Suzuki Baleno
Suzuki BalenoSuzuki

Japanese carmaker Suzuki's Baleno premium hatchback continues its winning streak in the European market. After the India-made Baleno was adjourned the Best Irish Small Car of Year 2017 recently, the small car added another feather in its cap by winning the Scottish Small Car of the Year 2016 title.

Baleno was announced as a category winner following a test programme over the last 12 months with the 18 members of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers. "Value for money is hugely important to Scottish new car buyers spending their own hard earned cash and the ASMW recognised immediately that the Baleno is priced and equipped to deliver," said Stephen Park, president of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers, in a statement. "It's good to drive too with the incredible new Boosterjet engine delivering exceptional real-world economy and strong performance. Well packaged, generously kitted out and combining strong performance with exceptional eco credentials, our winner performs strongly across these key areas." 

In Scotland, Baleno is sold with a 1.0-litre three cylinder Boosterjet turbocharged engine. It is available in SZ-T and SZ5 variants, with the latter also being equipped with SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) technology, and a lithium-ion battery and Integrated Start Generator. The SZ-T model comes with six airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels, HID headlights, satellite navigation, DAB Radio with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, rear privacy glass and cruise control with speed limiter. The SZ5 additionally flaunts automatic climate control, rear electric windows, 4.2 inch central colour trip display, LED rear lights, Adaptive Cruise Control and radar brake support.

Maruti Suzuki has not offered Baleno with the 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 bringing the Baleno diesel SHVS in India.