Suzuki Baleno (2016-present)

The Suzuki Baleno is a roomy, practical and economical car that's good to drive but looks dull

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Roomy and practical
Economical and well-equipped
Nimble in corners

Weaknesses 

Bland and anonymous styling
Uninspiring interior with lots of hard plastics
Poor safety rating in standard form
Best New Discount

Suzuki Baleno Hatchback 1.0 boosterjet sz5 5dr auto

Total RRP £17,594

Your quote £15,004

You Save £2,590

Suzuki Baleno prices from £6,990   Finance from £112 per month

The Suzuki Baleno is less of a car that you search out but one that you find. So when you filter your car search to look for cheap, efficient, well-equipped and spacious small cars, and the Baleno pops up, you may well wonder why it's not more popular.

The answer is that it's not particularly interesting to look at or sit in. And image does matter to a lot of buyers.

Fortunately, this means that there is a good supply of cars to choose from for everyone else. 

The Baleno is a larger car than Suzuki's popular Swift, with more rear legroom that provides enough space in the back for adults, and a bigger boot: 320 litres with the rear seats upright and 756 litres folded down, compared with the Swift’s 265 litres and 579 litres.

It's on a par with the Dacia Sandero but not exceptional when compared with alternatives such as the Volkswagen Polo, Seat Ibiza or Hyundai i20. The Baleno is cheaper than these latter three models, costing from around £11,500 when new and £6,990 on the used market.

The design is anonymous on the outside and on the inside, too. The Baleno’s interior may feel well screwed together and built to withstand family use but drab design and lots of hard plastic spoil it. It’s well equipped, though, with even the basic SZ3 having a digital radio, electric windows and air conditioning.

Push the boat out with the SZ5 and you get a host of useful safety kit including radar brake support which can apply the brakes to avoid a frontal collision. It's an effective system, which made the difference between the Baleno SZ5 being awarded a four star safety rating by Euro NCAP and the rest of the range only receiving three stars.

The Baleno gets a it more interesting on the move, as it shares its mechanical parts with the Suzuki Swift. Both cars share smooth and lively engines, which provide power without needing to be revved too hard. They are also similarly agile in corners.

The Baleno weighs around 950kg, which is light for a modern car, helping it to change direction quickly and boosting fuel economy too.

Despite this, the Baleno isn't particularly sporty, leaning if you take bends too quickly as a result of its soft suspension that absorbs lumps and bumps almost as well as a Volkswagen Polo.

It can't match the Polo's quietness though, as noise insulation is poor. This makes motorway journeys in particular quite wearing, despite the firm and supportive seats.

Last Updated 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 21:15

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
320 litres
Width: 
1745mm
Length: 
3995mm
Height: 
1470mm
Tax: 
£130 to £150 in first year, £145 thereafter

Best Suzuki Baleno for... 

Suzuki Baleno 1.2 Dualjet SZ3
What this version lacks in performance it makes up for with a best in-range official economy of 67.3mpg.
Suzuki Baleno 1.0 Boosterjet SZ5
The best-equipped Baleno is also the best for families since in addition to the model’s roomy boot and interior it has a good level of safety and convenience features.The 1.0-litre engine provides good performance and economy.
Suzuki Baleno 1.0 Boosterjet SZ-T
The SZ-T is no quicker than the comfort-oriented SZ5 but looks sportier with its 16in alloy wheels, bright high-intensity discharge lights (HID) and privacy glass.
Suzuki Baleno 1.0 Boosterjet SZ-5 AT
Unless you must have an automatic, then avoid the SZ5 auto. Not only does the gearbox add £1,350 to the price of the manual version, making it the most expensive Baleno in the range, but performance and economy both suffer.

Suzuki Baleno History 

  • 2015 Suzuki Baleno goes on sale with a range of petrol engines and an HSVS mild hybrid version (which recovers energy during braking and uses it to boost acceleration).
  • 2018 Baleno 1.2 SHVS withdrawn from sale due to low demand. The 1.2-litre engine also loses its automatic option

    Suzuki Baleno Engines 

    1.0 Boosterjet, 1.2 Dualjet

    Suzuki follows the path of other manufacturers including Volkswagen and Ford in offering a small turbocharged petrol engine with the Baleno that it calls the 1.0 Boosterjet. Such engines are very popular with car buyers because they produce strong performance and good economy with low emissions. The downside is that they tend to be available only on higher and more expensive trim levels. Such is the case with the 1.0 Boosterjet which is available only on SZ-T and SZ5 trims.

