Maruti Baleno has achieved many milestones in its successful journey in the Indian market. This is also because it is the first vehicle that has crossed the 1 million units sales mark the fastest. Due to this sales, Maruti Suzuki has maintained a decent market share in the premium hatchback space. Not only this, it is also the best selling vehicle through premium Nexa showrooms. After its first launch in the year 2015, in 7 years now it has been given the biggest change in 2022, which you can also call the new generation because the exterior, interior, features, design and engine of this vehicle have undergone major changes.
First of all, if we talk about the design, then the new Baleno has been built on the “Crafted Futurism” design language. Looks completely different from the front. Its bonnet looks simple but looks quite classy. The grille has also been widened already and a thick layer of chrome has been added here which is seen giving it a tremendous look. It gets new LED DRLs and new LED headlamps, which are projectors and Maruti is calling them the NEXtre.
We have run the top variant, so it is obvious that we are telling all these features only from the top variant. The side profile looks similar to the old Baleno but here the company has included new 16-inch alloy wheels. Apart from this, the line of Chrome can also be seen on the window. Talking about the rear profile, here too you can see a thick layer of chrome on the tailgate. Apart from this, signature LED tail lights are also seen here.
interior and technology
If you compare the new Maruti Baleno with the old Baleno, then you will see a really big change. The biggest change you will get to see in the layout of its interior. Not only this, the infotainment system has also become 9-inch which is Smartplay Pro Plus. Apart from being large in size, it also comes with excellent touch response and resolution. The new design language is clearly visible here as well and the way the dash, climate control switch and AC vents have been designed are very attractive. The instrument cluster also has a digital screen with two big analogs which gives a lot of information. The steering wheel is also new and you get a cruise control button along with steering mounted controls.
Talking about the touchscreen system, you will get the connectivity of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which can be connected only via wire at the moment, but Maruti says that soon it will get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity with OTA update. Will get Apart from this, you can also get some work done by giving ‘Hi Suzuki’ voice command in it. Baleno is a connected car and it is the first vehicle in which more than 40 connected features are being provided through the Suzuki Connect app. Apart from this, you are also getting Arkamys sound system in the top variant, whose music output is also good.
Apart from this, in the new Baleno, you are being given 6 airbags as safety as well as a head-up display which is first in the segment and it gives you current speed, timing, gear position, real time fuel efficiency, etc. gives information about. You can also adjust its angle and brightness. Apart from this, you are also getting a 350-degree view camera in it which is an added feature of the vehicle and it really helps you a lot during parking and traffic. However, you will get 360-view camera and head-up display only in the top Alpha variant but as standard safety you are being given ISOFIX child seats and dual airbags as standard. Not only this, hill hold with ESP is being given in all automatic and manual variants of Alpha in the new Baleno.
Coming to the rear seats, you get to see decent legroom, shoulder room and headroom in the Baleno. However, there is no armrest and the seats are in the upright position, meaning you have to sit upright. Three people can easily sit in the back, but on a log drive you can get a little tired. Apart from this, even if two people sit on the back seats, then there is no armrest for them, which I think the company should have given. For two passengers, you get to see an adjustable headrest as well as a 3-point seatbelt, but for the middle person, only a lap belt is available and there is no adjustable headrest. Talking about the boot space, the Baleno gets only 318 liters of boot space as was being given earlier.
Engine and performance
The new Baleno is powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine that generates 88.5 bhp power at 6000 rpm and 113 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm. It is not a turbocharged engine but is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with AGS (Auto Gear Shift). When we first started the manual transmission, then you get to see a very light clutch in it and the travel of the clutch is also not much. That is, you will not feel tired while running. Shifting of gears is also great. The mid-range of the Baleno is quite good and keeps you quite happy at 80 or 90 kmph. Not only this, the mileage of the vehicle has also increased to more than 22 kmpl. If you drive from low rpm to high rpm, manual transmission gives you fun to drive.
On the other hand, if we talk about AGS, it is much more economical than CVT and also offers you a better mileage. The mileage of the new Baleno with this gearbox is 22.9 kmpl, which is 15 percent more than the old Baleno. Yes, one can say that it is not more responsive and powerful than CVT, but for those who like to do decent driving, it is much more beneficial and economical. Maruti’s aim is clear that they include all the features that you need in this vehicle with an affordable price.
In terms of ride and handling, the car has become 55-60 kg heavier than the old model and new suspension setup has been installed in it which works better on rough roads. Not only this, it also claims to give you a better ride at high speed, even if you do cornering. Braking has also been made tremendous and this time you get to see more grip in the brakes as compared to the old model. Overall, it is now economical and comfortable to drive the Baleno.
Price and Verdict
The new Baleno price starts at Rs 6.35 Lakh which goes up to Rs 9.49 Lakh (ex-showroom). In total, you will get to see 7 variants in which 3 variants are AGS. This vehicle competes with the Hyundai i20 and Tata Altroz in the Indian market, which come with both petrol and diesel engine options, but only the petrol engine is given in the Baleno. With premium features and new changes, Baleno is going to be really liked by the people. Not only this, you also get enough comfort with great features and decent performance at an affordable price.