The engine returns an impressive 62.7mpg on a combined cycle. This is practically equal with the Kia Rio, and far surpasses the capability of the Honda Jazz.
The Suzuki Baleno comes in a 5 door only guise, and has plenty of room on the inside combined with a 320L boot. This is fractionally less than both the Kia Rio and Honda Jazz, but when the rear seats are lowered, expands to 1085 making it an ideal car all the family's needs.
Packed with features to make your journey even more comfortable, the SZ5 Baleno comes with satellite navigation, climate control, bluetooth, DAB radio, Adaptive Cruise Control and a host of safety features such as Radar Brake Support, reversing camera and hill hold control (on the automatic). The Kia Rio also comes with an impressive list of of equipment, with the Honda Jazz at the bottom of the pecking order lacking both Climate Control and Sat Nav as standard.
What sets both the Baleno and Jazz apart from the Rio are the servicing intervals. You'll only need to visit the garage every 12,500 miles, whereas you'll be back every 10,000 miles in the Kia.
"The Suzuki Baleno is a bit of a hidden gem in the supermini class – especially fitted with this excellent 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine.
The Suzuki could be a great choice and capable of fulfilling all of your needs. It’s fun to drive, practical, comfortable and reasonably cheap to run. This SZ5 model comes loaded with standard equipment, too, and all for less than £14,000."
The Kia Rio does have an impressive engine when it comes to economy, with a combined MPG of 62.8, which is 0.1 higher than the Baleno, but significantly more than the Honda Jazz that sits at 56.5.
The Rio comes with a generous amount of equipment too, including Sat Nav, DAB radio and Bluetooth - but doesn't feature xenon headlights or keyless entry and start like the Baleno. It does, however have heated seats which both the Honda Jazz and Suzuki Baleno lack.
The Kia Rio also doesn't come with an automatic gearbox option, like the Baleno and Jazz.
"The Kia Rio is a good value, practical supermini with a great seven-year warranty, but it is far from perfect. As a tool for getting from A to B, it’ll do the job nicely. Yet in class of such broad and varied talent, the Rio is overwhelmed."
In terms of miles per gallon, the 1.3 engine struggles to keep up with the efficient 1.0 engines featured in both the Baleno and Rio, returning just 56.5 to the Rio's 62.8 and Baleno's 62.7. It also lacks Climate Control and Sat Nav costs extra, both which come as standard on the Baleno and Rio. The Baleno beats it further with Xenon headlights and Keyless Entry and Start as standard.
There is an optional automatic gearbox in the Jazz like in the Baleno, something not available in the Kia Rio, but it does cost significantly more and given that the engine is the least efficient of the three cars, this may not be an appealing option for prospective buyers. The automatic gearbox also slows the already leisurely car down, meaning the Honda Jazz takes 12.2s to go from 0-60mph.
"The Honda Jazz has grown over the years, and the latest version is more practical and well equipped than ever. It’s not particularly fast and it’s not particularly cheap, but it drives in a civilised manner provided you avoid the CVT automatic gearbox option."
|SUZUKI BALENO 1.0 BOOSTERJET SZ5||KIA RIO 1.0 T-GDI 3||HONDA JAZZ SE 1.3 I-VTEC|
|On the road price||£13,249||£16,930||£15,455|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||37 litres/foam||45 litres/foam||40 litres/repair kit|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||320/1,085 litres||325/980 litres||354/1,314 litres|
|Turning circle||9.8 metres||10.2 metres||10.8 metres|
|Basic warranty (miles)||3yrs (60,000)||7yrs (100,000)||3yrs (60,000)|
|Service intervals||12,500 miles||10,000 miles||12,500 miles|
|Auto box/stability/cruise control/Auto Emergency Braking||optional/yes/yes/yes||No/yes/yes/yes||optional/yes/yes/restricted|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/no/no||Yes/artificial/yes||A/C/no/no|
|Metallic paint/xenon lights/keyless go||£485/yes/yes||£485/no/no||£500/no/no|
However, when it comes to affordability both in terms of initial purchase price and running costs, the Suzuki Baleno wins outright. It's £3,681 cheaper than the Kia Rio to buy, running costs are low, and servicing costs very reasonable, plus its equipped with so many features - there's very little more you could want from a compact family car.
Want to read an independent review of the Baleno?
Click here to visit the Autoexpress website.
*Current price, including Suzuki's £1,750 discount available until 30th June 2017.