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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


Restyled Suzuki Baleno teased ahead of 23 February reveal

Baleno will be Suzuki's first "new" model of the year with the second set to be the completely new, second generation Vitara Brezza later this year.


The announcement made less than a month ago, Suzuki has released the first official teaser image of the updated Baleno.

Effectively the model’s second refresh after the initial updated three years ago, the now seven-year old Baleno will debut on 23 February with production once again taking place at Maruti Suzuki’s Gujarat Plant in India.

Likely to also provide a preview of the mechanically identical Toyota Glanza, known locally as the Starlet, the darkened image provides comparatively little detail, though as indicated by recent spy images, the Baleno is set to benefit from a new grille and bumpers, restyled LED head-and-taillights, redesigned fog lamps and a new bonnet.

Confirmed to feature a segment first Heads-Up Display, additional interior changes are set to include a wireless smartphone charger, standard fitting of six airbags, new air-conditioning controls and vents, availability of cruise control and standard Electronic Stability Control already available in South Africa.

According to Autocar India, the biggest interior addition will be a new nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system called SmartPlay Pro+.

ALSO READ: More extensively updated Suzuki Baleno due in February

Developed in conjunction with Toyota, the system will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as better connectively and likely new software. Also poised to be offered is a surround-view camera system on higher-end models, yet another Baleno first.

Underneath the bonnet, the Indian-spec Baleno is likely to retain the 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol engine that produces 61kW/113Nm or 66kW/113Nm in mild-hybrid form. Export markets, like South Africa, will prevail with the bigger 68kW/130Nm 1.4-litre petrol.

On the transmission front, the five-speed manual remains, while the optional CVT could make way for a five-speed automated manual (AMT) in order to save costs. The 1.4 meanwhile looks set to continue with either the manual or the optional four-speed automatic.

Already available for ordering India, the Baleno is expected to arrive in South Africa later this year with the Starlet set to follow suite. It will be Suzuki’s first “new” model of the year with the second being the completely new Vitara Brezza due in July.

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