Maruti Suzuki Baleno Facelift Review & Test Drive
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Overview
Maruti Suzuki Baleno gets a mid-life update with fresh set of cosmetic and added features inside the cabin. The vehicle is available in four trims – Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Alpha. The vehicle is available in petrol and diesel engine options. The vehicle is available in six colour options – pearl artic white, premium silver, nexa blue, autumn orange, phoenix red and magma grey.
The Baleno hatchback now features a revised bumper which sports a wider centre air-dam and air ducts on either side which are surrounded by the C-shaped profile. The new grille features a three-dimensional detailing and has been slightly tweaked to make the face look wider. The vehicle now gets precision cut two tone 16-inch alloy wheels. Apply car loan for Maruti Baleno.
For freshness, the Baleno now gets black interiors with premium blue detailing. The hatchback gets a dual tone seat fabric design and an upgraded next generation Smartplay Studio connected infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The device also gives out vehicle information and alerts on low fuel, parking brake, etc. Standard safety features includes dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat mounts and rear parking sensors are standard.
Under the hood, the Baleno is powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine that generates 84bhp of power and 140Nm of torque. The diesel on the other hand gets a 1.3-litre engine that generates 75bhp of power and 190Nm of torque. Both the engines get a five speed manual as standard, while the petrol offers a CVT option.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Style
The Baleno is a premium looking car. There are lots of things that make the car appealing, but it isn’t simply down to looks. While the photos suggested that the Baleno looks similar to the Swift, in flesh, the Baleno looks a lot different.
Suzuki calls the new styling language ‘liquid flow design’ and it doesn’t take too much to understand why. The V-shaped grille at the front isn’t an independent form but a part of the design that flows from the front grille through the headlamps and all the way to the C-pillar at the back. The headlamps are tiny compared to the ones on the current Swift and even the other smaller Suzuki hatchbacks, however, with the projector headlamps and the bright LED DRLs, they look way more premium than the rest.
The side profile is relatively simple; the square wheel arches aren’t ornate, the shoulder line isn’t too prominent, the 16-inch-alloy wheels look bland and even the slanting roof does not make it appear sporty. The blacked out pillars and chrome door handles do their bit in trying to up the charm, still if there is a weak link in the appearance of the Baleno, it is in this.The rear looks sorted. Although the design here is simple, the slanting windshield and small spoiler make for a pleasant sight. Also the LED tail lamps is a nice touch. Overall I think the Baleno is a nice looking car, though it lacks the flair of the Hyundai i20 and Honda Jazz.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Space
The new Baleno gets subtle changes inside. The carmaker has replaced the earlier black colour scheme with the new blue and black combination which does add a dash of sportiness to the car. Further, to make this car look upmarket, Maruti has chosen to give chrome inserts around the ac vents as well as on the centre console. The most prominent change comes in the form of updated infotainment system. The 7-inch touchscreen unit is the same SmartPlay Studio which is seen in new Wagon R. The infotainment retains the support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay along with new navigational setup which shows live traffic and warning for speed limit. This unit has been sourced from Harman instead of Bosch and the user interface is also chic and slick to use.
The instrument cluster is the same 4.2 inch colour TFT multi information display in the middle. The white fonts with blue circles look cool. The MID shows information such as real-time and average fuel consumption, time, outside temperature and distance to empty counter. The instrument cluster also shows the power and torque being used with clean animated graphics. The steering wheel is familiar and gets tilt and telescopic functionality along with mounted controls for music and telephony. It is also good to hold.
