The distinctive styling of the Suzuki Baleno five-door hatchback has been given further panache with the relaunch of the Limited Edition SE version.
Introduced earlier this year, the SE proved so popular it sold out rapidly, prompting Suzuki New Zealand to offer the model once again. Demand for new Balenos has risen more than 36 percent in New Zealand in year to date sales, boosting its share of the class from 4.9 percent in the same period last year to 9.5 percent.
Side body mouldings, a smoked bonnet protector, a rear upper spoiler and weather shields front and rear characterise the high specification model which also boasts privacy glass, chrome garnishes and bespoke SE badging.
Based on the lightweight Suzuki Swift platform, the compact 3,995mm long Baleno is not only comprehensively equipped as standard but is also inexpensive to run. The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) has just announced the Baleno is the cheapest new car to own and run.
In releasing the list of the ten least costly cars, based on weekly operating expenditure, the Baleno was clearly number one in the independent RACQ survey.
Powered by the 1,373 cm3, 68 kW, multipoint injection K14B engine with variable valve technology, the Baleno SE is also extremely economical with an official combined fuel cycle of 5.4 litres/100 km. The engine is matched to an electronic 4-stage automatic transmission and engine performance can be monitored on the multi-information LCD display.
The Baleno also scores strongly in cabin space, including excellent rear seat legroom while the generously proportioned 355 litre capacity boot is big enough for several large shopping bags.
Standard features include tilt and telescopic adjustable steering, cruise control and speed limiter, 7-inch touch screen, satellite navigation, reversing camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, leather covered steering wheel, centre console box, automatic light-sensing LED projector headlights, daytime running lights, rear passenger and hatch privacy glass.
Safety is at the fore front with six airbags, electronic stability programme (ESP) and disc brakes, ABS with electronic brake distribution (EBD). The HEARTECT high-rigidity platform majors on occupant safety with crumple zones efficiently absorbing and dissipating energy from frontal, side and rear impacts.
Baleno’s guide-me headlamps continue to provide illumination for a short period when the journey ends. When the doors are unlocked with the remote control, the headlamps turn on to lead driver and passengers to and from the car.
The Baleno Limited Edition SE is priced at a highly competitive $23,990 plus on-road costs. The Baleno also comes with a five year powertrain warranty package and five year Suzuki Assist which is one of New Zealand’s most comprehensive roadside assistance programmes.
Suzuki is recognised as a specialist in compact cars and sell almost 37% of all light segment vehicles in New Zealand with the Baleno and Swift range.