Maruti Suzuki Baleno – Something Fresh!

As soon as you hear the name “Baleno”, the thing that pops into your head are the random images or maybe even videos of the old Baleno sedan. That car was and still being used as a rally car by many. But except that brand name, this new Baleno has absolutely nothing to do with that old sedan.

This is all-new. This is something that was missing from the country’s biggest carmaker since a long time. Maruti needed something more than Swift to compete with Hyundai’s Elite i20, Honda’s new Jazz and VW’s Polo. Some people may call it just a practical swift but this car is much more than that.

This car’s kerb weight is 890 kg for petrol and 895 kg for diesel, making it the lightest car in the competition. This car is lighter than its own sibling Swift! That only means better power to weight ratio. At 3,995 mm length and 1,745 mm width, this car is longer and wider than the competition. Also, this car has something which none of the competitors has. Maruti has made essential safety features like dual front airbags, ABS or Antilock brakes + EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) and seatbelt pretentioners as standard. That means you get those safety features even on the base variant, which makes the car really admirable.

The car comes in 4 trims and the top of the line ‘Alpha’ gets a touchscreen infotainment system which features Apple CarPlay. All you have to do is to pair your iPhone to make calls, listen to music on so on. Since I don’t use an iPhone, I couldn’t try that. The MID in the instrument cluster displays various information like doors open, average fuel economy, average speed, clock and so on. It also displays something really cool which I’ll tell you li’l bit later in the video. The cabin takes full advantage of the length of the car and it’s really really spacious. The knee room is impressive. At 339 liters, the boot is impressive too.

The Baleno is powered by the same 1.2L K-Series petrol and DDiS diesel units. The 1,197 cc petrol unit produces 84 PS at 6,000 rpm and 115 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 1,248 cc diesel unit produces 75 PS at 4,000 rpm and a good 190 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. You also get CVT automatic option on the ‘Delta’ petrol trim which is good in the stop-go city traffic. The lighter weight of the car is an advantage and the car is quicker and more fun to drive than the Swift. We noticed that the engine bay still has loooooot of space and Maruti should consider a “GT” version of the Baleno which makes the live power and torque display in the instrument cluster more fun and enjoyable.

The car’s liquid flow design concept has turned out really well. The chrome lining on the front grille that runs into the headlamp cluster, the flowing lines on the side add a lot of character to the car. The DRLs look smart and the car genuinely looks premium. Now, if you’re in the market for a premium hatch and if you’re bored seeing the same cars on the road, you can consider the new Baleno. Because this is something fresh!

Gallery here – Baleno Gallery

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