The 2022 Suzuki Baleno arrives in Mzansi with a few styling updates and power upgrades. In 2015, when the current generation Suzuki Baleno was launched to a global audience at the Frankfurt Auto show, it has gone to become one of the best-selling models worldwide.
The new model, which was launched on Wednesday in its biggest market – India – to a global audience, takes the baton from its predecessor in every way. It welcomes a new design philosophy called Crafted Futurism and in the same breath introduces a market-leading level of specifications.
Many of this design language’s foundational elements, such as the mix of organic and dynamic lines, large and striking lights and a purposeful stance, are a refinement of the Liquid Flow philosophy.
Other elements, such as a wider front air intake, the new three-dimensional grille design and the flow of the body lines and brightwork in one continuous swoop, are not only new, but a sign of designs to come.
The design also applies to the new interior, where a multi-layered dashboard creates the impression of space. There are also more comfortable and contoured seats, which are both functional and visually appealing, and higher-grade materials.
The Baleno will continue to be offered in two model specifications, the entry GL and luxury GLX version.
For starters, the GL model range now has cruise control and climate control (as opposed to standard air conditioning) with rear-mounted air vents as standard.
The Baleno GL also features a 7” touch screen infotainment system as standard. This further adds a two USB type A (one front and one rear) and one Type C (rear) charging port to the standard specification list.
In addition, Suzuki has also added Hill Hold Control, which was previously not available on this model.
Other GL luxuries and safety features remain, including Electronic Stability Programme, dual front airbags with ABS, electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assistance (BAS) and the leather clad steering wheel with controls for the audio, phone and cruise control systems and the electric windows and mirrors.
The GLX features all of the luxuries of the GL but upgrades or adds to them with a range of first-in-segment features. The most prominent change to anyone familiar with the Baleno GLX is the new infotainment system. The GL’s new 7” infotainment system is replaced by a striking 9” high-definition infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Back to the GLX. The 9” infotainment system is also home to the imagery from the Baleno’s 360-degree view camera system. That means the reverse camera found in the current model is replaced by an array of cameras that creates an all-round view of the vehicle when manoeuvring in tight spots or when parking.
The real treat for GLX buyers is placed in direct sight of the driver – Head’s Up Display. This luxury, previously unheard of in this segment, features a full colour display of a host of vehicle features, including speed, temperature and other vehicle warning symbols. This, too, is standard on the new model.
Like before, the GLX features luxuries and safety equipment like 6 airbags, LED daytime running lights, LED projector headlights, keyless entry and a push-button start and dual-colour 16” alloy wheels.
Under the new bonnet lies Suzuki’s beloved K15B engine, which replaces the K14B engine and increases the engine volume from 1.4 litres to 1.5 litres.
The new engine delivers 77 kW (9 kW more than before) and 138 Nm of torque (an improvement of 8 Nm). The vehicle weighs in at less than a tonne (955 kg) for a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio of 81 kW per tonne.
More details on the range, pricing, service plan and warranty information will be made available at the time of launch around June 2022.
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