Maruti Suzuki will launch the Baleno premium hatchback for the Indian market tomorrow. It is Maruti Suzuki’s first foray into the premium B+ segment and will be offered in both petrol and diesel engine options. We have already driven the car and you can find the links to our first drive as well as the first impressions video at the bottom of this story.
The Baleno was first shown at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show as the iK2 concept car. In August, Suzuki branded the car as the Baleno, reviving a two-decade old moniker. It is a completely new car based on a new platform and will sit above the Swift in the Suzuki hierarchy.
Externally, it gets Suzuki new design language whose elements include the V-shaped grille and swoopy headlights which flow to the middle of the bonnet. The side profile is reminiscent of the Swift thanks to the flared wheel arches and rear sloping roofline. One if the nice elements are the blacked out B-pillars which give the impression of a floating roofline. The rear is less dramatic than the rest of the car and gets c-shaped tail lamps and a rather high opening for the 339litre boot.
In standard practice, most of the cabin has been put together from various bits in the Suzuki part bin. Common elements include the steering wheel, touchscreen infotainment system (on the higher-spec variants) and the cabin trim. However, what's new is the climate control system as well as the instrument cluster.
The Baleno will be offered in five variants- Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Alpha. These are the same variant names used for the S-Cross crossover and are a major change from the familiar VXi, LXi, ZXi convention we have seen for so many years. This, we believe has been put in place to differentiate the Baleno from the other hatchbacks as it will be sold exclusively through the Nexa showrooms. On the safety front, all four variants across both fuel options get ABS with EBD as well as dual front airbags.
The petrol variants of the Baleno are powered by the 1.2-litre VVT engine which produces 83bhp and 115Nm of torque. The petrol versions will be available in a choice of the five-speed manual across the range and a CVT in Delta and Zeta trims. The diesel, on the other hand, is the 1.3-litre Multijet engine (DDiS as Maruti Suzuki likes to call it) producing 75bhp and 190Nm. This engine is only offered with a five-speed manual.
We expect the Maruti Suzuki Baleno to be priced in the range of Rs 5.25 lakh to Rs 8 lakh. It will compete in the B+ segment with the Honda Jazz, Hyundai i20, Fiat Punto Evo and the Volkswagen Polo. Production of the car has already begun and we believe that once supply to the Indian market has begun, production of the LHD variants for export markets will commence.
We will bring you all the details from the launch as they emerge, so stay tuned to CarWale!