Australia’s best cars 2016: Best Light Car
Winner: Suzuki Baleno GL
Even at $17,990 drive-away, Baleno is far cheaper than most of its rivals. It backs this up with economical fuel consumption and affordable servicing/repair costs.
Baleno has one of the roomiest cabins in the class, while judiciously chosen standard equipment adds to the driving ease. The interior layout is simple and functional with a number of driver assistance features unexpected in entry-level models at this price point, such as a reversing camera, satellite navigation and Apple CarPlay. While the trim materials reflect the price, the fit, finish and general build quality look good.
Baleno is almost as roomy as some models in the next class up. The front seats have a good range of adjustments and provide a respectable level of comfort. There’s a surprising amount of rear leg room, plenty of head room and a massive boot.
The performance and on-road ability of the GL model is solid rather than spectacular, with power and torque figures around average for the class. As such, it is not an exciting drive, but around town it’s well mannered. However, the steering is a little vague just off centre, and when pushed along a bit harder it isn’t as composed as some of its sportier-feeling competitors.