October 7, 2015: Maruti Baleno hatchback has been spied uncovered on the roads of Pune. The orange colored, badges covered, car was without any wheel cap but flaunted parking sensors at the rear. Maruti Baleno, the premium hatchback is expected to be launched on October 26 in the country. The hatchback is now available for booking at a minimum amount of INR 11,000 across all Nexa dealerships in India. Also, Maruti has finally showcased Baleno on the Nexa official website as ‘The Premium Hatchback’. Adding to the S Cross, Nexa line of showrooms will now retail two cars. Baleno will offer both petrol and diesel engine options. The petrol option will be a 1.2-litre VVT unit which produces 83bhp and 115Nm of torque. While the diesel version will most probably be a 1.3-litre DDiS190 unit with an output of 74bhp at 4000rpm and a torque output of 190Nm at 2000rpm. Further, SHVS tech is expected to be a part of Baleno in the future.
Maruti Baleno is the second premium product from the MSIL after S-Cross. To be sold exclusively through their Nexa dealerships, this upcoming hatchback is all set to arrive in the Indian market by the end of this month. Also known as Maruti YRA earlier, its production work has already started at the company's Manesar manufacturing facility. Firstly, it will be launched in India and later in Europe then in the other developing nations. As per reports, its European version will get a newly developed 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbocharged petrol engine. While the India-bound version may borrow those mills, which are currently powering the Swift hatchback. Additionally, its 1.3-litre oil-burners with SHVS mild hybrid technology is also on cards. Although, the firm hasn't disclosed anything relating to this hatch, we are confident that it will be getting premium range of features by carrying the most competitive price tag. This vehicle has already been spotted several times while having test runs. Recently, the manufacturer has pulled-off covers over this hatch, which gives us a complete picture about it. Its exteriors have a curvaceous look, especially from its side facet. Its A and B pillars are coated in black, which is an added styling factor. Its front profile isn't that impressive as its side facet, but the radiator grille with chrome inserts renders it a decorous look. It is expected to be placed in the sub 4-meter segment to target other leading contenders like Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz, Volkswagen Polo and a few others.
As far as its interiors are concerned, they look much better than its outer facet, thanks to the quality finish and for the use of premium material. Its dashboard seems to have an eye-soothing dual tone color scheme along with brushed metallic accents on its central console. We can also see that infotainment system is skilfully placed in the center fascia with chrome surround. At present, it is hard to speculate with regards to its comfort features, as details are yet to be disclosed. However, by looking at the interior images, we can expect for a few facilities like an automatic AC unit, a touchscreen audio unit featuring a multi-functional steering wheel, navigation and a few other functional features. In terms of safety, we can expect it to have all the crucial facilities like ABS with EBD, front airbags, immobilizer and a few security functions. However, we still need to wait for all the details until its arrival in the country.
This upcoming hatchback has an interesting look from its side facet, but lacks the style in its frontage. However, build quality and the finish it gets is somewhat better, as compared to the models present in company's portfolio. Its front facade has a V shaped radiator grille underlined with a chrome strip. The headlight cluster has a swept-back design featuring projector lamps and LED DRLs as well. Being a premium hatch, it should get body colored bumper on front and rear facets, as shown in the images. Its front bumper has a bit of sporty cues, which adds bold appeal to this classy front facade. Coming to the sides, it looks much better than any other company's model, thanks to its beautiful curves and window frames. Except the C pillar, all the other pillars are coated in black, while the outside mirror caps are done up on body color. Its top end version might get chrome garnished door handles, while the remaining versions are expected to get body colored ones as standard. Similarly, the alloy wheels are also expected in the top end version only. It rear has a much better look than its front facade owing to its sleek tailgate. Interestingly, there is a chrome strip placed in between the windscreen and tailgate rendering it a distinctive look. Adding to its elegance is the rear spoiler, which is integrated with a high mount third brake light. Overall, its modernistic stance is complimented by the chrome plated company's badge affixed at front and rear.
This vehicle, which was displayed at the recently held auto show had total length measuring 4023mm. But for India, it might come with a length of under 4 meters. There at the auto show, it also had a width of 1920mm and a height of 1450mm along with a wheelbase of 2520mm.
