This is one of those cars I waited for my whole life.....NOT! Actually, that's what I thought until I drove it. I have to say, I was shocked at the outcome because I really liked it. Ok ,I know what you're thinking, they're not the prettiest of cars, but sometimes with cars you just have to dig that little bit deeper. On the inside you have power windows, mirrors, steering, central locking, sports seats, immobiliser, cup holders, 4 speaker stereo CD all as bog standard. There was also very reasonable size boot space in the back enough to fit your family shopping and a bit more. There's also a hatchback, saloon, and estate version if you required more space.
When you open the bonnet you've got a 1.6L (94 bhp) engine which has 16valves (for a more responsive throttle) that can hurl you from 0-60 in around 10 seconds with a top speed of 108 mph. It's a shame they made it SOHC (single overhead camshaft) instead of DOHC (double overhead camshaft) as this shows on the top speed.
Now, I know the performance facts and figures alone are not exactly amazing but, when you consider that Suzuki is primarily a motorbike, ATV, outboard manufacturer (although they have been making cars for sometime as well) who have been around since the 1930's anyway the point being that it gives you some idea that these guys know their stuff when it comes to engines. I mean you just need to ask any biker and they will tell you the engines alone are awesome! But back to the baleno which had for a over a year and in that time. I only ever had a couple of minor problems with mine. These stemmed from a broken electric window mechanism to blown fuses and a replacement battery. Altogether i covered around 20k and it was showing 109k on the clock. Insuring the car(insurance group 7-8) was quite cheap (£350p.a) and the petrol consumption wasn't that bad either (38mpg combined). All in all, this was a great car to own, I would recommend it to anyone, particularly, as a first car.
Well, I've been driving a Suzuki Baleno, on and off, for the last 3 years now and I've never once been disappointed. For the price you get a lot more equipment than other vehicles in its class and a much bigger engine as standard. I've read a number of reviews that have slated Suzukis, but I've never been less than impressed with this vehicle in the time I've had it. The 1.6 engine is gutsy, helped by the small size of the car. It has the same kick as a Saxo VTR but costs less on insurance. Motorway driving is effortless and wind noise is fairly low. The cabin is spacious and visibility is good, although some of the dashboard controls feel a bit flimsy (though none have broke in 3 years). The suspension gives a smooth ride, although at low speeds bumps are transmitted noisily into the cabin. There are positive and negative aspects to buying a new car. Suzuki has import restrictions as to the numbers which is why there aren't so many - which is why Suzuki don't advertise like all the other makes. This does, however, mean that dealers can be a bit more creative when selling you the car, giving deals that other makes can't match. You do have to haggle for them though. On the negative side, the depreciation is quite steep - so you'd really have to negotiate a good deal at the start to prevent losing too much money...