Maruti Suzuki has made an interesting development to its Baleno premium hatchback with the range-topping Zeta variant now equipped with an automatic transmission (AT). The Baleno Zeta automatic is priced at ₹ 7.47 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Since its launch in October last year, the automatic transmission on the Baleno was offered only on the mid-level Delta petrol trim and missed on several premium features available on the top-end version.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta automatic comes loaded with tech including projector headlamps, auto headlamps with follow-me-home function, rain sensing wipers, chrome door handles and alloy wheels. The cabin gets a plethora of upgrades including illuminated glovebox and cargo space, auto dimming IRVM, leather wrapped steering wheel, MID unit, foot well illumination, push button start, height adjustable driver's seat and front seat armrest.
Clearly, customers were missing out on a lot of features on the mid-level Delta trim, despite the premium price tag. That said, the Delta automatic continues to be on sale alongside the Zeta AT and is priced at ₹ 6.87 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The introduction of the new variant comes as a result of customer feedback, as buyers did not want to compromise on creature comforts when purchasing an automatic variant. As it is, the Maruti Baleno Delta AT is priced at a hefty ₹ 1.06 lakh premium over the Delta petrol MT, so customers don't seem to mind shelling around ₹ 60,000 extra on the range-topping automatic version.
Maruti Suzuki hit quite the jackpot with the Baleno, which has been a major sales driver for the company's premium NEXA dealerships with over 1 lakh bookings to its name. The made-in-India hatchback ha not only found success in India, but is also exported to other developed markets including Europe and Japan. The model is currently being exported over 100 countries globally.
With demand exceeding supply, Maruti will expand the Baleno's production to its upcoming facility in Gujarat, while the performance version - Baleno RS is also in the pipeline for India and will be powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol mill under its hood. In its current avatar though, the Baleno Zeta automatic is powered by the 1.2-litre K-Series petrol engine tuned to produce 83bhp and 115Nm of torque.