Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Long Term Report 1
A few years ago, spotting a ‘hot hatchback’ on the road was a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence. In fact, back then, even thinking of a hot hatch from Maruti Suzuki seemed like a wild dream. Especially when the Indian market was only offered a Swift RS which turned out to be merely cosmetic changes. Enter 2017 and our CarWale's long term fleet sees the entry of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS!
Mind you, this Baleno variant might look similar to the standard hatchback, but it definitely has some more dope. This comes in the form of a 1.0-litre turbocharged 'BoosterJet' petrol engine. This is a three-cylinder mill that puts out 101bhp of power and 150Nm of torque. A straight 18bhp and 35Nm more than the standard Baleno. A minimal turbo lag from this motor imported from Japan should make it more interesting. We’ve had a good experience at a race track with this car earlier and now we are hoping that it offers better driveability out on the roads too. All-round disc brakes should bring in some confidence-inspiring braking abilities too. More on all this later.
For now, a walk around the Baleno RS tells us about the cosmetic changes adding flair to the car’s appearance. The bumpers have been redesigned and there's a tweaked grille pattern up front. The integrated body kit is neatly done with side skirts. The alloy wheel pattern remains the same but gets a dark grey finish now. Some might say that the differentiation between the Baleno and the RS should have been more, but I'm happy the changes have been tastefully done.
The standard Baleno has a cabin that is spacious and pleasant to look at. The Baleno RS isn't any different apart from the RS badged mats. So, I’m hoping it should continue to impress over the coming three months, before we hand the car back to the manufacturer. Stay tuned for our upcoming monthly reports, the next one focusing on city driving.
Variant – RS Alpha
Odometer reading – 8,591
Positives of the report – BoosterJet engine, spacious cabin
Negatives of the report – N/A
Fuel Efficiency – N/A