Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker, has launched its highly-anticipated premium hatchback Baleno at Rs 4.99 lac. This hatchback will be exclusively sold through the company’s Nexa premium dealerships, after the S-Cross that was launched in early August. The Baleno will compete against the Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo. The price of the vehicle ranges between Rs. 4,99,000 to Rs. 7,01,000 lakh for petrol variants. Whereas, for diesel variants the price ranges between Rs. 6,16,000 to Rs. 8,11.000 lakh. All prices are ex-showroom, New Delhi.
According to the company, the Baleno will be manufactured exclusively in the country. At the same time, it will be exported to over 100 countries across the world including the home country of its parent company Suzuki Motor Corp in Japan. Here it is worth-mentioning that the Baleno will be Maruti’s first car to be exported to Japan. The company will begin exporting the vehicle either by end of this year or by the beginning of next year.
Talking about the engine and mileage
The Baleno comes with a choice of two engines. One is 1.2-litre, 197cc, 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 85 PS and 115 Nm of torque @ 4,000 rpm. The petrol engine is also offered with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) on the Delta trim level. The petrol version comes with the ARAI-certified fuel efficiency of 21.4 kmpl.
And, it comes with 1.3-litre, 1248cc, 4-cylinder diesel engine which produces 75 PS and 190 Nm of torque @ 2,000 rpm. The diesel version comes with the ARAI-certified fuel efficiency of 27.39 kmpl.
Both the engines- petrol and diesel are mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Besides, the vehicle has a 37 litre of fuel tank.
Cabin Space and Interior look
The interior is all-black and graced with silver accents. The cabin of the Baleno is much spacious. The seats are very comfortable and there are several smart storage spaces and cubbyholes. The dashboard also gets a simple and clutter-free design. The metre console has been designed decently and small elements therein have been also beautifully done. Maruti, for the first time in the country, has introduced the Apple CarPlay system, which allows the driver to connect an iPhone through the car’s in-built display and voice control system. Additionally, the driver gets a multi-information 4.2-inch colour TFT screen which displays data such as clock, average speed, average fuel-efficiency, power and torque figures.
The vehicle gets one of most important features- UV Cut Glasses that reduce the ultra-violet rays entering the cabin by as much as 85%. Furthermore, this unique tint adds also to the exterior appeal. The quality of the plastic is very good. There is ample shoulder-room and legroom however, the headroom is not the best. While the boot, at 339 litres, is spacious, the loading lip is a bit high compared to some other hatchbacks.
The Exterior look and Ground Clearance
No doubt, the Baleno looks much impressive with its sleek design and fairly large dimensions of 3,995mm in length, 1,745mm in width, 1,460mm in height along with a wheelbase of 2,520mm and a ground clearance of 170 mm. In fact, it is based on the company’s new design concept which is known as Liquid Flow and comes with many features like blackened A, B and C-pillars, sweptback headlamps, an air dam with horizontal slats, a V-shaped honeycomb grille, wraparound tail lamps and a roof-mounted rear spoiler. Apart these, it comes with Chrome accentuated front grille with signature ‘S’ logo.
The Baleno is available in 7 colours – Fire Red, Autumn Orange, Ray Blue, Premium Urban Blue, Metallic Premium Silver, Pearl Arctic White and Granite Grey and in 4 trim levels – Delta, Sigma, Zeta and Alpha.
On the safety front, the Baleno comes with dual airbags, force limiters, seatbelts with pretensioners, parking sensors, front disc brakes that comprises of ABS and EBD. Besides, it has HID Headlamps with LED Daylight Running Lamps and LED Rear Combination Lights.
What is best about this car
Because of competitive pricing, fresh styling and ample features, the Baleno is more affordable than the i20, Jazz and the Polo. In fact, in terms of safety, the Baleno is the only car in its segment to feature dual airbags, anti-theft security system, anti-lock braking system and electronic brakeforce distribution as standard. Moreover, its excellent legroom and spacious cabin are the strengths of the vehicle. Further its climate control system and central console layout look decent. Besides, its top trims also come with keyless entry with a start-stop button, electric mirrors, reverse camera and a tilt and telescopic steering.
What this car lacks ?
It is true that shoulder-room and legroom of the Baleno are by far much spacious and comfortable but, nonetheless, the headroom of the vehicle is not as good as other hatchbacks. Ground clearance is also a bit low. Moreover, diesel motor power capabilities are poor too.
The Take !
The Baleno is priced at around Rs. 36,000 to Rs. 40,000 cheaper than its rivals Hyundai Elite i20, Volkswagen Polo and Honda Jazz and other premium hatchbacks in the country. The SmartPlay infotainment system of the hatchback adds to its plus point. Overall the vehicle is good enough to buy.