,000kg.


In terms of trim level, we’d opt for the flagship SZ5. Not only do you get a terrific level of standard equipment, the car also features the safety kit required to achieve a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Without this, the Baleno is rated at just three stars for safety.

What other cars are similar to the Suzuki Baleno?

The most obvious rival to the Suzuki Baleno is the Suzuki Swift. It’s similar to its showroom sibling, but with the benefit of more space in the back and a larger boot.


It’s similar in style and format to the Honda Jazz and Nissan Note, in the respect that the practicality makes it a kind of supersize supermini. Although the Baleno cannot offer the flexibility of the Jazz, it offers better value for money.


Other rivals include the Dacia Sandero, Skoda Fabia, Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Hyundai i20, Kia Rio and Renault Clio.

Learn more

Suzuki Baleno Driver's Seat

On the inside

Suzuki Baleno Front View

Driving

Suzuki Baleno Right Side View

How much does it cost to run

Suzuki Baleno Rear View

Prices, versions and specification