Maruti has launched the Baleno premium hatchback in India. This marks the global launch of the product that was unveiled at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The hatchback will be the third model to be exclusively sold through the Nexa sales channel and is offered in a total of four trims – Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Alpha. The range starts at ex-showroom prices of INR 4.99 lakh and INR 5.22 lakh for Delhi and Mumbai respectively.
The car has an elegant exterior primarily due to the new Liquid Flow design philosophy. This gives the hatchback a low and wide stance with the bold shoulder line lending it a slightly macho appeal. Noteworthy elements on the exterior of the top trim include the V-shaped grille, HID projector headlamps embellished with LED DRLs and tail lights featuring LED combination lamps. Details such as the blackened A-, B- and C-pillars coupled with the 16-inch “Dynamic” alloys succeed in giving it a stylish look. The top variants also get lot of chrome detailing as well.
The interiors features a clean dashboard layout with all-black interiors, leather-wrapped steering wheel and V-shaped center stack mimicking that of the front grille. The Baleno, though under four meters is still bigger than its sibling – the Swift. Hence the cabin is spacious and roomy with an adequate 339 liters of storage space. There are lots of equipment on offer depending on the variant however, the Alpha will receive reverse camera, smart entry with push button start, automatic climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen SmartPlay entertainment system with Apple CarPlay (a segment first), and multi-function steering wheel with controls for audio and telephony. Safety aspect has been taken care of by offering ABS, EBD and dual front airbags as standard on all variants.
The Baleno is offered in both petrol and diesel variants with both engines lifted from the Swift hatchback. The petrol is powered by the 1.2-liter K-Series engine that produces 84 PS and 115 Nm of peak torque, coupled to a 5-speed manual gearbox with the option of a CVT transmission only on the mid-level Delta trim. Fuel efficiency is claimed to be 21.4 km/l.
The diesel engine is 1.3-liter DDiS 190 unit capable of 75 PS and 190 Nm of torque. The diesel comes only with the 5-speed manual; it is surprising that Maruti has not offered an automatic even as an option, considering that such a combination is currently in vogue with consumers. Fuel efficiency is said to be at a segment leading 27.39 km/l. Another stupid surprise is the exclusion of the SHVS hybrid tech, it would have definitely added to the eco-friendly appeal and I don’t see any reason for not offering it. But I do feel that with a fuel consumption figure that it currently has, the fuel average-conscious customer will still go for the Baleno albeit with slightly higher carbon emissions. The absence of the SHVS is anyway probably filled by the new platform that makes this car lighter by 100 kg as well as stronger by 10% when compared to other platforms in the industry.
Maruti will not be offering the 1.0-liter Boosterjet petrol engine that will come with the Baleno in international markets. It produces more power and would have made the premium hatch a much stronger proposition. Maruti’s latest offering will be exclusively manufactured at Manesar and will be exported to over 100 countries. The complete price list for Mumbai and Delhi are given below.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno prices (ex-Delhi)
|Sigma||Rs 4.99 lakh||Rs 6.16 lakh|
|Delta||Rs 5.71 lakh||Rs 6.81 lakh|
|Zeta||Rs 6.31 lakh||Rs 7.41 lakh|
|Alpha||Rs 7.01 lakh||Rs 8.11 lakh|
|CVT||Rs 6.76 lakh|
Maruti Suzuki Baleno prices (ex-Mumbai)
|Sigma||Rs 5.22 lakh||Rs 6.44 lakh|
|Delta||Rs 5.97 lakh||Rs 7.12 lakh|
|Zeta||Rs 6.6 lakh||Rs 7.75 lakh|
|Alpha||Rs 7.33 lakh||Rs 8.48 lakh|
|CVT||Rs 7.07 lakh|