Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX M

Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX M

Suzuki Baleno

The Suzuki Baleno is a completely new car on a completely new Suzuki platform in South Africa. Despite being larger than the Swift, the Baleno is 11% lighter, with a kerb mass of just 915 kg. As a result it has sprightly performance.

It is manufactured exclusively in India, by Maruti Suzuki since 2015, as a five-door hatchback, for 30 markets around the world.

Suzuki Baleno side view

For now only the well known and reliable K14B 1,4-litre normally aspirated engine is offered in SA, but this may be a good thing as it delivers surprisingly nippy performance in this body and has less bits that can go wrong. The drag coefficient of just 0,299, makes it the most aerodynamic production model Suzuki available and helps the performance.

It is a good looking car with the typical modern Suzuki nose including HID projector elements and LED daytime running lights and low-mounted recessed fog lamps, but it is not as “sexy” as the Swift.

Baleno’s interior is 87 mm longer than that of the Swift giving it class-leading rear legroom and the rear bench seat is wide enough for three occupants. The well executed cabin has very good space for this size of car and very good noise suppression. A tall person can sit in the back quite comfortably.

It is typically Japanese in style and is pleasant and ergonomic. The dash houses a 6,2-inch TFT colour screen in the GLX models and a comprehensive small display in front of the driver with trip data.

It has a deep luggage compartment with a good at 355 normally and can be extended to 756 litres with the rear seated folded flat.

Suzuki Baleno

There are two trim levels, the entry-level GL and the well equipped GLX, which comes with a choice of five-speed manual manual with an excellent power-to-weight ratio of 76,5 kW/ton or four-speed automatic.

The Baleno rides on an independent front suspension consisting of MacPherson struts, coil springs, dampers and an anti-roll bar in front, combined with a torsion beam, coil springs, dampers and an anti-roll bar at the rear which allows it to soak up road irregularities and gives it good handling performance.

Suzuki claims average fuel consumption for the combined cycle comes to 5,1 Litres/100 km for the manual model, and 5,4 Litres/100 km for the automatic version. I actually got 5.4 Litres/100km on my usual test cycle.

I liked the car and would recommend it because of the big boot, good interior space and frugal but sprightly performance. Suzuki have a winner on their hands.

Priced from R199 900 to R244 900.

The new Swift, still to be launched  has a 1,2-litre Dualjet engine and appears to be smaller and sportier than the Baleno.

The competition includes the smaller Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta as well as the  Hyundai i20, Kia Rio and Renault Clio.

The new Baleno is covered by a standard three-year/100 000 km warranty, as well as a four-year/60 000 km service plan. Services are at 15 000 km/12 month intervals.

 

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Bass Lake 4×4 training

Bass Lake 4×4 training

Bass Lake 4x4 driver training

Bass Lake 4×4 driver training

04:45 N2 to Cape Town International.

What am I doing at this time on this road?

09:45 Boma, Bass Lake with coffee in hand. Jimny’s waiting outside. Ahh, now I know why.

Keep two wheels on the ground

Keep two wheels on the ground

Alan Pepper is a good instructor, but he is an even better story teller.

He has fairly strongly held views on matters off-road which I for the most part agree with. He gave us some really good advice and a solid theoretical grounding in 4×4 principles.

Then he let us loose on the very varied training ground, always on hand to show, to explain, to guide.

Alan has a fleet of 3 manual Jimnys and an automatic Grand Vitare.

We took turns getting the basics right and learning to read the road before lunch. That Malva pudding alone is worth the trip to Bass Lake.

After lunch the ten of us tackled the more adventurous section.  There are one or two inclines which I would have been inclined to avoid on my own. Not with Alan around. What a day.

One piece of good advice: “Drive the back wheels”.

Ooops. Getting it.

Ooops. Getting it.

Kyleigh Smith, Suzuki Auto SA’s PR Co-ordinator did a great job behind the scenes. Thank you Suzuki.

Speaking of which. Those Jimnys are great vehicles. Simple, solid engineering. The right stuff.

