It boasts of stylish features and immense road presence. In its new avatar, Baleno will rekindle your love for the hatchback –
Most of you would remember Baleno as a mid-size sedan by Maruti Suzuki. Since it could not set the sales charts ringing, it was discontinued by the company in 2007, never to be brought back. Or so we thought!
Maruti Suzuki unveiled the new Baleno at the recently-held IAA at Frankfurt. India is the first market where the new Baleno is being launched. The manufacturer says that this Baleno might prove to be a game-changer in its segment. But we would rather make that judgment ourselves.
Maruti Suzuki has dealt its cards in the smartest way possible and with the arrival of the Baleno, the premium hatchback segment will see some serious competition for the sales numbers.
The new Baleno will sport three drivetrains: 1.2 VVT petrol manual & CVT and 1.3 DDiS diesel manual. Here are some other numbers that might interest you –
Ground Clearance – 170mm
Fuel Efficiency -21.4kmpl
Peak Torque – 190Nm
Engine Capacity – 1248cc
Starting with the looks, the boffins at Maruti Suzuki have spent a considerable time in making the Baleno look good. The front fascia is different and better than any other Maruti Suzuki car on the roads. Sure, the headlights might seem to be inspired from the Swift but our top-end test car featured projector lamps and DRLs too. Look at its profile and you can see the Liquid Flow Design come into play.
Inside, the first thing that grabs your attention is the centre-console, which is the same as the ones found on the S-cross and the Ciaz. The touch interface is smooth and intuitive. The biggest value addition that Maruti Suzuki did was to add the Apple Carplay to the infotainment system. All you need to do is connect your iPhone and voila! The homescreen of your iPhone is mirrored on the display. Also, Maruti Suzuki will soon be bringing in the Android Auto interface to the Baleno soon. The cabin is airy and has space for five people to sit comfortably. There is enough knee-room for the rear passengers and even six-foot plus passengers will find decent space above their heads.
The steering has been setup nicely. The electric steering weighs up bit by bit when one goes above 65-70kmph making drive enjoyable on the highway. The Baleno itself weighs in at 710-865 kg which makes it the lightest vehicle in its segment thereby aiding fuel efficiency, performance and handling.
It comes with two engine options — the 1.2-litre K-series petrol and the 1.3-litre Fiat sourced DDiS diesel. The petrol engine makes 83bhp and 115Nm of torque while the diesel makes 75bhp and 190Nm of torque. The Baleno does not compromise on safety and gets ABS with EBD and airbags across all variants. The top-spec is one we would pay our money for. It gets leather-wrapped steering wheel, AC with climate control, reverse parking cameras, Apple Carplay and the 7-inch TFT touchscreen infotainment system along with other useful features.