Baleno pricing starts at less than £13,000 for the 1.0-litre Boosterjet SZ-T model, and for that you get a good-sized hatchback with six airbags, 16in alloy wheels, HID headlights, sat-nav, DAB radio, air conditioning, electric front windows, privacy glass and cruise control.
You also get a car that performs better than the class average, as we’ve established, returns better than 55mpg and retains its value as well as plenty of more expensive options.
You can see why, for private motorists with funding in place, the car would appeal. Suzuki is also offering some attractive PCP deals that bring monthly payments down to less than £160 over four years, provided you can find a modest deposit.
The company will have hoped for a better crash test result than it was awarded by Euro NCAP. Top-level cars come with a radar-based crash avoidance and mitigation system as standard, but entry-level SZ-Ts only include it as an option. As a result, Euro NCAP awarded four stars out of five for the car equipped with Radar Brake Support and only three stars for the entry-level version.
A group 11 insurance rating isn’t as low as some (an MG 3 is group 4), but it beats most of the Baleno’s rivals of a similar performance level.
We suggest buying the SZ5 spec Baleno as it comes with reach adjustment for the steering column, rear electric windows and adaptive cruise control thrown into the package. Choosing metallic paint for an additional £430 well pay dividends when you come to sell it on.