Maruti Suzuki will finally step into the “premium” hatchback territory in India. The Baleno name plate will be brought back to do just that and as early as the 26th of October, 2015, the new hatchback could find Indian homes. Bookings for the Baleno are now open.
Even as Maruti Suzuki kickstarts marketing activities around its new car, new details have emerged about the India-spec Baleno. The car will be sold in Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Alpha variants, with two engine and two transmission options. That’s not all. There are a few surprising bits about the car too. We’ve rounded up 10 of them.
180 mm of ground clearance is a class leading
… bit and Maruti Suzuki is clearly taking no chances with their new premium car, which features a long wheelbase of 2,520 mm. The higher ground clearance will ensure that the Baleno doesn’t scrape on taller speed breakers.
16 inch alloy wheels
…will be offered on the Zeta and Alpha variants. Notably, this is the first time ever that a hatchback with the Maruti Suzuki badge is featuring 16 inch alloy wheels.
ABS and twin airbags
…are standard on all variants. This is a superb move, considering that Maruti Suzuki has come under some flak for offering safety features only on top-end variants.
No Boosterjet turbo petrol engine
…for India. We’ll have to make do with the 1.2 liter K-Series petrol motor, in 82 Bhp-115 Nm state of tune. The much more powerful 1 liter-3 cylinder Boosterjet engine could arrive later though.
75 Bhp diesel engine’s a bummer
…as the competition [read the Honda Jazz (98.6 Bhp-200 Nm) and the Hyundai i20 Elite (89 Bhp-220 Nm)] offer much stronger diesel motors, and with minimal turbo lag.
But the car’s said to be 90 kilograms lighter
…than the Swift. So, this lightness of the Baleno should make up for the lower state of tune on the turbo diesel engine. Still, knowing that the Baleno Diesel is the least powerful in its class doesn’t make for good reading.
Suzuki has been harping about high strength steel
…being used on the Baleno, and this should address concerns about the low kerb weight. Seeing is believing though, and the actual strength of the Baleno will be known only when the car is subjected to a crash test.
CVT automatic option only on mid variant
Now, this is another point that many won’t like, especially considering that the CVT automatic gearbox is a premium feature. Many buyers who opt for this variant usually expect it to be fully loaded.
…is a first for a Maruti Suzuki hatchback sold in India. But projector headlamps are available only on the top-end variants, which is another downer given that the WagonR StingRay is sold with this feature.
You’ll have t visit a NEXA dealership to buy/check/test-drive one
…though bookings can be made at non-NEXA dealerships. Maruti Suzuki is taking the NEXA premium dealership experience very seriously, and the Baleno will be the second car to be sold through this route.