1 Mar 1999
Models may vary from state to state due to there being three different Suzuki importers – Ateco, Mayfair and Suzuki Australia – operating in Australia until 2000. Today Suzuki Australia – part of the Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan – is the sole importer.
High prices and bland styling kept the near-invisible Baleno from achieving its sales objectives, so 1999’s facelift incorporated an all-new nose, revised drivetrains, more refinements and a longer standard features list (like air-conditioning) to help redress this.
The range was reduced to the 70.5kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder GL hatch and GLX sedan and wagon and in NSW/ACT only the 89kW 1.8-litre GTX sedan.
To keep sales afloat, Suzuki sent the Cavaliero special edition hatch in during mid-2000. It featured a CD player, remote central locking, power windows and alloy wheels.
The quirky Liana sedan and hatch bounced the Baleno off new car price lists in late ’01.