The new Suzuki Baleno showed up at the at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show showing off lots of DNA that it borrowed from the Suzuki IK-2 Concept that debuted at the Geneva Auto Show. Compared to the concept, the new Baleno isn’t far off at all. It isn’t quite as sporty on the exterior as the concept, but it features the same headlights, front grille, side profile, and a toned down rear end. Inside, there are a few subtle hints that point back to the Suzuki Swift, however, the interior is smooth and pleasant. There is a large touch-screen display with Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, a partially digital instrument cluster, simplified center console, and decent fit and finish. Under the hood, the new Baleno features a 109-horsepower, three-cylinder engine or an 80-horsepower, four-cylinder engine.

As a “supermini” or subcompact, the Baleno competes against the likes of the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta, to name a couple. As such, the Baleno has some big shoes to fill if it’s going to be successful in such a competitive market. It does feature a sporty enough exterior and a nice enough interior to keep up, but that only goes so far, considering most competitors in this market offer up trim levels with significantly more horsepower. Of course, Suzuki hasn’t exactly been known for its performance in four-wheel vehicles, so that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

So, will the new Suzuki Baleno be able to tear off its own chunk of the market? Only time will tell, but for now, you can check out our full review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Suzuki Baleno.

  • 2016 Suzuki Baleno
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    80 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    88 @ 4400
  • Displacement:
    1242 cc
  • 0-60 time:
    8 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior
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A quick peek at the car’s profile is enough to see that the Baleno is heavily based on the iK-2 concept introduced at Geneva. The sides are nearly identical, with the most notable differences being at the front, the wheel arches and the side skirts.

While the concept car had beefier fenders, the production version is a more mundane interpretation, with nearly flat wheel arches and simpler side skirts.

While the concept car had beefier fenders, the production version is a more mundane interpretation, with nearly flat wheel arches and simpler side skirts. The side mirrors are also slightly larger, while the door handles are similar to those seen on the Swift.

The concept’s "floating roof" made it onto the Baleno without alterations, but now there’s chrome trim running along the bottom of the side windows. The gas cap door is larger, which improves practicality, while the wheels are smaller and feature a different rim design. There’s no word as to whether the Baleno will get bigger optional wheels, but it’s a possibility. And it would be a good idea, given the concept looks much better with the larger rollers.

Up front, the differences between the concept and production car are notable as well. The IK-2’s engine hood seems to be the only feature that made it onto the Baleno. Although the fascia remains recognizable when compared to the concept’s, most details have been redesigned. The IK-2’s crisp headlamp have been replaced by units that look similar in shape and size to the Swift’s, while the bumper is significantly less aggressive. The V-shaped grille, a new design feature for Suzuki, was reshaped into a taller, more angular piece, and received chrome trimming. Unlike the concept’s, the grille no longer extends into the headlamps.

Around back, the Baleno is fitted with taillights that extend significantly less into the rear fenders and simple bumper design. A horizontal chrome trim separates the rear windscreen from the tailgate.

All told, the Baleno is far from impressive, but the styling is fresh considering Suzuki’s current lineup. My only complaint is that the Japanese could’ve dropped the Swift-inspired headlamps for something more stylish.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 3,995 MM (157.28 Inches)
Width 1,745 MM (68.70 Inches)
Height 1,470 MM (1,460 MM with SHVS) (57.87 Inches (57.48 Inches))
Wheelbase 2,520 MM (99.21 Inches)

Interior

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Interior
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The Baleno features an all-new interior that’s significantly different from the Swift. Although the overall shape of the dashboard hasn’t changed much, the unit feels a lot more modern thanks to a redesigned center stack with chrome accents and a new instrument cluster that now features a color LCD display that shows performance and vital information such as output, accelerator/brake operation, and driving G-force. The center console is also new. Wider and taller than the Swifts, it extends between the front seats, a clear sign that the Baleno sports a roomier interior.

he new front seats feature an optimized shape and improved comfort, while the rear seats come with "ample legroom," according to the brand.

A seven-inch touch-screen display allows the driver to connect an iPhone to the car’s infotainment system and enjoy the many features of Apple’s CarPlay, including maps, music, podcasts, audiobooks, and other compatible apps. The new unit also comes with a USB port and SD card slot, and display the view behind the vehicle when using the rear-view camera.

