Suzuki NZ have released a special production run of the turbocharged Suzuki Baleno RS five-door hatchback.

The latest version of the lively Baleno RS represents a $2,000 saving and comes with a choice of seven colours including two new options. Magma Grey joins the colour lineup and the vibrant Autumn Orange is available for a limited period.

The RS returns an average of 5.2 litres/100 km in the combined fuel economy cycle, a good result for a turbocharged car.

The direct injection, 16 valve 1.0 litre motor is coupled to a 6-stage automatic gearbox with steering column paddle shifters. All-round motoring is enhanced by a 23 percent increase in torque over the naturally aspirated 1.4L engine featured in the GLX model from 130 Nm to 160 Nm, while a 20 percent boost in power to 82 kW adds a sharp edge to the car’s performance.

Another key to the Baleno’s performance is the lightweight platform which is based on the underpinnings of the highly popular Suzuki Swift model. This has significant frame and component weight savings, helping to keep overall weight of the 3,995 mm long Baleno to a trim 975 kg.

Standard equipment includes anti-lock brakes with EBD and brake assist, electronic stability programme, hill hold control and automatic levelling LED projector headlights. Guide-me, automatic light-sensing headlights continue to illuminate the road for a short while after occupants leave the vehicle. LED daytime running lamps are integrated into the headlamps.

Four wheel disc brakes and larger diameter 16-inch polished face alloy wheels are part of the RS package, as is Climate control air conditioning, a 7-inch touch screen, satellite navigation, reversing camera, Bluetooth, Apple Carplay and Android Auto are all included.

The RS is distinguished by chrome door handles, chrome beltline accents and front fog lamps. A smooth and stand-out body shape is further enhanced by a rear upper spoiler and rear chrome garnish. With the addition of two new colours plus the availability of Phoenix Red Pearl, Starglaze Blue, Premium Silver metallic, White Pearl and Granite Grey metallic, there’s a good choice of colours.

For a limited time the suggested selling price of the Baleno RS is now $23,990 plus on-road costs and the car comes with a comprehensive five-year warranty package and five-years Suzuki Assist which is one of New Zealand’s most comprehensive roadside assistance programmes. Customers can also purchase a 3-year Service Plan for only $699. 

“Popularity of the Baleno range is continuing to increase,” said Gary Collins, General Manager of Motor Vehicle Marketing at Suzuki New Zealand. “In 2020 sales of new Balenos in New Zealand increased by 38 percent over the previous year, despite the overall market reducing in size due to the Covid-19 virus.”

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm also an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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