Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

You are here

Used Suzuki Baleno review: 1995-2001

It was ridiculed as an ugly duckling when new, but low running costs and few mechanical woes make the Suzuki Baleno an attractive used-car buy.

MODEL WATCH

Suzuki needed to do something special to make the Baleno stand out in a market segment crowded with proven performers such as the Toyota Corolla, Ford Laser, Nissan Pulsar and Mazda 323. It didn't.

The Baleno wasn't a bad car by any means, it was simply that it was lost in its own mediocrity when it needed to be much better than the opposition just to get noticed.

Its styling didn't help, no matter whether it was the three-door hatch, four-door sedan or wagon. Its looks were bland and boring, the lines soft and soppy, the curves rounded without clear definition.

The Baleno's main engine was a sickly 1.6-litre single overhead camshaft four-cylinder unit that produced 73kW at 6000rpm along with 127Nm at 3000rpm. For those wanting more, there was a 1.8-litre double-overhead camshaft engine in the meant-to-be sporty GTX, which made a more inspiring 89kW at 6200rpm and 152Nm at 3400rpm.

The transmission choices were a five-speed manual and four-speed auto, both were competent and got the job done without fuss.  Ride comfort was acceptable over most types of road, the handling was well balanced and reasonably assured if not inspiring.

Inside the Baleno was well equipped.

The base model GA had power steering, cloth trim, four-speaker sound and a split-fold rear seat. The GS had sports seats, height adjustment for the driver's seat and colour-matched bumpers. The GLX also had remote central locking. At the top of the range sat the GTX with alloy wheels, rear spoiler, sports seats, velour trim, central locking, power mirrors and windows and six-speaker sound.

The main criticism of the Baleno was its lack of refinement compared to its rivals. Interior noise, from engine and wind, was high.  A 1999 facelift brought an updated front bumper, headlights, grille and bonnet.

IN THE SHOP

Generally Suzukis fare well in terms of reliability, which says heaps for the design and development that has gone into them. The Baleno is no different. Owners report minor problems only. The engines and gearboxes stand up well if maintained properly.

Look for a service record that shows regular oil and oil-filter changes, and a cam timing belt change around 90,000 km.  Tyres and brakes appear to last well.  Brake pads need changing at 60,000-70,000km while the norm for tyres appears to be from 60,000 to 80,000.

CRUNCH TIME

The Baleno is average in crash protection in the annual survey of used car crashes. While the GTX had dual front airbags the rest of the range missed out.

OWNERS' VIEWS

David Hicks bought his 1999 Baleno sedan cheap at auction with 45,000km on the odo and says it's the best car he's owned. It's light on fuel, light to drive and change gears and quiet inside due to the dash mat he's bought.

David Borton is pleased with the 1999 Suzuki Baleno he bought new. He wanted a car that would be cheap to run for a couple of years and he opted for the Baleno, after his experience with a Suzuki Vitara. Six years and 99,000km later he still has it. He's stuck with it because of the low running costs.  Fuel consumption is between 7.5 and 8.0litre/100 km. One problem has been a leak from the top of the windscreen and a few dash rattles.

RATING

12/20 Worth considering if you want a car with low running costs, but looks are mundane.

SUZUKI BALENO 1995-2001

* Commendable reliability
* Good tyre and brake life
* Good fuel consumption
* High interior noise level
* Mundane looks
* Average resale value

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2001 $1,900 $4,070
2000 $1,800 $4,070
1999 $1,800 $4,070
1998 $1,800 $4,070
1997 $1,800 $3,850
1996 $1,800 $3,850
1995 $1,800 $3,300

View all Suzuki Baleno pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$2,550
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$1,800
Highest Price
$3,300

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
GL 1.6L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $1,800 – 3,080 1995 Suzuki Baleno 1995 GL Pricing and Specs
GS 1.6L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $1,800 – 3,080 1995 Suzuki Baleno 1995 GS Pricing and Specs
GL 1.6L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $1,800 – 3,080 1995 Suzuki Baleno 1995 GL Pricing and Specs
GLX 1.6L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $1,900 – 3,300 1995 Suzuki Baleno 1995 GLX Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

Share

Other cars to consider

2001 Toyota Coaster
2001 Toyota Coaster

2001 Toyota Coaster

N/A
1996 Ford Laser
1996 Ford Laser

1996 Ford Laser

Price guide from: $2,200 – $2,499
1994 Hyundai Excel
1994 Hyundai Excel

1994 Hyundai Excel

Pricing guide from: $2,400 – 4,070