Suzuki Baleno is the only car that Japanese automaker has imported from India to Japan and it’s also to be noted here that facelift of this hatchback was not launched in the home market
In India, the Maruti Baleno rules the roost and has been the hottest-selling premium hatchback for many years now. Elsewhere, however, the same is not the case as the small car pretty much been selling in dismal numbers in most markets it is retailed in. Same is the case in Japan, where the parent company Suzuki will pull the plug on the Baleno next month.
It is to be noted here that unlike India, which gets the facelift version of the Baleno, Suzuki has been selling the pre-facelift model in Japan. The Baleno is the only car that Suzuki has imported to Japan from India so far. It is also worth noting here that unlike most other models sold by Suzuki, the Baleno doesn’t come with the 4WD option in Japan. Even the mild-hybrid SHVS technology isn’t on offer.
The Suzuki Baleno has been on sale in Japan since March 2016 and now, after more than four years, it looks like the end of the career of this hatchback is finally near. The car was being imported from India. At the time of the launch, the Baleno was sold only with the K12C 1.2-litre Dualjet engine, which was made available in India with the introduction of the facelift. This engine produces a maximum power of 91 PS at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 118 Nm at 4,400 rpm. The Japan-spec Baleno is available only with a CVT option.
Soon after the launch, the company even introduced the K10C 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbocharged petrol engine, which made it to India with the now-discontinued Baleno RS. This engine outputs a maximum power of 102 PS at 5,500 rpm and a peak torque of 150 Nm at 1,700-4,500 rpm. While this engine came mated to a 5-speed manual transmission on the Baleno RS, in Japan, the motor comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Japan-spec Suzuki Baleno came with a fuel economy rating (JC08 test cycle) of 24.6 km/l (Dualjet)/19.6 km/l (Boosterjet). The hatchback is sold with features like HID headlamps, LED tail lamps, heated front seats, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Radar Brake Support collision-mitigating system and Electronic Stability Program.
In Japan, the Suzuki Baleno costs JPY 15,73,000 (INR 11,07,748.28) with the 1.2-litre Dualjet engine and JPY 17,60,000 (INR 12,39,438.64) with the Boosterjet engine.