Maruti Suzuki Baleno First Drive Review

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Maruti Suzuki Baleno Overview

The Swift was the car which changed the hatchback dynamics in the Indian market when it was launched in 2005 and since then, it has single-handedly dominated the hatchback segment, being the top selling car in its segment, not by a small amount but by a huge margin. The Swift’s popularity and the fact that it was Maruti Suzuki’s best hatchback meant that the vehicle had to deal with more responsibilities, like competing in the premium hatchback space which has cars a segment above. Now to relieve the Swift of its duties in the premium hatchback space, Maruti Suzuki has bought in the Baleno, a car which is bigger than the Swift in every way and has been designed to lure customers who find shortcomings in the Swift. The new Baleno has a lot of significance, it brings back the old moniker used by Maruti’s then flagship sedan (in the 2000s) and the Indian automaker has been entrusted with producing the car for the world. But how good is this Hyundai Elite i20 challenger? Check for Maruti Suzuki Baleno  price in Pune at Tryaldrive.

The Baleno nameplate has been used for the Cultus Crescent in Asia, Australia and European markets. Maruti Suzuki used the Baleno name for its upper C-segment sedan from 1999 to 2007. A station wagon version of the Baleno was also launched, called the Baleno Altura. The new Baleno has nothing in common with the old model, other than the name.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Look

Front

The front of the Maruti Baleno is quite stylish and gives a unique presence to the car, one that sets it apart from the crowd. There are daytime running LEDs, but these come only in the top end Alpha variant, which is quite a dampener. The headlamp design reminds one of the Swift. The black honeycomb grille is smart looking and has chrome garnishing on the lower end, which adds some flair. The bumper gels well with rest of the body.

Side

From the side the car looks very contemporary and long as well. The side profile does look much better than the competition despite the fact all of them are under 4 metres and the same length hatches. The hood has a nice curve to it and the silhouette looks beautiful. This is certainly the best angle of the car.

Rear

The rear is also appealing and muscular. There is a rear spoiler as well which is neatly integrated. Maruti follows the liquid flow design for Baleno, which makes it look trendy. The paint job on the Maruti Baleno is of good quality and makes it premium looking. The Maruti Baleno looks longer than the competition and even more premium in styling.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Comfort

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. To know more details on Maruti Suzuki Baleno check Mpculture

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Transmission

The engines on offer are a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.3-litre diesel. Both are offered with five-speed manual, while the petrol even gets a CVT on option. The petrol engine has great performance, complimented by the light weight of the car. The body weight of the Maruti Baleno is about 900kgs. The performance of the petrol engine is the best in its segment. The engine is highly refined and it has good power power on offer too. At the same time, this engine packs in generous torque too. The petrol comes with an option of five-speed manual or CVT. The CVT is recommended for city driving, while the petrol manual has good amount of punch too.

The Maruti Baleno diesel is certainly not the most powerful one in the segment, on paper. As it produces 75bhp only and has five-speed manual. But in the real world, the performance is at par with the competition. You do not feel the turbo lag, in fact this is a highly drivable engine. Both the engines have good power and drivability, the petrol has better of the two. As this diesel car is agin lighter than its competition,

The Maruti Baleno ranks very high in mileage. For a petrol engine, this returns about 13 km/l in the city and about 16km/l on the highway. At the same time, the Maruti Baleno CVT has an efficiency of 11 km/l in the city and about 14km/l on the highway. On the other hand, the diesel engine returns close to 16 km/l in the city and about 19 km/l on the highway.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Driving

The Baleno is lighter than the Swift due to a new platform and while the lightness is a boon, it’s not at the cost of rigidity as the new platform is 10% stronger. This Maruti has been softly sprung (remember, this car is made to please those who find something lacking in the Swift) and comfort is what the Baleno is aimed at. Thus the ride quality is excellent and the car absorbs almost everything in its stride, save for sharper bumps. Even on bad roads, there is little noise which is transmitted to the cabin, the suspension working silently to iron out bad tarmac. But out on the highway, road and tyre noise does get inside the cabin and in the case of the diesel, the engine’s drone further makes things noisy.

The top-spec model rides on lower profile, 16-inch wheels while the lower models with higher profile 15-inch rubber is even better in the ride quality department. The Maruti Baleno features a long wheelbase which does help in giving the hatchback very good high speed stability. The handling is good and body control is excellent too, although not in the same league of the sportier Swift. What is really impressive is the steering wheel that weighs up quite well at speed and is quite quick too, feel and feedback being good enough to put a big smile on the driver’s face. Braking performance left us a bit disappointed as the Baleno doesn’t inspire confidence to brake hard and even though it’s light, the car feels a bit twitchy under hard braking, the lower trims more so with the 15-inch MRF ZVTV rubber lacking grip. The top-end model using 16-inch wheels gets Apollo Alnac 4G tyres which offer much better grip than the MRFs.

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 Price in Pune

Maruti Suzuki Baleno On Road Price is 6,45,699/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,52,367/- in Pune. Maruti Suzuki Baleno comes in 14 colours, namely Premium Urban Blue,Metalic Premium Silver,Pearl Arctic White,Ray Blue (RS),Autumn Orange (RS),Fire Red (RS),Granite Gray,Ray Blue,Premium Urban Blue (RS),Autumn Orange,Premium Silver (RS),Granite Gray (RS),Fire Red,Pearl Arctic White (RS). Maruti Suzuki Baleno comes with FWD with 1197 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 83 bhp@6000 rpm and Peak Torque 115 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Maruti Suzuki Baleno comes with Automatic Transmission with FWD .

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Final Word

Maruti Suzuki is called the hatchback king and the Baleno is testimony to the same fact. With its first premium hatchback, the Indo-Japanese automaker has worked on several aspects to impress customers. Yes the interior could have felt better with less of parts from lower Maruti cars and the diesel engine could have belted out more power and less noise, more so when competition is kept in sight. But, when you look at the overall package, you realise the Baleno is an all-rounder. It looks good, has plenty of space on the inside, comes with a ton of features (some of them being unique to the segment), drives well, efficiency is class leading and the ride-handling balance is excellent too. Maruti has a sure-shot winner on its hands and the competition better be worried.

The Baleno nameplate is back and with a bang. The new model has nothing in common with the old one but stays true to its predecessors principles of good power to weight ratio. This new Maruti is all set to worry its rivals because it excels in multiple departments.

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