Maruti Suzuki Baleno Overview
Maruti Suzuki Baleno is a new premium hatchback that sits above the Swift. This is the first product that is based on Maruti Suzuki’s new fifth-generation platform. This is a revolutionary platform for the company as it is lighter and even stronger than the existing Maruti Suzuki platforms. The Baleno is placed above the Swift and will be Maruti’s product for the premium hatchback segment.The Maruti Suzuki Baleno competes with the Honda Jazz and the Hyundai Elite i20. The Volkswagen Polo and the Fiat Punto Evo could also be considered as competition to the Baleno. Maruti Suzuki Baleno On road price starts from 5,42,411/-. Check for price details of Maruti Suzuki Baleno in CarzPrice.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Design
Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed with the interior when I first saw it at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month. And Maruti executives confirmed that the cars given to us in India are closer to production, which explains why it seems a lot more likeable now. The smart all-black cabin looks upmarket and sporty, but there are plenty of parts carried forward from other Maruti Suzuki models, which steals some of the freshness away. We expected the premium-positioned Baleno to use some soft plastic parts on the dashboard and maybe leather upholstery options, which could have made the cabin even better. Apart from this there’s not much to complain about, as the fit and finish is pretty decent for the segment
The front seats are large, comfortable and well bolstered. Thankfully, the driver’s seat is height-adjustable, which helps get a good driving position. In fact, the tilt and reach adjustable steering further helps this cause. The icing on the cake is the positioning of the switches and buttons, all of which are well within reach, making the cabin ergonomically sound.
As desired in this segment, the cabin is spacious and there’s plenty of space at the back too. What’s most impressive is the excellent knee room for the rear seat passengers – something Maruti car buyers were always left desiring more for until now. India being a predominantly chauffeur-driven country, this will not go unnoticed. There’s a spacious boot too, with a very useable 339 litres of storage space.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Cabin
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
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
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 Engine
The real changes are under the hood. Baleno RS comes with a 998cc, 3 cylinder turbo charged DOHC petrol engine, which produced a healthy 103 bhp and 150Nm of torque. This setup is mated to 5 speed transmission, the same unit as the standard Baleno. Maruti Suzuki has stiffened suspension to minimize body roll, and help minimize acceleration and decelleration pitch. On the first lap, I went easy to warm up with the gearbox and braking, and the Baleno RS feels right. There are disc brakes, and an effective ABS system, which works rather well at higher speeds.
Gearbox is smooth to shift, and precise. Baleno RS weighs 950 kilos (dry) and that means agility is not a problem at all. The problem is weight distribution. Maximum car weight lies around the front axle than the rear where only the torsion beam and spare wheel weighs things down. So, while taking corners with lift off, and turn right, before I hit the apex, the rear starts rolling brutally, causing spin outs now and then.
Maximum power is at 5500rpm, so, it really isn’t a rev happy engine. This rev sadness also slows you down while down shifting as you have to go down the rev range to downshift to a lower gear whilst braking. Baleno RS is electronically limited to 170 kmph and on the back straight of the Buddh International Circuit, it really could have done much higher speeds than it suggests. Brakes are effective at such high speeds but power braking makes the rear end go loose even before you’re halfway through
0-100 came at a lazy 10.8 seconds, which isn’t the fastest in the segment. Acceleration from standstill is linear, and there is no prominent shove off the turbocharger, which should be excellent for city driving
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. View offers on Maruti Cars from Maruti dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Safety
Maruti is offering the Baleno RS in a single variant and hence the car is loaded with top spec safety features as standard such as dual front airbags, ABS, EBD and ISOFIX child seat provision. Additionally, the Baleno RS comes with all-four discs for better stopping power. In terms of after sales, we all know that Maruti has a very renowned and wide network across the country. The NEXA channel is growing with each passing day and the ownership cost of the Baleno RS will definitely be the lowest compared to the other performance hatchbacks in this segment.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Cost
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 5,42,411/- (Baleno Sigma Petrol) to 8,62,135/- (Baleno Alpha CVT Petrol). Get best offers for Maruti Suzuki Baleno from Maruti Suzuki Dealers in India
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Verdict
The Baleno is based on the new, Suzuki fifth-generation platform that is lighter, rigid and safer. Designs are subjective and the Baleno doesn’t top the list when it comes to styling, but what it gets is a complete package from the country’s best-selling car maker. The interior quality, the space and the drivability is one of the best in its segment. Maruti is ticking all the correct boxes with the Baleno and this is what the customers need. This is the new-generation Maruti and it stands strong, sending a signal to the competition that it is not going to stay quiet and it will not give up its market share. It is there to lead and hold on its market share. The Baleno is the first one and many more are coming in.
Maruti Suzuki is once again flexing its muscles with the Baleno and this is the segment that is already on a rise. The brand value adds on to it and it makes it a great option to buy, especially the petrol. Once the price tags are revealed that is when we can give a clear opinion. The only think that will stop buyers from getting a Baleno is the badge value that Maruti Suzuki holds in the premium segment at the moment in the premium segmen