The Baleno is also equipped with an adaptive cruise control system that uses a wave radar to monitor following distance and automatically accelerate or brake the vehicle to maintain it at a constant distance from the car in front. The driver can set the system to maintain a long, medium, or short distance, as well select a speed limit.

The new front seats feature an optimized shape and improved comfort, while the rear seats come with "ample legroom," according to the brand. Unfortunately, Suzuki doesn’t offer specific figure to back this claim. The Baleno’s luggage space is of 355 liters (12.5 cubic feet), making it the most generous in its class.

Drivetrain

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior
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The Baleno gets two engines. First up is Suzuki’s already familiar 1.2-liter Dualijet unit. The four-banger cranks out 89 horsepower and 89 pound-feet of torque.

Suzuki has yet to release performance figures for any of these engines, but don't expect the Baleno to take you anywhere in a hurry.

The second mill is a new turbocharged, 1.0-liter, three-cylinder, dubbed Boosterjet, that produces a solid 110 horses and 125 pound-feet of torque. Suzuki has yet to release performance figures for any of these engines, but don’t expect the Baleno to take you anywhere in a hurry.

Surprisingly, the Baleno also received a mild hybrid edition. Called SHVS, it adds an integrated starter generator to the 1.2-liter engine, which helps it move away from a standstill. The started generator is supposed to give the hatchback a smoother restart in stop-start situations.

All models feature a five-speed manual transmission as standard, but the 1.2-liter version can be equipped with a CVT gearbox, while the 1.0-liter model can be optioned with a six-speed automatic.

Carbon-dioxide emissions are rated at 101 grams per km for the 1.2-liter engine and 103 grams for the 1.0-liter version. The SHVS hybrid emits only 93 grams. All figures are available with the manual transmission.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type K12C K10C DITC
Number of cylinders 4 3
Number of valves 16 12
Piston displacement cm3 1,242 998
Bore x stroke mm 73.0 x 74.2 73.0 x 79.5
Compression ratio 12.5 10.0
Maximum output 80 HP @ 6,000 RPM 109 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Maximum torque 88 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM 125 LB-FT @ 2,000-3,500 RPM
Fuel distribution Multipoint injection Direct injection

Chassis and Suspension

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior
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The Baleno rides on a new platform that enhances body rigidity by about ten percent and reduces vehicle weight by about 15 percent. Suzuki also managed to reduce in-car vibrations and noise, while also improving comfort. The new suspension system feature MacPherson struts and coil springs at the front and a torsion beam and coil springs at the rear.

Safety

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior
- image 646213

Aside from the usual airbags that come with all modern-day cars (the Suzuki has six), the Baleno is also equipped with Radar Brake Support (RBS). The system kicks in when the vehicle is traveling at speeds greater than five km/h (three mph) and uses the wave radar to detect cars that might get in the Baleno’s path. In case of a potential collision, the system will either alert the driver, increase braking force, or automatically apply the brakes. Other features include ESP and "an impact absorbent body" designed to lessen injuries sustained by pedestrians in vehicle-to-person collisions.

Prices

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing for the Baleno is not yet available, but Suzuki did say the hatch will be launched in the U.K. early next summer. It should fetch more than the Swift, priced from £8,999 (about $14,016). The Baleno will likely retail from £11,000 (around $17,133), which is about the same as an entry-level Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta. Don’t expect the Baleno to arrive stateside, as Suzuki has closed all automobile operations in North America.

Competition

2015 Volkswagen Polo

2015 Volkswagen Polo High Resolution Exterior
- image 543620

Currently one of the best-selling superminis in Europe and the car to beat in this segment, the Polo is available with a variety of gasoline and diesel engines, starting with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder that generates 59 horsepower and 70 pound-feet of torque. At the other end of the lineup is a 1.4-liter TSI that delivers 148 horses. A 1.4-liter TDI diesel with 89 horses and 170 pound-feet is for those looking for higher mileage, while sportier drivers can choose the Polo GTI, which is powered by a turbocharged, 1.8-liter with 189 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The German hatch starts from £11,300 (about $17,600) in the U.K. and costs £18,900 (around $29,443) before options in GTI trim.

