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    Maruti Suzuki XL6 and Baleno CNG First Look

    Authors Image

    Desirazu Venkat

    43,712 Views

    What are they?

    Maruti Suzuki is expanding its CNG range in India by adding gas power to its Nexa range of cars. This is a significant step in Maruti’s engine journey as CNG was once a fuel that was once looked upon as the choice of the yellow plate family. It has now made its way into the premium side of the market, indicating where Maruti will take this in the future. The first cars to get CNG in the Nexa range are the Baleno and XL6, both of which underwent major changes earlier this year.

    Right Front Three Quarter

    XL6

    CNG power in the XL6 is available in the Zeta variant, which is the entry-level version of the six-seat MPV. Even in this entry-level model, you get quite a bit of kit, the likes of which include 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels, LED headlamps, chrome door handles, automatic climate control, roof-mounted AC vents for the second row, button start, cruise control, four airbags and Suzuki Connect.

    Dashboard

    The CNG-specific changes comprise a dedicated CNG fuel gauge with total CNG mode time, a fuel changeover switch with illumination and a non-split luggage board in the boot. Lastly, there’s no word on how much space the CNG consumes in the boot of this car as it’s slightly longer than the Ertiga, and that’s something we will be able to tell you once we drive the car. For reference, with all three rows up, the Ertiga’s boot capacity is 209 litres, with the CNG tank consuming at least 100-130 litres.

    Left Front Three Quarter

    Baleno

    In the Baleno, you can have CNG power in either the Delta or Zeta variants. It gets the same features as its standard counterpart with the Zeta over the Delta variant getting alloy wheels, chrome door handles, chrome garnish on the back door, rear wiper, telescope adjust for the steering, on-board voice assistant, OTA updates via mobile phone, two tweeters, colour MID, side and curtain airbags, rear-view camera and Suzuki Connect.

    Dashboard

    The CNG variants get a CNG gauge, slightly modified instrument cluster and 60:40 split folding rear seats, which are not present in the standard Delta model. Given Maruti’s bold approach to bringing CNG to its Nexa range, it’s surprising that they have introduced a top-spec model with CNG power. However, it looks like that will come on the back of growth in demand and possibly a planned update.

    What's under the hood?

    Right Front Three Quarter

    XL6

    The CNG-petrol XL6 is powered by Maruti’s 1.5-litre K-Series engine producing 86.3bhp/121.5Nm in CNG mode and 100bhp/136Nm in petrol mode.

    Engine Shot

    The only gearbox on offer is Maruti’s five-speed manual. The CNG tank is 60 litres and has a mileage of 26.32km/kg. In comparison, petrol gets 20.97 in the MT guise and 20.27 in the AT guise.

    Right Front Three Quarter

    Baleno

    In the Baleno, the 1.2-litre petrol engine produces 76bhp/98.5Nm in CNG guise and 88bhp/113Nm in petrol mode. The only gearbox offer is Maruti’s five-speed manual. The CNG tank is 55 litres, and you get a mileage of 30.61km/kg. The petrol stands at 22.35kmpl for the MT and 22.94kmpl for the AT versions.

    CNG is the new diesel?

    Right Rear Three Quarter

    There’s an unofficial saying in the current avatar of the Indian car industry that when Maruti brings in some new form of innovation, everyone else follows suit in one way or another. It may be due to Maruti’s massive market share or just everyone playing cautious and treading the waters, waiting for the ‘Big Kahuna’ to open the doors.

    This is evident in the growth of CNG-powered cars. It’s more cost-effective and emits less (at the time of writing this first look at least) than a petrol-powered model, making an obvious case for the kind of cars that Maruti Suzuki produces. With Maruti looking to inroads into the premium segments, this seems like a logical way to offer an alternate fuel option to the current crop of diesel vehicles that are in heavy demand in this part of the market. Eventually, with diesel on their way out, petrol-CNG, hybrids, and BEVs will be the order of the day, and Maruti will have a first-mover advantage.

    Pricing

    Grille

    The Maruti Suzuki XL6 CNG Delta has priced at Rs 12.24 lakh, while the Baleno CNG in the Delta and Zeta variants are priced at Rs 8.28 and 9.21 lakh, respectively. This is an increase of Rs 1.30 lakh for the XL6 and 1.10 lakh for the Baleno compared to their petrol-only equivalents.

    Photography: Kapil Angane

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