Suzuki Baleno, Renault Kwid
Suzuki Baleno, Renault KwidPR handout

The South African small car market has received two new models recently, both manufactured in India. Japanese carmaker Suzuki has launched the Baleno premium hatchback, while French car maker Renault launched the Kwid. The former is manufactured at Maruti Suzuki's Haryana plants, while the Kwid is rolled out of Renault India's Chennai plant.

Suzuki Baleno in South Africa will be sold in three variants -- 1.4 GL MT, 1.4 GLX MT and 1.4 GLX AT. The hatchback for the South African market is powered by 1.4-litre K14B four-cylinder unit that produces 91bhp of maximum power at 6,000rpm, combined with a peak torque of 130Nm at 4,200rpm. India-spec Baleno is powered by 1.2-litre K-Series engine tuned to develop 83bhp and 115Nm of torque. Visually, the South African spec Baleno is identical to the one sold in India. The range has been priced from R199 900 to R244 900, which is approximately Rs 9.8 lakh to Rs 12 lakh.

Renault Kwid launched in South Africa will be available only in 1000cc engine. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder Smart Control efficiency (SCe) engine develops 67bhp at 5,500rpm mated to five-speed manual transmission. The company also claims top speed of 152kmph. The Kwid in South Africa will be available in Expression and Dynamique variants priced at R 119,900 (Rs 5.89 lakh) and R 129,900 (Rs 6.38 lakh), respectively. Apart from the design, the South African spec will be similar to the Kwid sold in India in terms of features. The hatchback will SUVish stance is loaded with 7-inch MediaNav navigation/multi-media touchscreen system positioned in a piano black centre console with chrome surround. Driver airbag is standard, but the car does not get ABS.

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