Read more about the Volkswagen Polo here.

2013 Ford Fiesta

2013 Ford Fiesta High Resolution Exterior
- image 471320

The Fiesta is the other hot-selling supermini on the other side of the Atlantic and it is also available with an array of small-displacement engines, including the naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost, and the 1.5-liter TDCi diesel. Outputs range from the 79-horsepower 1.0-liter three-pot to the 123 horses of turbocharged, EcoBoost mill. The 1.6-liter four-pot generates 104 horsepower, while the 1.5-liter diesel is rated at 74 horses. The 1.6-liter TDCi diesel churns out 94 horses. Like the Polo, the Fiesta is also available in a performance-oriented version — the ST, powered by a turbocharged, 1.6-liter with 197 horsepower and 202 pound-feet of torque. Prices start from £10,145 (about $15,804) and go all the way up to £19,545 (around $30,442) for the ST-3 trim. Unlike the Polo and the Baleno, the Fiesta is available in the U.S.

Find out more about the Ford Fiesta here.

Conclusion

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior
- image 646207

Given that Suzuki has been struggling to gain more market share in Europe for quite a few years now, the Baleno seems like a good addition to the brand’s slim lineup on the continent, but it remains to be seen whether it has what it takes to draw customers from Volkswagen and Ford products. On the other hand, the hatch is bound to have more success in Asia’s emerging markets.

  • Leave it
    • Competitive segment
    • Not available in the U.S.

Updated History

Updated 09/17/2015: The new Suzuki Baleno made its world debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Updated 08/31/2015: Suzuki dropped two new official images for the upcoming Baleno concept car which will be unveiled next month in Frankfurt.

Press Release

When Suzuki set out to create a hatchback like none before, it first established a key guideline—hold back on nothing. The result is the Suzuki Baleno, a harmonious combination of styling that flows, superb performance achieved through ground-breaking technologies, and smart packaging.

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior
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To create a new, bar-raising hatchback that is fun to drive and engineered to meet today’s consumers’ needs, Suzuki wanted to take the compact car to the ultimate level. Baleno chief engineer Kunihiko Ito explains: “We set our sights on developing 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.”

With its “Liquid Flow” design theme, compact body, spacious interior, and efficient powertrains—all on a new-generation platform- the Baleno offers style, utility, manoeuvrability, driving performance and fuel efficiency. It also offers comfort, including on long-distance journeys, with plenty of space for adults in both the front and rear, as well as generous luggage space.

Sales of the Baleno will start in Europe in the spring of 2016.

Baleno highlights:

New-generation platform, with increased rigidity and reduced weight, enhances fuel efficiency, handling and stability, while still achieving high levels of safety and NVH performance.

New 1.0 BOOSTERJET direct-injection turbo engine with high torque output and SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki)*1 with 1.2 DUALJET engine both provide excellent fuel economy in combination with Suzuki’s most-aerodynamic hatchback design ever.

Sporty profile that is low and wide, avant-garde front section, wraparound windows, expressive character lines and gently contoured, continuous surfaces convey elegance and power.

Innovative features on the inside include advanced multi-information colour display, active cruise control with speed limiter, and a Smartphone Linkage Display Audio compatible with Apple CarPlay*2.

Seating for five people features generous shoulder room in front, and generous legroom in the rear.

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior
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Spacious and flexible boot offers best-in-class*3 luggage space.

Radar Brake Support (RBS) *2 and other comprehensive safety features add to safety and peace of mind.

*1Only for vehicles with 1.2. DUALJET engine. *2Availability depends on vehicle configuration. *3“B-segment hatchback” as defined by Suzuki (hatchback with overall length of 3,700mm-4,100mm)

Styling that flows

The “Liquid Flow” design theme—suggestive of an energetic mass of liquid in motion—permeates throughout, articulated by curving lines and expressive surfaces. Meanwhile, a low and wide silhouette helps underline a strong and sporty look.