Coming to the seating and space, the front seats offers excellent support with new black fabric with blue inserts. Here you will find decent storage space with nice quality of materials. The doors get adequate sized storage pockets for holding 1L of water bottle. The car is quite spacious with 5 adult can occupy the seats comfortably as there is ample headroom and legroom. However, the only con here is the absence of rear ac vents centre armrest which Maruti should have included in the face lifted version. But the good thing is that automatic climate control is now available right from the Delta variant.The boot space is sufficient with 319L of luggage storage which can be further extended by flipping the rear seats in 60:40 ratio. Overall, the carmaker has given decent updates this time around but misses out on some of the prominent features.Check for Maruti Baleno in Trauma2011
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Engine
The Baleno’s most-selling engine will be the petrol, which is a 1.2-litre K-Series engine that churns about 82bhp of power and comes mated to either a five-speed manual or a CVT (continuously variable transmission). This is a gem of a petrol engine and it has already been doing the magic on the Swift already. The drivability of the manual is good and one doesn’t requires to shift gears even in city traffic. The power is very much linear and the throttle response is also good. To overtake isn’t very difficult, but at times one needs to downshift. Drive it in city or on the highway, it is very convenient. We haven’t driven much in the city, but it is certainly not that difficult. We shall soon get our hands on the Baleno and take it for a longer drive in the near future.
The diesel on the other hand is a 1.3-litre DDiS that churns about 75bhp of power and 190Nm of maximum torque. The diesel again has minimal lag and this is one of the biggest USPs of both the Baleno engines. The engineering team of Maruti has stated that it has worked on the NVH levels of the Baleno, however it is still a bit loud at high speeds. It isn’t the clatter, but the harshness sound. The only downside of this engine. We are nitpicking complains as Maruti has left no room for us to point out the issues with this premium hatchback. The Japanese automaker has gone a good job with the Baleno and it does feel smooth to drive and it doesn’t even feel jittery up to speeds of 120km/hr. Overtaking is a breeze in the diesel engine, while the gearbox is wee bit notchy. Despite pushing the Baleno, our mileage was constantly above 15km/l.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Driving
The ride of the Baleno car is very good. We have only driven the 195/55R16 (top-of-the-line variant) and yet to experience the other variant that comes shod with smaller tyres. But the ride will more of less remain the same. The suspension absorbs all the bumps with ease making it a smooth ride. On the other hand, the handling of the Baleno is just more evolved than the Swift. The alacrity of the chassis is a lot more superior to the other Maruti products thanks to the lighter weight chassis. This not just enhances the power and efficiency, but also improves the driving dynamics. The steering wheel too is light and feels comfortable to drive in city. It does weigh up a bit making it a joy to drive on the highways too.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Safety
The Baleno comes with ventilated discs at the front and drums at the rear, pretty much the standard affair in the class it falls. Further, the braking is enhanced by standard features such as anti-lock braking system and electronic brakeforce distribution. The car also features dual front airbags, dual horn, manual headlamp levelling, reverse parking assist sensors, driver and co-passenger seatbelt reminder, high speed warning and ISOFIX Child Seat Tether Anchorage as part of other standard fitment. The top variants also get auto dimming IRVM, pinch guard power window, reverse parking camera, rear wiper and washer, front fog lamps, rear defogger and automatic headlamps on/off functionality.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Cost in Ahmedabad
Maruti Suzuki Baleno On-Road Price in Ahmedabad ranges from 6,19,834 to 9,84,532 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 Ahmedabad. Check for Baleno price in Ahmedabad at Autozhop.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Conclusion
The Baleno is a very balanced package. Looks decent, offers ample space, there are plenty of features and the performance is acceptable. But what seals the deal for me is the fact that the safety aspect is covered even in the base variant. So anyone on a tight budget can pick up the entry-level variant and then upgrade features later.
Of course, the pricing will play a very important role. But with close to 99 per cent localisation and a relatively smaller diesel engine, it should not be too much of a worry for Maruti Suzuki. The Baleno will be sold through the Nexa dealerships and people looking to buy a premium hatchback should consider this before making the final decision.
Only time will tell if the Baleno will set things in the right direction for Maruti Suzuki, in terms of presence in the premium segment. But it certainly has the potential.Tags: Maruti Suzuki