Maruti Suzuki has launched the long awaited Baleno RS. It gets a slightly altered exterior look as compared to the standard Baleno. It has a new front mesh grille with a chrome bezel and a larger and sportier front bumper too. The front bumper also gets a lip spoiler/splitter, which has been finished in satin black. The car also gets a satin black side skirt and a set of 16-inch wheels that are identical to the standard car but painted in a shade of black. The rear bumper is also completely different with the lower half reminding us of the sporty Japanese hatchbacks from the late 90s and 2000s. The Baleno RS also gets a new and slightly larger spoiler as compared to the standard car.
With Swift being the only B segment hatchback to take on the more contemporary premium rivals, Maruti felt the need to introduce a new model. Positioned above the flagship model Swift, Baleno is priced aggressively between Rs 5.15 lakh and Rs 8.32 lakh. The upmarket hatchback from Maruti is reminiscent of Swift which reflects on the front profile. Dimensionally, it is larger, more on the lines of rivals and gets a contemporary design, something Maruti cars have been missing on. Maruti has taken a long leap in terms of interior design and features, again something not seen usually on Marutis. Mechanically, Baleno is similar to Swift with same petrol and diesel units mated to five-speed manual gearbox, although there is an additional CVT missing on Swift. While there is no doubt about the credibility of the product, pricing plays a crucial role in making things work and for Baleno it got a perfect start, thanks to the competitive Maruti Suzuki Baleno price. Compared to rivals like Hyundai Elite i20, Volkswagen Polo and Honda Jazz, Baleno has a relatively low price.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Exterior
When Maruti decided to segregate its premium range from the usual, it made sure the difference is conspicuous in the look, feel and experience. Baleno is a chic hatchback that gets a contemporary design on the lines of rivals. Reminiscent of Swift, front features honey-comb mesh grille with sleek chrome surrounding meeting with the projector head lamps. Lower side of bumper has air-dams and fog lamps. View from side is pretty impressive too, the tapering widow glass, prominent beltline, flared wheel arches and slightly sloping roof add to the overall appeal. Get to the back and you realise how much attention Maruti has paid to the design of the car. The protruding boot make things stand out for Baleno, other key styling elements like chrome garnish beneath the raking wind-screen, pointed spoiler and well-shaped tail lamps further accentuate the chic tail.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Interior
Step inside the cabin to be surprised by the premium interiors earmarked by modish design. Although, what remains a disappointment is the quality of plastic used on glovebox, door pads and dashboard. On the space front, Baleno scores well with ample room for occupants in front and rear seats. There is a large touchscreen placed on the v-shaped centre console and temperature dials are placed just beneath it. What stands out is the blue-lit instrument panel that adds to the premium appeal inside. Seat fabric is again not very upmarket and the use of silver accents inside is a bit overboard. Maruti has provided various storage points inside like cup holders, door pockets, bottle holders and back seat pockets etc.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Engine Specifications & Transmission
Under the hood, Baleno gets choice between two engines, the 1.2 litre petrol and 1.3 litre DDiS unit. The 1.2 litre engine powering the petrol range puts out 62kW at 6000rpm and 115Nm at 4000rpm. Diesel trims get the Fiat sourced 1.3 litre Multijet engine good for 55.2kW at 4000rpm and 190Nm at 2000rpm. Both the engines come mated to a five-speed conventional manual variants and CVT is available with select petrol trims.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Features
On the outside, Baleno gets body coloured door handles in lower trims and chrome finished door handles on higher variants. Honey-comb front grille gets chrome accent, ORVMs come with mounted indicators, back doors get spoiler, projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights and rear combination lamps with LED. Cabin gets metal finish door handles, multi information speedometer with display and leather wrapped steering wheel.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Performance & Mileage
Fuel economy for diesel engine is rated at 27.39 km/l and petrol trims are claimed to deliver 21.4 km/l. The light body weight infers good power to weight ratio which reflects in the performance both in terms of fuel efficiency and while on the go.
Baleno Accessories & Infotainment
Maruti’s SmartPlay infotainment system comes only on the range topping variant, while rest of the trims get audio system with FM/MO3/CD player. The remote control through Smartphone App is also restricted to top-spec trim along with other features like navigation system, voice command, Smartphone Connect/Apple CarPlay. Bluetooth, AUX-IN, USB port and steering mounted controls for audio are standard across line-up save for the base trim.
Baleno Braking & Handling
Front axle features disc units and rear comes with drum units. Anti-lock-braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution is standard across line-up.
Baleno Safety & Security
Dual front airbags for driver and co-passenger and ABS with EBD are standard across variants. The only feature that is exquisite to the top-spec variant is the reverse parking camera. Other eminent equipment aboard include anti-theft security system, front disc brakes, dual horn, auto head lamps, front fog lamps, front seat with belt pre-tensioners and force limiters, pinch guard power window for driver, auto dimming IRVM, driver side seat belt reminder, reverse parking sensors, rear wiper and washer and rear defogger.
Baleno Comfort and Convenience
Comfort goodies aboard include central locking, remote keyless entry, power windows in front & rear, auto-up power window for driver, electrically foldable ORVMs, telescopic steering, tilt steering, adjustable head rests in front and rear seats, automatic AC in higher trims, front centre armrest with storage, 60:40 split rear seat, height adjuster for driver’s seat, front and rear accessory socket and push start/stop with smart key.
Baleno Wheels and Tyres
Tyres are available in two size, 185/65 R15 and 195/55. Alloy wheels are provided on higher trims while other variants get full wheel caps.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Competition
In the premium hatchback segment, Baleno fields against rivals like Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo. Of all, the Korean make remains the toughest competition to Maruti Baleno. Buying decision in India is largely dependent on price of the vehicle and considering the price difference between both, Baleno is on the safer side.