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Used Suzuki Baleno 2016-2019 review review

Category: Small car

Section: What is it like?

Suzuki Baleno
  • Suzuki Baleno
  • Hyundai i20 vs Skoda Fabia vs Suzuki Baleno
  • Hyundai i20 vs Skoda Fabia vs Suzuki Baleno
  • Suzuki Baleno
  • Suzuki Baleno
  • Suzuki Baleno
  • Suzuki Baleno
  • Hyundai i20 vs Skoda Fabia vs Suzuki Baleno
  • Hyundai i20 vs Skoda Fabia vs Suzuki Baleno
  • Suzuki Baleno
  • Suzuki Baleno
  • Suzuki Baleno
Used Suzuki Baleno 2016-2019 review review
Star rating

What's the used Suzuki Baleno hatchback like?

Baleno is an Italian word meaning 'flash' or 'lightning' – not that those words necessarily come to mind when looking at this rather conservatively styled small car. It's a name that suggests dynamism and theatre, so if not on the outside, perhaps these qualities lie beneath its skin. 

Under the bonnet, you'll find most used examples feature a 1.0-litre Boosterjet petrol engine. This turbocharged three-cylinder unit has 109bhp, although it feels peppier than its performance figures suggest.  It's not the most refined unit, however. There is noticeable vibration that can be felt through the steering wheel and pedals. 

As for handling, the Baleno generates reasonable grip in corners, but it isn’t fun to drive. The steering doesn’t give much feedback from the front tyres, and it requires constant small corrections on motorways. You’ll also find yourself twirling the wheel an awful lot to get it round corners. There’s a lot of body lean in corners, too.

Despite the soft, generally comfortable suspension, you do sometimes feel the road’s surface and the suspension is noisy when it’s moving up and down. You'll hear quite a lot of road and wind noise at higher speeds, too. Still, it’s by no means the worst car in its class to be behind the wheel of. 

Inside, the Baleno's interior feels flimsier than in many rivals; the plastics feel particularly cheap and areas such as the centre console are surprisingly flexible. On the other hand, the touchscreen infotainment system – found on SZ-T and SZ-5 models – is mounted high on the dashboard, making it easy to see even on the move. For the most part, it’s pretty responsive, although many of the icons are too small to press accurately when driving.

Practicality is a considerable strong suit. Space is impressive front and rear, while the Baleno has an unusually large boot for the class. With rear seats up, there’s easily enough space for a bulky pushchair in the boot.

If you're interested in buying a used Suzuki Baleno, or any of the other cars mentioned here, please check out our used car classifieds section here

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