Maruti Suzuki Baleno Overview
The smartly turned-out Baleno scores well for practicality with its cabin, which offers more space than many pricier sedans. The boot is generously-sized, too. 2019’s update has added colour to the cabin but material quality is mediocre by class standards.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno’s standard 83hp, 1.2-litre petrol engine is peppy, refined and efficient; and the five-speed manual gearbox is also nice to use. City dwellers will find a good combination of efficiency and convenience in the CVT auto variant. The 90hp Baleno Smart Hybrid is significantly pricier than the standard petrol version but promises enhanced performance and economy. As for the Baleno diesel, its 75hp, 1.3-litre diesel engine is superb on fuel economy but is also loud and simply feels outdated.
The Baleno’s ride and handling are fine and the controls are light but the steering’s lack of adequate self-centring takes getting used to.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Exteriors
The highlighting feature of Maruti Suzuki Baleno cars is its sporty look. A glance at Baleno images shows a unique and extravagant appeal. Its wide stance makes it appear like a big car. However, it has modest specifications. The Baleno length is 3995mm whereas its width and height are 1745mm and 1510mm respectively. Its wheelbase of 2520mm makes Suzuki Baleno an extremely stable car. Baleno ground clearance of 170mm is better than that of other hatchbacks in its segment. It is not a high ground clearance, but can still sail over obstacles on the roads.
Its angular headlights complement the beauty of this car. The robust grille with the Suzuki symbol presents an imposing sight. Some of its variants come with attached fog lamps whereas the base models have provisions for the same. Specific Baleno models come with black alloy wheels. However, the characteristic features present in all Baleno variants are LED rear combination lamps and rear parking assist sensors. Baleno comes in six beautiful colours, such as Magma Grey, Nexa Blue, Pearl Arctic White, Premium Silver, Phoenix Red, and Autumn Orange.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Interiors
The only thing that looks familiar inside the Baleno is the typical three-spoke Maruti steering wheel. Apart from that, it looks like a modern and sporty hot hatch with black interiors. The all-black theme of the Baleno is what a hatchback should have, instead of the beige and bright interiors that are more suitable for sedans. The first thing that strikes you while you are in the driver’s seat is the instrument cluster. It gets blue illumination with tachometer and speedometer on either side and a big 4.2-inch TFT MID in the middle. The display is rather animated and shows all the information you need including range, trip meters, outside temperature, instant fuel efficiency, average fuel efficiency, time and most importantly the segment first power and torque meters that are more of a gimmick than being informative.
The wide and V-shaped dashboard is smartly designed and the elements are interestingly highlighted with silver accents. The centre console integrates the infotainment system very well and has controls for the automatic climate control system at the bottom. The AC chills the cabin very fast and was a boon during our hot and sunny drive in Jaipur. The Baleno gets auto headlamps that emit a good throw of light thanks to the powerful projector lights. The blue illumination of projectors look very cool at night and when you flash the lights, the drivers in front can easily mistake the Baleno for a BMW, it is that effective.
The 7-inch touch screen unit offers USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity along with GPS navigation. It also doubles up as rear parking camera screen with guidelines. However, the party piece of this multimedia system is the integration of Apple CarPlay! Connect your iPhone with USB and it offers the basic functions of your phone that you need while driving. It offers functions such as Phone, Music, Messages, Podcasts and Audiobooks. So no need to fumble with your iPhone while driving, just sit back and interact with Siri or navigate your phone through the touchscreen. The Siri is not too responsive with the Indian accent and most of the times you end up using the touchscreen. Don’t worry Android users, Maruti will soon introduce Android Auto system as well. The OEM speakers are impressive since the sound quality is crisp and clear.
The quality in the Maruti Baleno doesn’t feel up to the mark considering the cars that it competes with. There are hard plastics at some places but the fit and finish feels built to last as is the case with all Marutis. There are some elements carried forward from other Maruti siblings such as stalk units, window switches, etc. but nothing feels flimsy or inferior to use. The fabric upholstered seats are very comfortable and supportive both at the front and rear but leatherette finish option for the seats are missing on top-end variants. There is a front arm rest which is very convenient for long drives along with a dead pedal in the footwell. The rear seats get enormous legroom and you won’t ask for more ever in a hatchback. Headroom is very good, even for tall passengers and shoulder room is enough to seat three abreast. The boot space at 339-litres is accommodating but the loading lip is high and the floor is quite deep. Underneath you’ll find a 15-inch space saver steel spare wheel of MRF make while the tyres on the top-end model are Apollos. Some of the key features of Baleno include keyless entry and go system, push button start/stop, reverse camera, auto headlights with follow-me home, tilt and telescopic steering, auto dimming IRVM, puddle lamps, anti-pinch driver-side window, power foldable and adjustable ORVMs.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Performance
Maruti Suzuki has carried forward the same set of engines on the Baleno that do duty on the Swift and although the company also powers the car with a 1.0-litre BoosterJet turbocharged petrol engine, the same isn’t being offered in India, at least not for the time being and is reserved for export markets. Both the petrol and diesel engines are familiar to all of us since they power a slew of Maruti cars. The petrol unit is the 1.2-litre K12 motor that pumps out 85 PS of power and 115 Nm of torque, the K-Series mill having being praised endlessly by us in our past few reviews, deserves more applause in the Baleno because it weighs a whooping 100 kgs lighter than the Swift, in spite of being bigger. The Baleno thus boasts of an even better power to weight ratio and is quick off the line.
