The segment of premium hatchbacks is just going to warm up more, as the segment-leader Maruti Suzuki Baleno is soon going to receive a major makeover. The Baleno is all set to receive its second major facelift, which will see many changes in and out. Here are five things you should know about the Hyundai i20 and Tata Altroz challenger:
Launch and bookings
The new Maruti Suzuki Baleno has already been spied during an advertorial shoot, which indicates that its launch is just around the corner. The new Baleno is expected to arrive in January or February 2022. The dealers have already started taking the bookings unofficially and are clearing off the remaining stock of 2021 models from their inventory.
The new Maruti Suzuki Baleno will have a completely redesigned cabin layout, which will see a few new features and redesigned panels everywhere. The dashboard is all-new, with a brand new free-standing 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system at the top of the center console. This unit has already debuted in the all-new generation model of S-Cross overseas and will run on a new operating system.
The lower center console has been revised with sleeker-looking AC vents and a new panel for the switches of automatic climate control. While the Baleno will still not get a full TFT screen for the instrument console like in its direct rivals like Hyundai i20 and Tata Altroz, it will be a revised unit with a new small TFT screen for the MID unit. Like before, the cabin is expected to have an all-black theme.
Instead of a complete design overhaul, the new Maruti Suzuki Baleno will get subtle tweaks all around, while retaining the liquid flow design of the current model. However, the tweaks will make the new Baleno look sharper than before. The front fascia of the new Baleno has been revised with a wider and sleeker-looking grille, with the full-LED headlamps too becoming wider in the process. There are new daytime running LEDs, wider central air intake, and fog lamp housings as well.
The side profile of the new Baleno will be minutely tweaked with new rear three-quarter glass, new waistline, and different patterns for the 16-inch machined alloy wheels. At the back, the new Baleno gets sheet metal changes and new L-shaped LED tail lamps.
Engine and transmission options
The new Maruti Suzuki Baleno will now come with a new 1.2-litre K12N Dualjet engine, which already powers the other Arena offerings like Swift and Dzire. The new engine is more refined and economical than the current powertrain and makes a higher power output of 90 PS as well. However, the peak torque output will remain the same at 113 Nm. Like before, the engine will be offered with both the options of a 5-speed manual and a CVT gearbox.
New feature list
While the new Maruti Suzuki Baleno will not be a segment leader in terms of features, it will get a revised equipment list which makes it a better-equipped car than the current model. Along with all the features mentioned above, the new Baleno will also get a new e-SIM based connected car telematics system, which will offer more features over the currently available Suzuki Connect system. In addition, it will also get cruise control and wireless operation of Android Auto and Apple Carplay.