Maruti Suzuki launched the Balneo facelift without much fanfare in January this year. With this mid-life facelift, Maruti gave the Baleno several updates along with fresh styling and aesthetic tweaks. To let you know, the Baleno is the best selling vehicle in the premium hatchback segment, where it battles for the crown with the likes of the Hyundai Elite i20 and the Honda Jazz. The top end variant of the Baleno, the Alpha 1.2 automatic petrol, is priced at Rs. 8.77 lakhs. Being the top end model, it comes with all the bells and whistles expected from a premium hatchback and then some. The video below by Namaste Car gives a detailed walkaround review of the car. Check it out before we further move on upon the details and features of the car.
As seen in the video, the facelifted Baleno looks quite fresh and chic compared to the model it replaces. Maruti Suzuki has retouched several bits around the car which enhance its aesthetics without actually giving it a major upgrade. The front bumper has been refreshed and houses larger foglamp enclosures. The air dam is also larger than the previous generation model while the front grille has been updated. It now gets 3D detailing in a flowing pattern like design, which actually looks good. The car now rides on machined dual tone 16 in alloys shod on with 195/55 section tires. The rear gets a similar design as on the previous model and the big chrome slab running horizontally along the tailgate looks quite premium.
Things have been refreshed on the inside too and as seen in the video, the car comes with new seat fabric, finished in black and navy blue dual tone colours. The touchscreen audio system has been updated too and it now gets the “SmartPlay Studio” UI, which first launched with the Maruti Suzuki all-new WagonR. It also gets the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity apart from navigation and Bluetooth telephony. the dashboard design, rake and reach adjustable and other interior bits remain the same but overall, the cabin feels refreshed.
In lieu of the upcoming BNSVAP safety norms, the Baleno gets a host of safety features too. This includes ABS+EBD, dual airbags, brake assist, pre-tensioner and force limiter seat belts, front seat belt reminder, ISOFIX child seat restraint system, speed alert system and rear parking sensors are standard across the variants of the Baleno. The Baleno is built upon Maruti’s HEARTECT platform which is stronger than the previous platforms and underpins several of the manufacturer’s other cars like the Ertiga and Swift among others.
Talking about the engine and transmission, they have been carried on untouched. The 2019 Baleno remains powered by the same set of 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel engine options. The four-cylinder petrol engine produces a maximum power of 82 Bhp of power along with 115 Nm of torque. The 1.3-litre diesel engine produces a maximum power of 74 Bhp and 190 Nm. The petrol engine gets CVT automatic transmission as an option but the diesel engine option only gets a manual 5-speed transmission. The top end Baleno in the video uses the 1.2 litre petrol engine mated to the CVT transmission.
The Baleno has remained at the top spot in sales since a long time and with the facelift, Maruti has further given it an update so that the car stays in its top form. However, it will face a new competitor in the form of the upcoming Tata Altroz. Tata has hinted that the Altroz will disrupt the premium hatchback segment and therefore it will be interesting to see how things unfold in the coming time.