The K-Series mill doesn’t have the strongest low-end performance with the mid-range being flat but the same isn’t very evident in the Maruti Baleno due to the lower weight of the car. The gear ratios have also been altered to extract the best mileage, thus the ratios are tall with first gear doing 45 km/hr and second gear taking the vehicle to 90 km/hr, third maxes out at 137 km/hr. But where this powertrain truly shines is the top-end and screams all the way to 6200 RPM where the rev limit kicks in. The smoothness of the 1.2-litre engine is truly noteworthy with refinement levels being excellent, no vibrations at all. Driving the car on open roads with the vehicle in top gear, the RPM needle ticks in at 2500 RPM, giving enough room to stretch the motor’s legs.
The petrol powered Maruti Baleno is matched to a 5-speed manual gearbox which has swift shifts and a light clutch. An automatic gearbox is offered as well which is a CVT unit (on the mid-level Delta variant and not on the top-end Alpha), offering good response to throttle inputs. But being a CVT, the rubber band effect is a given and thus the motor revs too much once past 4000 RPM (all the way to 6000 RPM) without actually making much progress, best to give part throttle inputs then. This nature of the CVT box makes it best suited for city driving where the boon of automatic gear shifts takes precedence over outright acceleration. But the big advantage of the CVT box is the mileage, as both the manual and CVT gearboxes of the petrol Baleno return the same fuel economy, 21.4 km/l as per ARAI which is the segment best.
Coming to the diesel engine, the same 1.3-litre Fiat sourced MultiJet unit is offered in DDiS 190 tune which means it generates 75 PS of power and 190 Nm of torque. The weight advantage plays here too and thus the diesel Baleno is quicker off the line than the Swift, it also feels more eager to throttle inputs thanks to the tuning done to the motor. But you do have to downshift as the car doesn’t take off quickly at low speeds in higher gears. However, the bottom-end continues to be weak as there is some lag low down but performance is more linear than before and there is no sudden spike in torque. The engine also revs freely and has a petrol like character in that regard, spinning past 5000 RPM before the limiter kicks in at under 5400 RPM. However, the top-end isn’t making much progress and it’s best to shift up in the mid-range. To know more details on Maruti Baleno check Mpculture
There is much more noise in the cabin once you get past the mid-range and NVH levels aren’t as good as some of its rivals, in fact we measured a maximum of 95 dB at redline in third gear, which is a lot of sound indeed. Clearly the DDiS motor’s 8 years of duty can be seen and Fiat’s MultiJet II motor is the need of the hour. 100 km/hr comes up in third gear while at the same speed in top gear, the oil burner is spinning at around 2400 RPM, ready to pull strongly for a quick overtake. The clutch is light and the gearbox has short but surefooted throws, making driving this Maruti a pleasure. Many were expecting the Baleno to get the same engine tune as the Ciaz as both the Hyundai Elite i20 and Volkswagen Polo produce around 90 PS while the Honda Jazz belts out 100 PS. But with the weight reduction, the Baleno is still decently quick and the lower tune has been done in the interest of costs as the more powerful DDiS 200 motor which gets VGT also has SHVS tech to boost mileage even further. Still the Maruti Baleno is the most frugal car in its segment, returning an ARAI claimed 27.39 km/l.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Driving
Maruti Baleno is an excellent car to handle because of its perfect balancing features even at reasonable speeds on highways. It does not wobble even when you drive it at speeds more than 130 kmph. Performance wise, it ranks right alongside its cousins, Maruti Swift and Dzire. Comparisons such as Baleno vs Swift or Baleno vs Dzire are common. On the performance and handling front, there is little to choose from these vehicles.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Safety
Baleno cars come with high-quality suspension, such as Macpherson Strut for the front wheels and Torsion Beam for the rear, to ensure that its passengers get an uneventful driving experience, even on bumpy countryside roads. Baleno tyre size of 195/55R16 is ideal for a hatchback of this size. Ventilated disc brakes on all wheels prevent skidding on slippery roads. A manual handbrake makes it possible for Baleno cars to remain stationary while parking as it prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards.
All Baleno variants come with dual airbags for driver and front seat passenger. Rear sensors with camera allow you to park your Baleno without any problems. ABS and EBD provide incident-free braking as it prevents skidding of the wheels when you apply sudden brakes. An engine immobiliser system proves handy because no can operate the engine without inserting the vehicle’s keys into the ignition. Other safety features include child safety locks and a central locking system.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Cost in Ahmedabad
Maruti Suzuki Baleno On Road Price is 6,19,834/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,54,689/- in Ahmedabad. Maruti Suzuki Baleno comes in 14 colours, namely Premium Urban Blue,Metalic Premium Silver,Pearl Arctic White,Ray Blue (RS),Autumn Orange (RS),Fire Red (RS),Granite Gray,Ray Blue,Premium Urban Blue (RS),Autumn Orange,Premium Silver (RS),Granite Gray (RS),Fire Red,Pearl Arctic White (RS). Maruti Suzuki Baleno comes with FWD with 1197 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 83 bhp@6000 rpm and Peak Torque 115 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Maruti Suzuki Baleno comes with Automatic Transmission with FWD .Check for Maruti Baleno price in Ahmedabad at Tryaldrive.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Final Word
Maruti Suzuki is called the hatchback king and the Baleno is testimony to the same fact. With its first premium hatchback, the Indo-Japanese automaker has worked on several aspects to impress customers. Yes the interior could have felt better with less of parts from lower Maruti cars and the diesel engine could have belted out more power and less noise, more so when competition is kept in sight. But, when you look at the overall package, you realise the Baleno is an all-rounder. It looks good, has plenty of space on the inside, comes with a ton of features (some of them being unique to the segment), drives well, efficiency is class leading and the ride-handling balance is excellent too. Maruti has a sure-shot winner on its hands and the competition better be worried.