Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Modern standard touchscreen sat-nav works well
  • LCD screen on dash displays information clearly
  • High driving position means good visibility

Overall there’s a grown-up feel to the cabin, with tough yet soft-touch materials covering many of the surfaces. Some of the plastics aren’t what you’d call stylish or modern, but we don’t think customers buying this sort of car will mind, or indeed notice. They’re more likely to applaud its resilient nature.

The dash is of a conventional layout with the rev counter on the left and speedo on the right, flanking a slick LCD screen which can clearly display a number of parameters such as trip computer information and even the G-force experienced.

Impressive infotainment system

We particularly liked the standard seven-inch touchscreen sat-nav and infotainment system taking pride of place high up on the centre console. It’s easy to read and responds well to touch inputs. We found the facility to use smartphone commands like pinching and swiping an intuitive interface too.

Tall driving position

It feels like you’re sat quite high up, which means good visibility, while the seats themselves are supportive. We found the gear lever in manual cars less than satisfactory in terms of shape and quality, but the rest of the controls feel well laid-out.

Automatic gearbox-equipped Balenos get paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel, which allows some manual operation, and the gear lever is a fairly conventional linear affair – though we found ourselves slotting the car into M (manual) mode when setting off because it sits directly below the D position, meaning sometimes you select it by mistake, especially if you’re in a hurry.

  • Great seats
  • Tall passenger seat

The recipe is a good one: supple suspension, supportive seats and a refined cabin combine to ensure Suzuki Baleno comfort is among the best in its class. We were particularly happy with the lack of road, wind and engine noise at low speeds, the Boosterjet petrol making the best of it thanks to its easy-going nature below 2,000rpm.

We found the passenger seat to sit relatively high compared to the driver’s, even at its lowest setting.