Suzuki Super Carry bakkie arriving soon

Suzuki is about to launch a three-quarter ton light bakkie in SA.

Its a cab over design and gets a 1.4 litre four cylinder petrol engine with a five-speed manual gearbox.

The Super Carry is 3,8 m long and 1,56 m wide, yet features a load deck measuring  2,18 x 1,49 m.

It goes on sale through Suzuki’s national dealer network from June at a recommended retail launch price of R129 900. The price includes a three-year/100 000 km warranty.

suzuki super carry

Suzuki Ertiga review

Suzuki_Ertiga_thumbSuzuki Ertiga

Suzuki call the Ertiga a Life Utility Vehicle. I call it a little bus car. Drives like a car, but has the space of a little bus. In fact think of it as a Swift with the space of a bus. The dashboard is just like that of a Swift, which is a good thing as the Swift is a pleasant car to live with.

Suzuki Ertiga

Suzuki Ertiga

The driving position of the Ertiga is very comfortable and relaxed, but you will have to get used to the light beige upholstery. I think seat covers may be a good idea.

Suzuki_Ertiga_dash

SPACE MACHINE

Ertiga is all about space. The rear seat, which is quite comfortable, folds flat making a really large load area, just like a small van. Access to the rear seat is pretty good too and easy thanks to the wide doors. This makes it an ideal courtesy vehicle as it is a seven seater.

Build quality of the Ertiga seems to be very good. Panels line up and there are no rattles, squeaks or flimsy feeling switches. Everything works and is in the right place.

What is it exactly?

More car like than van like. Toyota’s Avanza is a van, looks like one, drives like one. The Honda Mobilio is between a van and a car. This Ertiga feels and acts like a car, even almost looks like one. So, almost a Swift on steroids.

Suzuki_Ertiga_bootI got just under 7 litres/100km on my mixed driving route. Be warned though, she revs very high at 120km/h and so is quite noisy.

I drove it in quite windy conditions and must say it felt quite stable and handled the lateral gusts quite well. All in all it was pleasant to drive.

There are 5 models, starting with the 1.4 GA at R163 900, and tops off with the well priced GLX AT @ R211 400. The warranty is 3 year/100 000km, 6 year corrosion, 3 year road assistance, 4 year/60 000km service plan.

The full price list is at: https://www.suzukiauto.co.za/models/ertiga/specifications/

Also look at the Honda Mobilio, Toyota Avanza, Ford Tourneo Connect, VW Caddy. (All of which we have tested)

Suzuki_Ertega_bum

Suzuki Ciaz arrives

Suzuki have just launched a new compact sedan, the Ciaz.

They are really pretty busy. It seems they are launching something new every month.

The Ciaz is offered in a choice of two specification levels – GL and GLX, one engine manual or 4 speed automatic.

Efficient packaging makes the most of the space on offer, with ample head, leg and shoulder room both front and rear, while top-notch materials, upmarket finishes and an extensive array of standard features.

CIAZ_030

Looks like a cross between a Honda Ballade and a Kia Rio/ Hyundai Accent.

GL specification: includes electric windows and exterior mirrors, remote central locking, automatic climate-control air-conditioning with front and rear vents, and a six-speaker sound system with FM/AM tuner, CD player, Bluetooth connectivity and both USB and stereo analogue jacks, are standard across all models. The new Ciaz is fairly comprehensively equipped in an old fashioned kind of way.

The GLX adds 16 inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, fog lights and leather trim.

Ciaz interior

Ciaz interior

The Ciaz has Suzuki’s tried and trusted 1,4-litre four-cylinder engine equipped with multipoint fuel injection, four valves per cylinder, and variable valve timing. It gives good power and torque and sub 6 litre/100km fuel consumption in general use.

It could do well but may cannibalise Swift sales.

Prices include a three-year/100 000 km warranty, and a three-year/60 000 km service plan.

1.4 GL MT  R179 900

1.4 GLX MT  R199 900

1.4 GLX AT  R214 900

Suzuki Celerio

Suzuki Celerio

The new Celerio is the first Suzuki model to be fitted with the  new automated manual gearbox, which allows clutchless operation of a manual gearbox without the energy losses usually associated with conventional torque converter-based automatic transmissions. Very clever.

