Japanese carmaker Suzuki's Baleno premium hatchback has been adjourned the best Irish small car of year 2017. Baleno for the European market as well as for the rest of the world is manufactured at Maruti Suzuki's plants in Haryana.
Baleno was announced as a category winner following a test programme whereby 33 of Ireland's leading motoring writers assembled to vote for the best new cars on the market. The jury team tested a total of 42 new models launched in the last twelve months in a number of categories.
Suzuki Baleno tested for award was powered by a 1.0-litre three cylinder Boosterjet turbocharged engine. It was also Suzuki's first car to be available with SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) technology in Europe.
Maruti Suzuki has not offered Baleno with 1.0-litre three cylinder Boosterjet engine in India. The Go faster version of the Baleno christened Baleno RS will be launched in India with 1.0-litre three cylinder Boosterjet engine in early 2017. Rumours are also rife that Maruti Suzuki is mulling over Beleno diesel SHVS in India.
The Irish spec Baleno is loaded with features such as six airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels, HID headlights, air conditioning, satellite navigation, DAB Radio with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, rear privacy glass, cruise control with speed limiter and front electric windows. SZ5 (Boosterjet and SHVS model) adds automatic climate control, rear electric windows, 4.2 inch central colour trip display, LED rear lights, Adaptive Cruise Control and Radar Brake Support.
Baleno was launched in India in October 2015 and it's been a mega success for Maruti Suzuki. Sales of Baleno in the domestic market are nearing to cross the milestone number of 1 lakh. The waiting period for the premium hatchback starts at five months.