Maruti Suzuki India has finally launched the mid-life facelift of its immensely popular premium hatchback – Baleno. It has received subtle cosmetic changes as well as feature upgrades, with the engine specifications being the same.
First launched in 2015, the Maruti Baleno has consistently held onto its reputation of being one of the best-selling models of the automaker. Thanks to its unique styling, premium interiors, and efficient powertrains, the Baleno has all along managed to impress car-buyers.
Factually speaking, the Baleno holds over 27% market share in the A+ segment that includes Hyundai i20 and Honda Jazz and has remained one of the best-selling cars in its category. The following are some of the prime features that are expected to make it hugely popular amongst car buyers-
- Engine – Under the hood, everything remains the same. The 2019 Maruti Baleno facelift has retained the 1.2litre, K-series, DOHC petrol and 1.3 litre DDiS diesel engines. While the former has the capacity of churning out 83bhp of power at 6000rpm against 115Nm of torque at 4000rpm, the latter generates a peak power of 74bhp at 4000rpm with the maximum torque output being 190Nm at 2000rpm.A 5-speed manual gearbox with the FWD (front wheel drive) system is offered as standard across the model line-up. You can also expect a CVT gearbox on the select petrol variant (Delta, Zeta, Alpha).The updated version of the Baleno RS has not been launched yet and is expected to hit the market sometime in mid-2019. It will continue to be powered by the existing 1.0 litre Boosterjet petrol engine that is tuned to deliver 100.5bhp of power and 150Nm of torque. Power will be sent to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox.
- Fuel efficiency– As far as fuel economy is concerned, the Maruti Baleno beats all other premium hatchbacks that are currently on sale in India. Its face-lifted model, with the same powertrains, has managed to hold onto the top position.The petrol variant returns a mileage of 21.4kmpl while the diesel model promises 27.39kmpl. In fact, according to ARAI claimed figures, the Baleno RS hot hatch delivers a mileage of 21.1kmpl. Since the car is built on a lighter platform and thus has a major weight reduction, it results in improved fuel efficiency.
- Performance– The petrol engine promises to be an excellent performer, and currently the best in its segment. The highly refined engine is complemented by the light weight of the car. If you are an enthusiastic driver who likes performance-centric cars, you will surely be smitten by this one! The HEARTECT platform ensures superbly impressive performance while the handling part is also quite smooth, thanks to the McPherson Strut suspension and ground clearance of 170mm.
- Proportions and boot space– Coming to proportions, the facelifted model remains unchanged- with a length of 3955mm, the width of 1745mm, and a height of 1500mm. It has a wheelbase of 2520mm. This premium hatchback has a ground clearance of 170mm, and promises a boot space of 339 litres.
- Exterior– Coming to the exterior, buyers can expect the overall silhouette and design to remain unchanged. Similar to the S-Cross facelift, the updated Baleno flaunts a new prominent front grille with chrome enhancement and 3D detailing, slightly revised lower air-intake, repositioned vertical fog lamp assembly and a re-profiled bumper.
It now also shows off new LED projector headlamps with daytime running lights. Besides, you will surely be impressed by the new precision cut dual-tone 16-inch alloy wheels, new taillight graphics and a roof-mounted spoiler. The new bumper looks sportier, thanks to a revised enclosure for the foglamps and sharper creases. If you opt for the RS variant, you get a sportier body kit.
- Interior– When it comes to the interior, the 2019 Maruti Baleno exhibits minimal changes. Though it retains the black interior scheme, contrasting premium Blue detailing has been added to it.
The new two-tone seat upholstery lends it an upmarket feel. The cabin also boasts of the new SmartPlay studio connected infotainment system, which is compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, voice recognition, parking camera, Bluetooth audio, telephony, etc. You can also enjoy the SmartPlay Studio App for navigation with live traffic updates and vehicle information and alerts. It will also continue to offer ample legroom and headroom.
If you have an affinity for music and entertainment, you will surely be delighted by the new generation SmartPlay Studio connected infotainment system with a vibrant and customizable interface. You can also surf news, get the latest weather update, listen to your favourite songs, and locate restaurants etc. in your prximtiy. The rear parking camera gives you a full view of the backside for convenient parking.
- Colour options– You can choose from six exterior paint schemes- Pearl Arctic White, Premium Silver, Nexa Blue, Autumn Orange, Phoenix Red, and Magma Grey.
- Rivals– The 2019 Maruti Baleno facelift will rival the likes of the recently launched 2018 Hyundai Elite i20, the new Volkswagen Polo, and the face-lifted Honda Jazz. There will also be the Tata 45X and even the Kia Rio that will be made available within a year and a half.
- Safety– All the wheels get disc brakes along with ABS and EBD. The carmaker also offers other usual features such as dual airbags, ISOFIX child restraint system, pre-tensioner, rear parking sensors, speed alert system, brake assist, and force limiter seatbelts with a reminder, engine immobilizer, keyless central locking, speed-sensing doors, child safety door, and seat belt warning. Besides, the high tensile strength of Baleno boosts the overall safety by making the body much stronger and rigid. The front disc brakes and the rear drum brakes are quite efficient in providing stopping power to the axles.
- Ride and handling– The Baleno’s mature ride and handling came as quite a surprise. Its straight-line stability is superb, which is further aided by the long wheelbase. However, it is the finely balanced suspension that gives Baleno its dynamic prowess.
Also Check: Used Maruti Suzuki Baleno in Chennai
A major advantage of this car is its better power to weight ratio, that adds on to the pros of the Baleno despite the same engines on offer. It is more convenient in its handling, which automatically enhances its driving dynamics.
The braking system of this premium hatchback is also top-notch. The steering is pretty quick that lends Baleno a sporty feel to punt around corners. There’s a heft to the steering that gives a lot of confidence to the driver at any speed. A 1170 mm ground clearance takes care of speed-breakers and sharp verges without a worry.
The petrol range costs between Rs. 5.45 lakh – Rs. 8.77 lakh, while the diesel variant is priced within the range of Rs. 6.60 lakh- Rs. 8.60 lakh. The base petrol and diesel models are 4000 and 6000 expensive than the previous models, while the top-spec petrol and diesel models’ price has increased by 31,000 and Rs. 7000 respectively. All prices are ex-showroom Delhi.
Also Check: Used Maruti Suzuki Baleno in Delhi
It is likely to be rivalled by the Maruti Suzuki WagonR, Maruti Suzuki Swift, Hyundai Elite i20, and Hyundai Grand i10. The new Baleno 2019 complies with side crash, offset and pedestrian safety norms and regulations.
With this mid-life facelift, the Indo-Japanese brand aims to further propel its sales to higher figures. You can choose from five variants- Sigma, Delta, Zeta, Alpha, and RS. What’s more, the company has already started working on the next-gen model of this hatchback, which is scheduled to be launched in 2021. It is built on the Suzuki’s HEARTECT platform that also underpins the Swift twins, new-gen Wagon R, Ignis, and new-gen Ertiga MPV.
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