The Celerio range replaces the Ato as the entry level offering in South Africa, but is a little bigger.

Suzuki Celerio

Suzuki Celerio

Suzuki finally offers a new generation normally aspirated three-cylinder one litre engine, in this case case delivering 50kW and 90Nm and promising less than 5 litre/100km fuel consumption.

This mini hatchback gives the impression of space on the inside thanks to its tall roof.

The Celerio is 100 mm longer and 70 mm taller than the outgoing Alto, while width has remained exactly the same. The wheelbase has increased by 65 mm to 2 425 mm, which greatly benefits interior space.

celerio dashCompared to the Alto, headroom in the Celerio has improved by 21 mm in front, and by 43 mm at the rear. Significantly, there is also 60 mm more elbow room for rear occupants. The Celerio’s extended wheelbase has boosted rear legroom by 50 mm, while the rear footwells are 28 mm wider.

At 235 litres, the luggage capacity is best in class, while the large tailgate opens all the way down to bumper level, reducing the load sill height to just 692 mm.

The  new automated manual gearbox uses an electro-hydraulic actuator to change gears without the need for a clutch pedal. The system offers both full auto and manual shift modes, and ensures a smooth shift action by synchronising clutch control, gearshift action and engine speed.

The AMT can operate in fully automatic mode, or in manual override, allowing the driver to change gears manually. There’s also a creep mode, which ensures smooth operation in stop-start urban traffic.

The Celerio is the most fuel efficient automatic car in our market.

Dual front SRS airbags, an ABS anti-lock braking system, inertia reel seatbelts, childproof door locks and a high-mounted third brake light are all standard.

The new Celerio is available in a choice three models, all powered by the same engine, but offering two transmission options and two specification levels: GA and GL.

The top of the range 1.0i GL AMT Alloy CR5 seems to be the best buy.

1.0i GA MT (No service plan) CR1             R109 900
1.0i GA MT Alloy (No service plan) CR2 R112 900
1.0i GL MT CR4                                            R124 900
1.0i GL MT Alloy CR3                                  R127 900
1.0i GL AMT CR6                                         R135 900
1.0i GL AMT Alloy CR5                              R138 900

Retail price includes a 2 yr / 30 000km service plan

Suzuki Jimny updated

Suzuki has updated the Jimny with changes and upgrades to both the exterior and interior, while an equipment upgrade has also been introduced.

An automatic transmission is being offered as an alternative to the manual gearbox for the first time.

Changes include the fitment of new 15-inch alloy wheels, boasting a dark silver finish and two new colours: Bison Brown, and Khaki Pearl Metallic.

jimny-2_880x500

The cabin has also been spruced up, with an all-new instrument cluster the primary feature. The cluster features main dials for speed and rev count, with a third, intersecting instrument hosting a digital display.

The display includes fuel tank level and engine temperature readouts, as well as a digital clock, ambient temperature display, gear and transfer case indicator, a fuel economy readout, and a trip meter.

The Jimny’s interior features upgraded seat upholstery aimed at boosting both comfort and durability, while a new steering wheel design has also been introduced.

The introduction of a four-speed automatic transmission option for the Jimny will please owners seeking the convenience of clutchless operation, especially in urban traffic conditions, while also making access to the Jimny’s legendary off-road capability even easier.

As with the manual gearbox version, the automatic transmission is still partnered by a transfer case offering low-range operation.

jimny-dash

The Jimny is still powered by a lively and economical 1 328 cc four-cylinder engine, with a maximum power output of 63 kW at 6 000 r/min, linked to a torque peak of 110 Nm at 4 100 r/min.

Equipment includes remote central locking, a CD receiver sound system, electric windows and air-conditioning. Safety features include dual front airbags, head restraints, inertia reel seatbelts, and ABS anti-lock brakes.

Both the manual and automatic transmission-equipped versions of the Jimny are covered by a three-year/100 000 km warranty, as well as a four-year/60 000 km service plan.