    It feels quick, with plenty of power without needing to rev the engine, and it's efficient too. You can expect around 48mpg in real-world driving, according to the Equa Index, which estimates fuel economy based on public road testing. 

    The third and most basic trim is SZ3. This is only available with the less advanced 1.2 Dualjet petrol engine. This has no turbocharger, so is less powerful than the 1.0 Boosterjet. It's little more efficient, but you will save money on the purchase price: from new, it's £2,000 cheaper than the next trim, SZ-T with its 1.0 Boosterjet engine. If price rather than performance is important to you, it’s the engine to choose.

    The Baleno was previously available with mild-hybrid technology, badged SHVS. This added a small battery and motor to the 1.2-litre energy to recover some of the energy usually lost while braking, using it to provide a small power boost when accelerating. The fuel economy benefits were only small, so it's not worth paying a premium for. 

    Fuel

    Fuel economy

    Power

    Acceleration (0-62mph)

    Top speed

    1.0 Boosterjet

    Petrol

    60.1 - 64.2mpg

    111hp

    11.0 – 11.4sec

    118mph

    1.2 Dualjet

    Petrol

    67.3mpg

    90hp

    12.3sec

    111mph

    Suzuki Baleno Trims 

    SZ3, SZ-T, SZ5

    There may be just three trim levels ranging from basic SZ3 to top-spec SZ5 but there's a significant difference in price between them.

    SZ3 trim looks a little old-fashioned with a digital radio and matrix display rather than touchscreen. It has steel wheels but does include air conditioning, front electric windows and wireless Bluetooth connectivity. For many people these few features should be all they need.

    SZ-T, has the more advanced Boosterjet engine, as well as more equipment, adding around £1,500 to the new price. There's a touchscreen with sat-nav, reversing camera and digital radio (but not Apple CarPlay or Android Auto for mirroring app controls). Foglights, alloy wheels, rear tinted glass and brighter headlights come as standard too.

    SZ5 trim, the most expensive, adds smart extras including climate control, adaptive cruise control that ‘sees’ the traffic ahead and adjusts your speed to suit, and radar brake support that senses obstacles and brakes the car to avoid a collision. It’s £1000 more expensive than SZ-T.

    Suzuki Baleno Reliability and warranty 

    A three year, 60,000 warranty is fairly standard for most small ars, but compares poorly to the seven years cover available with the Kia Rio and the five year warranties with the Toyota Yaris and Hyundai i20.

    It was ranked as the seventh most reliable manufacturer out of 26 in the 2018 Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, so owners shouldn't be unduly concerned.

    Used Suzuki Baleno 

    Despite the Baleno's relatively low sales numbers, there are currently 14 available on BuyaCar, with prices starting at £6,990 and finance prices from £112 per month.

    There's a reasonable choice amongst the three trim levels, but you may be hard-pushed to find one of the SHVS mild hybrid models, which sold poorly, as it didn't provide much fuel economy increase for its higher price.

    Suzuki Baleno Prices

    Suzuki Baleno SZ-T

    1.0 boosterjet sz-t 5dr

    • Doors 5
    • Fuel petrol
    • Economy 64.2mpg
    • Gears manual

    Starting at: £12,654

    You could save up to: £2590

    Suzuki Baleno SZ3

    1.2 dualjet sz3 5dr

    • Doors 5
    • Fuel petrol
    • Economy 67.3mpg
    • Gears manual

    Starting at: £11,154

    You could save up to: £2090

    Suzuki Baleno SZ5

    1.0 boosterjet sz5 5dr

    • Doors 5
    • Fuel petrol
    • Economy 64.2mpg
    • Gears manual

    Starting at: £13,654

    You could save up to: £2590.01

    1.0 boosterjet sz5 5dr auto

    • Doors 5
    • Fuel petrol
    • Economy 60.1mpg
    • Gears automatic

    Starting at: £15,004

    You could save up to: £2590.01