The makers of the well-loved Suzuki Swift have once again come around with the unveiling of their newest hatchback yet. The brand claims that the Baleno is “held back by nothing” whereby it utilises a flowing design language dubbed ‘liquid flow’, superb performance achieved through ground-breaking technology and packed up handsomely.
The inspiration for this all-new model stems from the company’s determination to build the ideal hatchback, one that makes no compromises, giving it an elegant, sophisticated and grown-up character. The Baleno perfectly embodies all the elements expected in a car of this size – design, utility, comfort, manoeuvrability, superior driving performance and fuel efficiency, says chief engineer Kunihiko Ito.
Let’s start with the looks of it all. It is indeed a more grown up and matured version of the Swift,one might say. The front fascia exudes sporty lines from the lower extremity of the bumper. Couple that to the angular grille and headlamp design, it sets the tone for the Baleno. Lighting is up to the job of a pair of HID (high intensity discharge) bulbs and a strip of LEDs that make up the DRL.
The same styling cues can be found as you make your way around the back where the angular theme continues. The longer you stare at it, the Baleno reminds you of the Dacia Sandero which is hardly surprising considering that this hatchback will be going head-to-head against the Romanian auto manufacturer. The LED tail lamps are housed in an inner lens for better light projection.
There are two engine choices that power the Baleno. One of it is the 1.0-litre Boosterjet and the other is the range-topping 1.2-litre DualJet mill. The smaller block is a newly developed direct-injection turbo mill that delivers good fuel economy by controlling the wastegate valve. It closes to create higher boost pressures during heavy acceleration and remains opened during normal driving, thus achieving both power and fuel efficiency. Its output figure is 110 hp and 170 Nm of torque.
The range-topping DualJet variant however comes with a mild hybrid system that uses an ISG (Integrated Starter Generator) to assist the engine during acceleration and generate electricity via regenerative braking that’s stored in a compact high-charging-performance lithium ion battery pack. In the Baleno, the system aims to lessen the environmental footprint by setting CO2 emissions target to an ambitious 93 g/km.
Channeling drive to the front wheels is a five-speed manual with a specially designed convergent gear locating system that helps reduce frictional losses and improve shift feel. The other gearbox is six-speed automatic transmission that enables better performance at low speeds and optimum fuel-efficiency at higher speeds. A CVT transmission is also available on the range-topper.
There is a total of nine exterior colours to go with the Baleno, of which include Premium Silver Metallic (which brings out the body’s curving lines) and Ray Blue Pearl Metallic, pearlescent paint that changes from a green hue to a red tinge, depending on surrounding lighting conditions. Suzuki is poised to reveal more about the Baleno soon. However, the company has indicated that the Baleno will go on sale starting next year.