I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

TMW - One of the rare cars that brings a smile to your face, and enjoy driving, that will be the Suzuki Baleno SZ5.

It is not very often that a car brings a smile to my face, and that I just get up and go out in it for a run, for the fun of it, I can count the number of cars that, this has happened too on one hand, and it is one of these cars that I have been testing this week, the Suzuki Baleno, an old name plate on a new car, one of a range of new cars that is using old name plates, Ignis is another that’s returning early next year, and I look forward to testing that shortly after its launch.

But the Baleno is a far better car than its predecessor, in all ways, it looks better, performs better, more economical, and is a great car to fly about in, the Boosterjet engine runs a 1.0 litre, 3-Cylinder, turbocharged engine, and it is so quick, that you would think that this car is a running a bigger engine, a 1.6 litre for instance, but the 1.0 litre not only has the get up and go of a bigger car, it has great fuel consumption, the manufacturers claimed is :-

  • ·         Urban 52.3mpg
  • ·         Extra Urban 70.6mpg
  • ·         Combined 62.7mpg
Although I never managed to get near to the Extra urban, or the combined, come to that, I was not far adrift of the Urban figure, this was mainly down to the fact that this car seems to like being driven with verve and in return you get a great peppy engine that has a tone to it, that sounds very sporty, and that makes you drive a little harder than you would normally drive.

The car has the speed, and it has the brakes to stop it too, with Radar Brake Support to warn you of impending doom, you never get yourself into any trouble, the variable cruise control is also a great addition to the range, and with Sat Nav, Bluetooth and Air Conditioning fitted to all models as standard, the kit list is left not wanting, the Radar brake Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control are standard on the SZ5 level.

CO2 levels of 105 on our test car and 94 for the lowest model give the car a £20 a year taxation after the first year, 124mph top speed seems a little high, but at a push and a back wind, the car will get there, but at speed you will notice a lot more noise, from both the engine and road/wind. To give you a car in the price range, £13,999, there has to be some corner cutting, and insulation is one that has been limited, personally, I would rather have a couple of options removed to the cost list, and put the money towards more insulation to give you a more quite experience behind the wheel.

But don’t think this is a bad thing, to a degree, the engine noise is part of the fun for this low cost car, and it did bring a smile to my face every time I drove the car, also when you see what you are getting for your money, it makes you wonder how they have managed to do it, the SZ5 model, has, as standard:-

  • ·         Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
  • ·         Immobiliser
  • ·         Deadlocks
  • ·         Adaptive Cruise Control
  • ·         Radar brake Support with Brake Assist Function
  • ·         Keyless Entry with Engine Start Button
  • ·         Electric Front and Rear Windows
  • ·         Drivers Foot Rest
  • ·         4.2 Inch Colour LCD Display
  • ·         Leather Steering Wheel with audio and Cruise Buttons
  • ·         Tachometer
  • ·         Digital Clock
  • ·         Automatic Air Conditioning
  • ·         Pollen Filter
  • ·         Guide Me Home Lights
  • ·         Front Fog Lights
  • ·         Privacy Glass
  • ·         Navigation System
  • ·         DAB Digital Radio
  • ·         16” Alloy Wheels
  • ·         Chrome Accents
  • ·         Roof Spoiler
  • ·         Six Airbags
And there are many more on top of this lot, so how have they done it, no idea, but you are getting a great car for little money, and these days, that’s all that matters, getting more car for your pound.

Suzuki are planning on selling 3,500 Baleno’s this year and on first impressions, this should be an easy task, the car is a really good looking model, has some style, stands out from other less pretty cars in the same class, and has the added benefit of being a car that can perform too, on the road the Baleno grips to the road very well, you don’t get any under or over steer in normal driving, but a small amount of torque steer is evident when you pull away with a lot more effort.

Corners are not a problem either, you just point the car where you want it to go and it does it with no fuss or issues, and like I have mentioned above the brakes are very good too, when you need them in an emergency.

Inside the car is a real surprise, I expect to see Peter Capaldi in there, it seems to have more room on the inside than you imagine possible from the looks outside, getting comfortable is easy too, with multiple positions for the seat and steering wheel, all tastes should be covered, the passenger also has loads of space, with a large open central area, where others usually put large cumbersome central boxes built around the gear change, the openness here, makes it more airy and roomy.

With the Seats in the correct position, there is a lot of space in the back for the rear passengers, with the driver’s seat in my position, there is acres of space in the rear, and loads of leg room which you will find a lot of cars in the class wanting, you can fit three adults in the back, but I probably would not want to do a too long a journey like this, but for a family car, this will be about the best you can get.

Boot space is also quite large, yes there is a lip that you will have to lift your luggage/shopping up and over, but the space makes up for this, you can easily lose a full weekly shopping in there with space left over, large luggage would be a little tight, but smaller cases/weekend bags will be swallowed up with ease.

The flowing lines of the car can be followed from the front lights right to the back, the entire car gels very well, nothing seems like a stuck on extra, like you can see on other cars, it is a pretty car, that offers lots of space, can keep up with the motorway traffic with ease, as well as coping around town equally with ease, so, if you are cost conscious, like a car to have a look that’s not, out there, but different, cheap to run, cheap to buy and with an ease of driving, you can do no better than this, the Baleno, really is “that” car to put your money into.


The Baleno was launched In India in October 2015, and has so far sold in excess of 40,000 units by April 2016, the model will eventually be sold in more than 100 countries, With Japan and Europe that latest countries to accept the car, it fits within Suzuki’s range between the Swift and the S-Cross, it offers more room than the Swift, but not the practicality of a crossover.

The brand is growing year after year with the two Indian plants alone producing 1.3 million cars in 2015, with the Baleno boosting that further, the range currently uses six colours, Two engine sizes both of which run manual and Automatics, the range starts at £12,999 and tops out at £15,349 for the 1.2 litre Auto model.

Unfortunately the only models that have the now standard option on most other brands, Hill Hold Control are the Automatic versions, this I feel should be available on all models, regardless of gearbox type, and the Auto version employs the paddle gear shifter to give a more sporty style of driving.

The 4.2 Inch high definition colour LCD Screen produces a full range of info for the driver, as well as Sat Nav, Radio and the usual array of available info, you can get from the display between the dials, Torque and power read outs, fuel consumption, Average speed, acceleration and braking forces, and a G-Force tracking system which you would normally find on cars that cost upwards of ten times the price.

The Baleno needs to be serviced every 9,000 miles for the 1.0 litre or 12,500 miles for the 1.2 Litre, at 9,000 it seems very low, but at least the car will be at its optimum performance for longer, and when you are giving it beans, like the car wants you to treat it, then you need to keep it in perfect condition.

As mentioned above the car can top out at 124mph with a 0-62 in 11.4 seconds, all its engines are Euro 6 compliant and our models insurance rating was 11E, so quite low, but not the lowest, but then the lowest is not necessarily the best, and that’s the case here, the Baleno has everything it needs to succeed, and that’s the point, give the car everything it needs and at a price point that beats the competition, and it should sell itself.

The Motoring World Blog

Jon Mower.