In a spontaneous round of word association, it's a fair bet your response to 'Suzuki' will be motorcycles. A massive force on two wheels, the brand is in fact a manufacturing all-rounder, producing bikes, ATVs, marine engines and, of course cars, in plants (often through joint-venture) around the world.

Suzukis of the four-wheeled variety have had their moments in the sun; the diminutive Swift has built a loyal following over successive generations, the Sierra (now oddly named Jimny Sierra) is a long-term campaigner at the budget end of the 4WD spectrum, and the Vitara consistently nips off a decent slice of the small SUV market.

2017 Suzuki Baleno GLX Turbo (image credit: James Cleary) 2017 Suzuki Baleno GLX Turbo (image credit: James Cleary)

But so far, the impact of light hatch stones slung by this automotive David have been unable to make relative Goliaths like Hyundai, Mazda and Toyota even flinch.

Enter the fourth-generation Baleno, Suzuki's fresh compact hatch challenger. Launched locally in mid-2016, it offers a value-focused alternative to the big three, and we've driven the top-spec GLX Turbo to determine if they have anything to worry about.