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SUPER SUZUKI? (some text hidden)
By Car & Driving
Suzuki are bringing back the Baleno nameplate as they expand their range. Although designed to compete against cars like the Ford Fiesta and Skoda Fabia, it promises greater levels of space at a bargain price. The experts at Car and Driving take a look.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 38
The Baleno is designed to compete in the same class as Suzuki's existing Swift but offer a very different ownership proposition. Riding on an all new platform with two clever petrol engines, is it different enough to succeed?
Backgroundword count: 154
The name Baleno is not a new one for Suzuki. The Japanese marque introduced its original Baleno back in 1995 as a bigger brother to the Swift supermini. Underneath the three-door hatchback, four-door saloon or estate bodyshell was a stretched Swift platform with certain engines shared. Although it was axed way back in 2002 and not exactly missed, Suzuki have still decided to resurrect the name. In a way, it's quite fitting. Although the new car is undoubtedly more interesting to look at than its predecessor, it offers much of the same. The key selling points are a competitive price and plenty of space inside for both passengers and their luggage. Like the original, it does this by being noticeably larger than the Swift and therefore other vehicles within the supermini class. Unlike the Nineties version, there's plenty of new componentry that could make the new Baleno a serious competitor in the supermini segment.
Driving Experienceword count: 160
There are a couple of petrol engine options in the Baleno; Suzuki's 1.0-litre three cylinder Boosterjet powerplant with 111PS. Or a 90PS 1.2-litre four cylinder variant that uses the brand's 'SHVS' mild hybrid technology. As the output suggests, it's the 1.0-litre variant that's the stronger performer, with 'DITC' 'Direct Injection turbocharged' technology offering 170Nm of torque, this available from 2,000rpm through to 3,500rpm. The optional six speed automatic transmission equipped model offers 160Nm of torque which is available slightly earlier at just 1,500rpm through to 4,000rpm. The 0-62mph acceleration time is rated at 11.4 seconds with manual transmission and 11.0 seconds for the optional automatic model. And through the bends? Well, while Suzuki do talk of 'superior driving perfomance', the Baleno is unlikely to be set up for B-road blasting. With the Swift such a fun little car, the focus here will be very much on ride comfort and refinement to ensure the Baleno appeals to a very different audience.
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