Exterior

Seen from the front, the body graciously flares outward from the cabin, resulting in a low, wide and sporty yet elegant profile that is complemented by a wide bumper, grille, distinctive LED positon lamps, and wraparound windows with blacked-out A-pillars. From the side, character lines that begin at the front and sweep toward the rear create flowing highlights, while a forward-sloping rear hatch suggests the moving forward of dynamic energy, and gently contoured, continuous surfaces create the impression of power amidst elegance.

Other exterior features:

High intensity discharge projector headlamps*, with a black and chrome design that emanates virility and sharpness, and LED position lamps*, which also work as daytime running lights, with inner lenses that produce an even line of light, convey a high-tech impression.

“Guide me light” headlamps* help users find their way in the dark after leaving the vehicle or when unlocking the doors by remote control.

LED rear combination lamps give an advanced impression due to an inner lens that projects an even beam*.

Nine body colours include “Premium Silver Metallic”, which emphasises the body’s curving lines, and “ Ray Blue Pearl Metallic”, which changes from a green hue to a red tinge, depending on surrounding lighting conditions.

Outer weather strips made of iridescent stainless steel and chrome door handles provide greater elegance*.

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior
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Wraparound windows with blacked-outA-pillars and black sashes* add to a sporty look.

A thin roof-spoiler integrated into the flowing body lines help improve aerodynamic performance*.

16-inch alloy wheels* or 15-inch steel wheels* have a mechanical design that contrasts with the flowing design of the body.

Interior

The instrument panel is flared at each end for a sense of breadth and is characterised by curving lines. Silver accents stand out against the restrained black of the cabin, and reddish-amber illumination for the audio, air conditioner, gear shift indicator, and other controls underline the cabin’s stylishness.

Beyond elegant styling, interior innovations that make vehicle usage informative, comfortable and easier:

A large, high-definition colour LCD display in the instrument cluster shows performance and other information through user-friendly graphics. Highlighted features include driving G-force, engine output and torque, accelerator/brake operation, and energy flow (for vehicles with SHVS), among others.*

A Smartphone Linkage Audio Display with a 7-inch touch panel screen has a USB port and SD card slot and displays the view behind the vehicle by way of a rear view camera*. It can be connected to an iPhone via a USB cable for using Apple CarPlay’s various functions, such as Maps, Phone, Messages, and Music, as well as Podcasts, Audiobooks, and third-party Apple CarPlay compatible audio apps. It can also be connected to smartphones using MirrorLink.

A unique circular display and a high-contrast LCD panel highlight the automatic air conditioner*.

An adaptive cruise control system uses millimetre wave radar to monitor following distance and automatically accelerate or decelerate the vehicle to maintain a long, medium, or short distance from any vehicle directly in front as set by the driver. It also features a speed limiter that prevents the vehicle from exceeding the maximum speed set by the driver, regardless of the extent to which the accelerator pedal is pushed.

*Availability depends on vehicle configuration.

Technology-enhanced performance

The new Baleno features three new technologies for achieving better driving performance and better fuel efficiency: a new-generation platform, the new BOOSTERJET direct-injection turbo engine and the SHVS mild hybrid system.

New-generation platform

A new Suzuki platform was developed by radically reviewing the basic structure of the vehicle underbody in pursuit of achieving lighter weight and enhancing fundamental vehicle performance. Compared to the platform currently used in the same vehicle class, body rigidity has been enhanced by approximately 10 per cent and, due to the use of a continuous skeletal structure that creates a smooth form, total vehicle weight has been reduced by approximately 15 per cent. Additionally, by aiming for optimisation of the entire vehicle including components attached to the underbody, Suzuki has been able to keep vibration and noise in check, while maintaining riding comfort.

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior
- image 646213

New 1.0 BOOSTERJET direct-injection turbo engine

The 1.0 BOOSTERJET is a newly developed direct-injection turbo engine that achieves both good fuel economy and driving pleasure, which is made possible by using a small displacement, high torque turbocharger.

By controlling the wastegate valve, which closes to create higher boost pressure during heavy-load operation and remains opened during normal driving, the BOOSTERJET reduces pumping loss, thus achieving high levels of both power performance and also fuel-efficiency.

