Suzuki Baleno Reviews from Netherlands

1997 Suzuki Baleno GLX 1.8

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 1.8 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired263000 kilometres
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

For its size, it is the best in its class

Faults:

When I bought the car, the clutch was slipping.

Front shock absorbers are electronic and cost a fortune to replace. 150 euros each.

The drivers seat bolster has started to wear quite badly.

General Comments:

Good performance for such a small estate.

Rear passenger legroom is limited.

Good sized boot.

Suspension is electronically controlled and is terrible; very bouncy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th October, 2009

2001 Suzuki Baleno GLX 1.6 16v

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.6 16v Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 kilometres
Most recent distance111000 kilometres
Previous carChrysler Voyager

Summary:

Great little second car..

Faults:

Nothing yet.

General Comments:

Perfect second car; enough room for a family of 4 yet small, cheap and fun.

Value for money; and since it IS cheap, not very refined or luxurious. I call it "Exactly Enough" so just perfect. It's minute compared to our familycar (Voyager) but then it's also much cheaper to fill up, tax and insure.

Because of it's light weight the 98 HP 1.6 engine is more than enough for spirited city driving, though highway miles get tedious doing 80 at 3500 revs; the engine is not the smoothest or quietest I've experienced...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st March, 2005

1999 Suzuki Baleno 1.8 GTX 1.8 (LPG)

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.8 (LPG) Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired142000 kilometres
Most recent distance200000 kilometres
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

Good car; pretty reliable, but with a too-soft suspension and way overpriced parts

Faults:

-Drive shaft faulty

-ball bearing right front wheel

-stationary run: couldn't maintain consistent stationary run, went from 500 rpms to 2000 and back; especially when airco was on.

-blew one 'bobine' (the part that takes care of the power-supply of one of the four spark plugs)

-replaced battery.

General Comments:

My Baleno came equipped with an LPG-tank, which causes a bit of a power-loss, but overall, the 1.8 engine is quite nimble at lower revs and downright fast at higher revs; over 3500 revs and the party starts. To my surprise, it's quite economical: I do 11 kms with 1 liter of LPG, which is far better than the 9 km I was promised.

The engine's reliability is fair so far. Only the stationary run caused some irritation, but was solved by simply cleaning out the 'stationary engine', which has become clogged with soot due to a exhaust-return pipe. It's functioning fine now.

The suspension and thus the drive-ability are set to be comfortable; in my opinion, only a 2CV has more 'bounce'. Personally, I'd like a firmer suspension, which matches the SSCS sport-settings. I'm going to lower the car specifically for this reason. Also because the rear, especially when loaded, bouces up and down like an old city bus. Luckily, the tyres (Bridgestone Potenza) do make up for the weak suspension, so corners can be rounded at a fairly high speed.

Exterior: I think the car looks good; especially when seen from the rear. There's only a lot of space between the wheels and the wheel arches, thus making it look like an old Samara.

Interior: I never had any complaints from my passengers, although I had the drivers seat replaced since I didn't fit in it. Also, the fixed headrest was dangerously low and is probably suited for people under 6 feet in height. Same goes for the amount of leg-space and the way the sun-screen goes down; way too low.

I would also have like a bit more storage capabilities in the doors.

Also, the seat belts tend to stay in place when you release them.

The dashboard is often described as 'grey and boring'. Personally, I like it that way. Everything I need is there and at the correct place. What else does one need? Only the top part of the dash reflects in the front window, which is a bit of a nuisance sometimes.

Storing luggage is a piece of cake. The boot is easy to reach and adequate in size. Since my Baleno can carry far over 500 kgs, I never need to fear of overloading. Disadvantage is that the car will hang on its rear wheels and sinks deeply. To counteract this, I have applied load adjusters.

Maintenance and parts:

Since my 1.8 is a pretty rare car, second-hands parts are hard to come by, so sometimes I have to resort to buying new ones, which are frighteningly expensive. Luckily, this car comes with a cam-chain, not a belt. So no replacing necessary.

Conclusion:

Overall, this is a good car; it's fast, economical and comfortable. The downside is that it's too comfortable, thus taking away from the handling and that the interior is made for people under 6 feet tall. Also, spare parts are rather hard to come by and new ones are expensive beyond belief.

I'd buy another if the need would arrive. Only the first thing I'd do is lower the car a bit by shorter and stiffer springs.

Robert Boetje

The Netherlands.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th February, 2005

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 6 reviews