Fri | Aug 18, 2017

2017 Suzuki Baleno GLX

Published:Sunday | April 16, 2017 | 4:00 AMJason Lawson
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When looking at the 2017 Baleno GLX for the first time, you may think it is a station wagon cut short, but it's actually a lengthened hatchback, unlike the original Baleno stationwagon, which looked much longer. The compact and slightly round rear lights of this new model are actually reminiscent of the first-generation Baleno sedan's rear lights.

The front facia of the Baleno is similar to the Swift's, but with smaller daytime running LED headlights lights, a bigger slanted angle front grill and a broad lower air dam with circular fog lights. These differences are attractive, and make the Baleno come across as a bigger, more responsible version of the Swift.

Interior

On the inside of the car, its dashboard with its radio and air conditioning controls are all shaped and molded into an attractive V-shaped futuristic theme, forming a point at the bottom air-conditioning

controls, with even the air vents playing in to this cool theme. The sporty leather-wrapped steering wheel's V-shaped horn button also complement the theme. Finishing the look is a small circular A/C display that shows the important details about its temperature settings. Despite not having a colour display screen in the centre console as with many other modern cars, its radio does have a slim LCD display under its CD slot and a USB and auxiliary port under the a/c controls. The system does have easy Bluetooth connectivity however, for hands-free phone calls via your cellular phone or playing music from your phone's playlist. The music quality from its four-speaker system is pretty good once you set up radio preferences to your liking.

Looking through the steering wheel you'll see the instrument cluster, lit up with a smooth high-tech blue glow effect tastefully emitted around its gauges and the border above them. Its 4.2-inch Advanced Multi-information Display, situated between the tachometer and the speedometer, displays useful information such as current and past gas mileage, power and torque in real time, driving time from engine on to engine off, distance to fueling or empty(range), rear proximity sensor activity.

Though the car may seem small on the outside, it has good interior space for front and rear passengers, having relatively comfortable and supportive front and rear seats. The front seats can be adjusted to go up and down in addition to the conventional front and back seat movements, giving you a chance to enhance your visibility and comfort. Having the opportunity to drive the Baleno both on rainy and clear conditions, one can say the car handles well without losing any grip on corners, and seemed to be well balanced with little body roll, tackling everyday commuting with ease.

The engine

Its 1.4 litre engine felt rather peppy despite its small size, and its four-speed transmission puts out the power smoothly as needed in traffic and while overtaking. Even though there was a little road noise, the vehicle was overall pretty quiet, even with the radio off in rainy and dry situations. Rear visibility was a little less than one would like, due the distant narrow rear window, however Stewart's Auto Sales offers an after-market rear display solution at no additional cost, which should help to alleviate this problem.

The 2017 Suzuki Baleno GLX is a practical, good all-around car, with good fuel economy balanced with reasonable performance and comfort for its price. For those looking for the benefits of the Swift, but need more rear passenger and trunk space, the Baleno is a good alternative. With a five-year warranty and one-year free roadside assistance, it seems like a pretty smart buy. It's not a surprise coming from Suzuki, who has a solid reputation for producing quality products in small packages.

Model tested: 2017 Suzuki Baleno GLX

Size Class: Subcompact/Supermini

Body Type: Hatchback

Drivetrain: 4 Speed automatic FWD

Engine Info: Normally Aspirated 1.4 litre Gas

Power Output: 68kw/130nm torque (Claimed)

Trunk Volume: 355L

Price as Tested : $3,690,000 JA

Fuel Consumption: 5.1L/100km combined (claimed)

Competitors: Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Mazda 2, Nissan Note

Available at : Stewart's Auto Sales Ltd. 49-53 South Camp Road. Tel (876) 968-0930 (876) 968-0931 www.suzukijamaica.com