The Baleno features the 1.0 BOOSTERJET engine, which has a maximum output of 82kW and a maximum torque of 170Nm.

The Baleno is also available with a new 1.2 DUALJET, a dual-injection petrol engine with improved thermal efficiency that strikes an excellent balance between power performance and fuel efficiency.

Regarding transmissions, the 1.0 BOOSTERJET can be paired with either an optimally geared five-speed manual incorporating a specially designed convergent gear locating system that helps reduce frictional losses and improve shift feel or a six-speed automatic transmission that enables high performance at low speeds and optimum fuel-efficiency at high speeds. The 1.2 DUALJET can be paired with either the same five-speed manual transmission as the 1.0 BOOSTERJET or with a continuously variable transmission.

An intuitive suspension has been developed for direct-response handling with MacPherson struts and coil springs up front and a torsion beam and coil springs in the rear. Reduced rolling resistance tyres improve fuel efficiency without sacrificing directional stability, ride comfort, and braking performance.

Fine-tuned over repeated test runs in Europe, the Baleno offers a driving experience achieved by Suzuki’s pursuit of the best balance between nimble performance and refined riding comfort.

New mild hybrid system (SHVS)*1

The SHVS is a mild hybrid system by Suzuki that uses an ISG (Integrated Starter Generator) to assist the engine during acceleration and also generates electricity through regenerative braking, which it does more efficiently than systems using conventional alternators.

Using the electricity stored through regenerative braking, the electric motor function of the ISG improves fuel efficiency by partially assisting the engine, which it does by making up for the additional added portion of fuel usually required during the high-fuel-consuming actions of starting from a stop and accelerating. It also allows for a smooth and quiet restart after an automatic engine stop, thanks to the use of an ISG belt-drive start, rather than restart by a conventional starter motor.

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 646214

Furthermore, the SHVS uses a compact, high-charging-performance lithium ion battery, making possible frequent engine assists. In the Baleno, the system aims to lessen the footprint on the environment with a CO2 emissions target of 93g/km*2.

*1Only for vehicles with 1.2. DUALJET engine. *2Tentative figure for vehicles with SHVS.

Smart packaging

The common difficulty of achieving both a stylish design and a spacious interior has been overcome by ensuring maximum space through repeated revisions down to a single millimetre. The result is smart packaging that not only achieves spacious comfort, but also best-in-class luggage space. A key element in achieving this within an overall body length of less than four metres is a new-generation platform that enables efficient use of space plus a more-compact engine design with a less-tilted mounting position that also frees up more interior room.

Seating considerations

The front seats come with ample shoulder room due a wide space between the driver and passenger seat positions. Both seats feature an optimised shape and spring position for ride comfort and high-tensile materials for lightness and strength.

The rear seats feature ample legroom, due to a substantial front-rear-seat tandem distance of 805mm. They can be easily folded by a single action and come in various bench or split configurations with three separate-type head restraints. Also, ingress and egress in the rear is facilitated by generous rear door apertures.

Luggage space

The luggage space boasts 355 litres, making it the largest among B-segment hatchbacks*. To accommodate long or wide items, the shape of the suspension has been optimised to free up space on both sides at the back of the boot.

Flexibility is another key asset of the luggage space. The space can be enlarged by folding down the rear seatbacks, sliding the front seats forward, and using the luggage board in either its upper or lower position.

*According to a Suzuki survey of B-segment hatchbacks as defined by Suzuki (a hatchback model with an overall length of 3,700mm-4,100mm) and measured using the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) method.

Safety and security

Safety performance for assisting the driver and mitigating injury in accidents is enhanced by a number of safety technologies, chief among which is Radar Brake Support*1 (RBS). With RBS, when the vehicle is travelling at a speed greater than approximately 5 km/h, millimetre wave radar detects any vehicle that might be directly in front. Upon detecting a potential collision, depending on the situation, the vehicle 1) alerts the driver, 2) increases braking force, or 3) automatically applies the brakes.

2016 Suzuki Baleno High Resolution Interior
- image 646215

Other safety features include ESP®*2, six SRS airbags and an impact absorbent body. Various components have also been designed to lessen injuries sustained by pedestrians in vehicle-to-person collisions.

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