Suzuki will launch the second-generation Baleno hatchback in South Africa in the third quarter of 2022.
The new Baleno will be offered in two derivatives and have a 1.5-litre engine available across the range.
One of these cars is already in the country doing its local testing procedures – and we got a sneak preview.
The new Suzuki Baleno has a generous specification sheet, with many features that weren’t included before.
The entry-level GL model is now fitted with a 7-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring, fabric seats, cruise control, climate control, hill-hold assist, two USB ports, rear aircon vents, electric windows and mirrors, a leather multifunction steering wheel, and dual front airbags.
The top-of-the-line Baleno GLX sports all the bells and whistles, including a 360-degree camera system, keyless entry and start, chrome door handles, 16-inch alloys, all-round LED lights with daytime running lights, a heads-up display, six airbags, and a 9-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and voice recognition.
The new Baleno has not yet been put through any NCAP crash tests, and a Suzuki spokesperson told TopAuto that the crash tests will depend on its sales performance and the demand from public to have the car tested.
However, he said Suzuki has performed multiple in-house crash tests of the new Baleno and that it is built to high safety standards.
In terms of dimensions, the new Baleno’s width is the same as the model it is replacing – while it sits 10mm lower and measures 5mm shorter.
Suzuki said this eats into boot space by a handful of litres, but that the larger size of the cabin makes up for that.
Under the hood of the new Baleno sits a 1.5-litre engine producing 77kW and 138Nm – a 9kW and 8Nm improvement over the outgoing generation.
Both the GL and GLX can be bought with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual gearbox, which is the first time the entry-level Baleno can be bought with an automatic transmission.
Suzuki added that drivers will feel an improved performance thanks to the uprated engine.
Production of the second-generation Suzuki Baleno will start in April 2022, with the first models arriving in South Africa from June 2022, said Suzuki South Africa.