Despite global financial pressures, the Suzuki Baleno remains an affordable small car option for Australian buyers
Suzuki Australia has maintained the sub-$20,000 entry price of its India-sourced 2022 Baleno hatchback despite supply chain and pandemic-related pressures.
Available in a choice of either the entry-level GL and upper-spec GLX grade, the Baleno has been on sale in Australia since 2016 but received a notable facelift in August 2019.
In recent years the Honda Jazz hatch, Honda City sedan and Hyundai Accent have abandoned the Australian market while the Hyundai i20, Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris have switched to only offering higher-priced models due to a mix of increasing safety requirements, currency fluctuations and short supply of semiconductors and other parts.
Sourcing the Baleno from India is one factor insulating the Suzuki from these pressures, but its ageing platform also means it hasn’t yet been required to adopt costly new safety systems like AEB, drive attention monitoring and blind-spot monitoring.
Priced from $19,490 driveaway, the Baleno GL comes with a five-speed manual as standard with the four-speed automatic commanding a $1000 premium. The Baleno GLX is auto-only and priced from $22,990 driveaway.
Queensland buyers should note that Suzukis are distributed through a separate entity to the rest of Australia and as a result, the Baleno GL is priced at $19,990 driveaway for the manual and $20,990 for the auto with broadly the same features, the price of the GLX remains at $22,990 driveaway.
The Baleno GL includes a basic level of equipment including halogen headlights, front disc brakes and rear drums that are hidden by 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps on skinny 175mm tyres.
Inside, the interior features a 9.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that works in conjunction with a six-speaker sound system. Other features include a reversing camera, a leather steering wheel and single zone climate control.
Cloth seats are found throughout the range but stepping up to the Baleno GLX adds telescopic steering wheel adjustment (in addition to tilt), LED headlights, disc brakes at the rear and better-looking 16-inch alloy wheels.
Like its chief rival the MG 3, the Baleno has not been rated by ANCAP but it does include front, side and curtain airbags along with two ISOFIX points in back seats.
With the ability to seat five, the Baleno also does gain an advantage on its smaller competitors with its 355 litre boot capacity.
Under the bonnet is a 1.4-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine producing 68kW of power and 130Nm of torque that drives the front wheels.
While the outputs may not be blistering, the Baleno (like many Suzukis) boasts a sub-one tonne kerb weight. Clocking in at 895kg for the manual and 915kg for the auto, allowing the hatchback to make better use of what grunt is available.
The figures listed below are the driveaway prices.
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