April 1, 2019

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Review & Test Drive

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Overview

The Maruti Suzuki Baleno may have been around since October 2015, but there is no slowing down this premium hatchback. An absolute bestseller for Maruti, the Baleno has averaged sales of 17,000 units in the past six months alone. So I have to say there was clearly no pressing need to rush in a facelift – especially given Maruti’s usual lifecycles on ‘premium products’ (look at the Ciaz), and the fact that any new competition like the Kia Rio and Tata X451 for instance, are still far away.

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The Baleno outsells the current rivals like the Hyundai i20 (average sales of 12,000 units/month), VW Polo (average sales of around 1400 units a month), and Honda Jazz (average sales of 1200 units/month) by many a mile. It was at the very end of the first month of this New Year, that Maruti Suzuki unleashed the facelifted Baleno on us. Yes it was through an innocuous press release, no big drives or launch events. But now that you get the context, you will understand why it was important to bring you this review – because we still think it is a very big deal. Book a test drive for Maruti Suzuki Baleno in Tryaldrive.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Design

In terms of design, the Maruti Baleno doesn’t really stand out from its peers, and seems like an evolution of the Swift. Maruti Suzuki has been rather conservative on the styling front, with soft lines and smooth corners everywhere – nothing too futuristic or any outrageous attempts to be drastically different from what’s available in the market with this car. Design being a personal thing, Maruti’s new Liquid Flow might appeal to several of the existing Swift buyers, and am sure many would be tempted to trade up to the larger Baleno.

The top variant we drove came with stylish projector headlights, with LED day time running lights and a smart silver strip which merges with a chrome strip on the grille. The design of the headlights, however, are reminiscence of the Swift. As expected, in profile, there are no sharp lines or shoulder jutting out, but the larger proportions of the Baleno make it more impactful than its smaller sibling overall. Unfortunately, just the top spec models get fancier 16 inch alloys wheels, while the rest make do with basic 15-inch steel wheels. Maruti has tried to make the rear of the car more interesting by placing a solid chrome strip on the boot, and higher variants also get a sporty roof spoiler. In all there are seven colours to choose from including a trendy Autumn Orange, Ray Blue, Pearl Arctic White, Granite Gray, Fire Red, Premium Urban Blue and Metallic Premium Silver.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Cabin

The interior gets an all-black treatment with silver inserts like the Swift. The design is fresh and the flattish dashboard goes well with the design concept. The centre console looks modern and neatly houses the stereo and climate control switches. The instrument cluster is contemporary and the higher end models even feature a colour TFT multi information screen.

There are various animated graphics designed to offer real time fuel consumption and power output information too. The steering seems to be borrowed from the Ciaz and S-Cross and is good to grip. Steering controls are easily accessible and quite handy. Fit and finish is impressive and on par with rivals. There are enough storage spaces but space offered under the front armrest could .

Move to the rear and you will be impressed with the rear kneeroom. We couldn’t measure it but overall space is excellent. There is, however, no rear armrest while leather seats aren’t offered even as an option. Boot space isn’t highest in segment but more than sufficient at 339 litres. The loading lip is high and is further exaggerated since the boot itself is quite deep.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Performance

1.2l – Petrol

The petrol motor is the 1.2 litre K12 found on a host of Maruti cars. It does duty in the Swift, Dzire and also the much smaller Ritz. On paper, the engine puts down 84PS @ 6000rpm and 115Nm of torque @ 4000 rpm. The leader of the pack, by a small margin, is the i-VTEC in the Honda Jazz which churns out 90PS. But what matters is the power-to-weight ratio. Here the Baleno has an advantage as it is over 150kg lighter than the Jazz. There is nothing new about the engine as it has been used by Maruti since a long time. While the engine feels refined and linear in its power delivery it feels just like a Swift when it comes to performance.

