The conservative design with minimum sharp edges matches completely with Suzuki’s general style. Due to the large size its road presence is substantial. It is just 5mm short of 4 meter limit length which makes it largest hatchback from Maruti. It is built on Suzuki’s lightweight platform which makes it lightest (890kg) premium hatchback.
The design gives some glimpse of highly successful Swift with similar rear headlamps. However its V shaped front grille gives it a unique look. Unlike i20, the car has no angular lines and everything looks very smooth be it bumper or sides. The top variants also get daytime LED daytime running lights.
Baleno petrol variant is powered by 1.2l VVT 1197cc engine that crunches out maximum torque of 84PS at 6000rpm and peak torque of 115Nm at 4000rpm. The heart of diesel engine consists of 190 DDiS 1248cc engine that produces peak power of 75PS at 4000rpm and maximum torque of 190Nm at 2000rpm. The power output of the car is less than its nearest competitor still proper engine tuning has given it matching performance that is close. Petrol variant could reach from 0-100kmph in just less than 13.5 seconds which is impressive. Diesel engine is not that competitive and might be bit rough while driving.
Power output at low revs is not very exciting but once the car picks up speed driving becomes fun and there is proper flow of torque at all speed above 1900rpm. Below that a bit of turbo lag could be experienced. The car drives best between 2000 to 4000rpm. On highways Baleno becomes a real cruiser and one of the best in its segment. However on city rides to get the power one has to go between 2nd and 3rd gear which could be tiresome at times. Smooth gearbox and light clutch do try to minimize this issue. This issue is not there in CVT variant and has enough power at low revs too keeping the mileage intact. Buy it only most of your driving happens on city roads. It might not be best to drive on highways as engine feels strained at high speed when pushed for long duration of time.
All black theme for dashboard lacks style as others like Figo and i20. The plastics used are not of high quality and seat fabrics too are ok and does not matches with the cost of the car. The switches, steering wheels does not gives a premium feel either. Style and type of materials used inside the cabin are no match for its rivals and is a big letdown.
However when it comes to space you have enough of it. Rear seats have great legroom, good head room and spacious enough for 3 to sit comfortably. What is not good is its flat seats which might make sitting on rear seat difficult in long drives. The front seats are however comfortable and supportive. V shaped center console with vertical air conditioning vents and 7.0 inch touch screen in the center gives it premium touch and is a breather for the dashboard. It is similar to the one used in S-Cross. The touch screen houses function for GPS, Bluetooth, phone control, audio player and reverse camera display. Apple’s CarPlay is new addition which could run some of the iPhone apps.
It could be used by connecting iPhone via USB cable. Speedometer and rev counter are easy to read but torque and power gauge between them is what takes away the prize. Air conditioning is good but there is not AC vents for backseat passengers.
Ride and Handling
The low kerb weight (890 kg) does not mean that car is not grounded on bad roads. In fact while driving it feels more like big car that is stable on any types of roads. The big wheelbase and well balanced suspension adds to this stability. McPherson strut in front and torsion beam at back is well integrated in the frame which takes up bumps and pot holes with ease which gives a very smooth and comfortable ride to the car.
No doubt, Baleno is the best hatchback launched bu Maruti till date but that might not be enough. i20 and Figo Aspire both are doing well with big fan following. Other than cabin space, it is not able to match with the already established premium hatchbacks in the market. Instruments, dashboard, seats, looks, design looks good but lacks punch.
2016 Specifications and Prices
|Baleno Alpha Petrol||701001||733453|
|Baleno Delta (Automatic) Petrol||676001||707843|
|Baleno Delta Petrol||571001||597299|
|Baleno Sigma Petrol||499001||522395|
|Baleno Zeta Petrol||631000||660137|
Type: 1.2 litre, 4 cylinder K12
Valvetrain: 4 valves/cylinder
Transmission: 5 speed manual
Power: 84.3PS at 6000rpm
Torque: 115Nm at 4000rpm
Top Speed: 177kmph
Under the Hood
Suspension(F): MacPherson Strut
Suspension(R): Torsion beam
Tyre size: 185/65 R15
Rim Size: 195/55 R16
Type Type: Tubeless
Length x Width x Height(mm): 3995 x 1745 x 1500
Ground clearance: 170mm
Boot Space: 339l
Kerb Weight: 890kg
Min. turning radius: 4.9m