Suzuki Auto South Africa has handed its Baleno additional safety features ahead of the local launch of the Toyota Starlet.

The Starlet, of course, will soon launch in South Africa, arriving as a rebadged Suzuki Baleno, imported from India where it’s built by Maruti Suzuki and known as the Glanza.

We've already published local pricing for the new Starlet and, as we point out in that story, the base variant will undercut its GL-badged Suzuki sibling by some R17 000 (though detailed specifications have yet to be released).

Now, Suzuki Auto SA says it has given its hatchback a “value-boost” by adding an electronic stability programme as standard across the range. This system, the firm says, combines stability control and traction control into “one seamless safety system that prevents the vehicle from losing traction”.

Other standard safety features include ABS (with BAS and EBD) and IsoFix child-seat anchors. The entry-level GL variant features two airbags while the GLX models upgrade to six.

The Japanese company has also emphasised the Baleno will continue to be offered with an “industry-leading” five-year/200 000 km warranty (the Starlet seems likely to come with a three-year/100 000 km item, although this has yet to be confirmed). In addition, the Baleno ships standard with a four-year/60 000 km service plan (we’ll find out next week what sort of plan Toyota SA will offer with the Starlet).

As a reminder, the three-strong Baleno range is priced from R221 900 to R274 900.