Suzuki Baleno

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SUZUKI has revealed its updated Baleno light hatch, which is set to touch down in Australia in August with unchanged pricing that starts from $15,990 plus on-roads for the entry-level GL manual.

An extra $1000 is asked for the automatic GL, while the top-spec GLX comes in at $18,990 with the removal of the previous 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine.

The update brings some light styling changes to the Baleno, including a redesigned front grille, revised front and rear bumpers, and new designs for the 15-inch steel wheels on the GL and 16-inch alloys for the GLX.

GLX variants also have headlights upgraded from HID to LED lights, as well as automatic headlight levelling and UV protection glass.

Five colour options are available including Fire Red, Arctic White, Granite Grey Metallic, Stargaze Blue Metallic and Premium Silver Metallic. Metallic hues set buyers back an additional $500.

Some mild changes have been made to the interior, including a revised door trim colour and new seat fabric design and colour.

The new additions to the range join existing specification which on the GL includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, daytime running lights (DRLs), reversing camera and dual front, side and curtain airbags.

Stepping up to the GLX adds keyless entry and start, digital climate control, headlight-integrated DRLs, 16-inch alloys, chrome door handles, and a 4.2-inch instrument cluster display.

With the removal of the 82kW/160Nm 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine from the range, all variants now use a 1.4-litre aspirated four-cylinder unit that pumps out 68kW/130Nm, driving the front wheels via either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

Official combined fuel consumption is pegged at 5.1 litres per 100km in the manual, up to 5.4L/100km in the auto.

Suzuki Australia general manager Michael Pachota said the affordability of the Baleno range would increase its appeal in the value-oriented light car segment.

“A welcome improvement has been introduced in the Series II with a sleek but aggressive sporty aesthetic, amongst other additions,” he said.

“The new look design successfully freshens up the Baleno and remains perfectly fit in our Suzuki model line-up for the Australian automotive market.

“Impressively, even with these improvements, current pricing is sustained and with the recent introduction of a 1.4 litre engine in the GLX variant, bringing the entire range below $18,900 RRP, will no doubt further increase our opportunity in the light car segment.”

Through the first five months of the year, Suzuki has sold 525 examples of the Baleno, a 30.8 per cent decline over the same period in 2018.

It is comfortably off the pace of segment leaders including the Hyundai Accent (5480), Mazda2 (4201), Toyota Yaris and its Swift stablemate (3207).

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