This petrol variant is offered with two gearbox options. A 5-speed manual and a CVT automatic. We are happy Maruti didn’t go down the AMT route here because the gearbox tends to be jerky. The manual gearbox is smooth and the CVT performs as expected. The NVH (Noise, Vibration & Harshness) levels could be much better. Our guess is that insulation materials were neglected to save on weight as well as costs. The ARAI fuel economy stands at 21.4kmpl. This is almost 3kmpl ahead of the claims by the Elite i20 and the Jazz. The Polo’s 16.5kmpl is way behind the competition. In terms of the automatics, the Elite i20 still doesn’t have an auto option and the Baleno’s 17.8kmpl lies a good 3kmpl ahead of the Jazz.For Maruti Suzuki Baleno visit trauma2011

1.3l – Diesel

The Baleno’s 1.3-litre diesel mill again needs no introduction. The same engine in various states of tune is used in a host of cars by Maruti and Tata. The engine produces 75PS @ 4000rpm and puts down 190Nm of torque @ 2000rpm. This is a bit limp compared to the 100PS put out by the i-DTEC on the Jazz and 90PS by the CRDi on the i20. Maruti Suzuki will be introducing a slightly more powerful 1.5-litre diesel engine in the Ciaz and Ertiga soon. However, it remains to be seen if/when this engine is offered in the Baleno too.

The let down here continues to be the noise levels. The engine certainly feels better, than on the Swift, due to the lower weight of the Baleno. It has a typical diesel turbo-lag at the lower RPMs, but has decent punch on the move. While the diesel offers slightly more punch compared to the petrol, it feels noisier with the diesel clatter filtering into the cabin.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Rideing

The Baleno is an international model for Suzuki and is based on an all-new platform, which will underpin future Maruti models including the next generation Swift. In spite of being larger than the current Swift, the Baleno is 100kg lighter and said to be 10 per cent stronger. This not just helps it meet the stringent European safety norms, but also offers excellent power to weight ratio.

The ride quality of the new Baleno is far superior to any of the recent models launched by Maruti Suzuki in India. In fact, we could go so far as to say that it is probably the best. It rides with a certain poise and confidence, and seemed extremely surefooted on the Jaipur highway. The steering is light and reasonably communicative, more in tune for city use. It’s a large car, but there’s hardly any bodyroll or wallowing. Brakes, too, are good for their job, with ABS and EBD ensuring it stops quickly and safely.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Safety

The Baleno offers good features but the comfort features vary with the variant. However, all trims offer standard ABS, EBD and dual-airbags. This is a good move from Maruti Suzuki and all other models should offer the same too. The car will be available in four trim levels, namely Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Alpha in both petrol and diesel variantsAll versions of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno get dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, high speed warning and ISOFIX child seat mounts as standard. Higher variants add features like a rear camera, auto-dimming IRVM and front fog lamps.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Price in Hyderabad

Maruti Suzuki Baleno On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 6,20,687 to 9,87,729 for variants Baleno Sigma Petrol and Baleno Alpha CVT Petrol respectively. Maruti Suzuki Baleno is available in 11 variants and 14 colours. Below are details of Maruti Suzuki Baleno variants price in Hyderabad. Check for Baleno price in Hyderabad at Carzprice.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Verdict

The new Maruti Suzuki Baleno with lucrative safety features, better exterior design and an upgraded CVT transmission is definitely worth every penny. Thereby, it gives a very tough competition to its rivals in the same segment.The Baleno is offered in 4 different variants for both the petrol & diesel.

The base variant (Sigma) misses out on rear power windows and an entertainment system. These are the features that most people would look for in a premium hatch so we suggest you steer clear. The next variant (Delta) is our pick of the lot. It offers great value and has features such as LED projector headlights, steering mounted controls for the audio system, keyless entry, and power windows.

The next variant (Zeta) features things such as the colour TFT MID, alloy wheels, Smartplay touchscreen infotainment system, fog lamps and start-stop button. This variant is all about adding the “plus one” experience to the Baleno and is mainly about adding want-based features. If your budget permits it, this is a good variant to get if you want the feel good factor.

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