A few exclusive images available on the Internet has given a slight glimpse about its cockpit section. As per these pictures, its cabin is decorated in a total black color scheme that is further complimented by silver and chrome accents. A three spoke steering wheel is seen mounted with multi-functional switches. Hence, we can expect that its dashboard might host an array of advanced equipments like a CD player, radio tuner and connectivity for Bluetooth devices. On the other hand, its seating arrangement seems to be quite good with accommodation for about five people. Its driver's seat may get height adjustment function, while the rear one will most probably have folding facility. Besides these, there might also be some storage and utility based aspects, which will only help to add to their convenience.
Coming to the interior comfort, this yet to be launched vehicle is expected to arrive in several trim levels that determines their features. Its base trims will feature standard aspects including power assisted steering, power windows, cup holders, dual front sun visors and accessory power sockets. While its mid range variants will feature aspects including driver's seat height adjuster, split folding rear seat, along with several other such aspects. On the other hand, its top end trims might feature parking sensors, an advanced SmartPlay infotainment system, power foldable mirrors, automatic climate control, multi-functional steering wheel along with other such aspects. In the global market, this series is offered with adaptive cruise control. However, one has to wait till its arrival if, this feature will or will not be available in the Indian version.
As revealed by the sources, it will have a large boot compartment of around 355 litres. If the information is correct then, this model will certainly leave behind its rivals in this particular aspect. The interior dimensions seem to be generous and might provide enough leg and head space thus, adding to passenger convenience.
It is too early to speculate about the acceleration and pickup, as details regarding its weight, gearbox and other technical specifications are yet to be disclosed. However, we can expect it to have a top speed of around 150 to 160 Kmph. As for the acceleration, it could clock the 100 Kmph mark in about 15 seconds.
It is certain that the newly designed 1.0-litre engine will be offered in India, since it is fuel efficient. It is a three cylinderd mill that is expected to produce a peak power of 67bhp and might yield 90Nm of peak torque. There is another petrol engine, which is a 1.2-litre K series motor. This motor comprises of 4-cylinders based on DOHC valve configuration. There may not be any tweaks to this engine and it may continue to produce 83.11bhp of power and 115Nm of torque. Also expected with these is the 1.3-litre oil-burner, which is integrated with common rail fuel injection technology. This power plant churns out 88bhp of power along with a torque of 200Nm. All these engines will most likely be coupled with a five speed manual transmission gearbox. At the same time, we can also expect for the AMT transmission option for the petrol variants. Additionally, its diesel version may also be offered with a SHVS technology for improving its mileage.
The manufacturer has displayed this soon to be launched hatch at one of the top motor shows, earlier this year. There it was caught on camera with a newly developed 1.0-litre Boosterjet petrol engine under the hood. Details regarding this motor are yet to come out, but considering its size, we can expect it to deliver approximately 21 Kmpl. In India, this hatch is also speculated to get a 1.2-litre K Series petrol engine, which could give away 18 Kmpl. The other one can be the recently introduced 1.3-litre DDiS diesel motor with SHVS technology. With this mild hybrid mechanism, it should produce a mileage of around 30 kmpl.
Some of the sources specified that the 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder motor is capable of generating 67bhp of peak power and 90Nm of torque, which is not so bad. Its 1.2-litre K Seires petrol mill has the ability to churn out 83.11bhp of power and a torque of 115Nm. The only diesel plant is the 1.3-litre DDiS drive-train, which is capable of unleashing 88bhp along with a peak torque of 200Nm.
Like any other premium hatchback, this vehicle too is expected to host a 2-DIN music system including a multi-functional display in the base and mid range trims. It might include a CD player, a radio tuner, USB port, AUX-In socket along with Bluetooth connectivity. However, the highly priced variants in this lineup may have the first-in-segment 7-inch SmartPlay audio unit with Apple CarPlay. Navigation system can also be on the offer, which may turn out to be an added benefit. Speakers of high quality will further add to the entertainment quotient by providing an excellent listening experience. The maker will most probably offer a wide range of accessories, which the buyers can choose as per their requirement.
This is the most important aspect for any four-wheeler and this hatchback will get the ventilated disc and drum braking system as standard across all its variants. Furthermore, it’s mid and top end trims are expected to get ABS and EBD, which will help to improve this mechanism. In terms of suspension, its front axle will be getting McPherson strut and the rear one might feature torsion beam, which is the most commonly used mechanism.
This yet to be launched car, like any other hatchback, is going to come with all the important protective aspects that improve the on-road safety. Some of the standard features like ABS with EBD, dual front airbags, side impact protection beams and crumple zones are going to be available as standard in the top end variants. At the same time, aspects like electronic stability program, three point ELR seat belts, engine immobilizer, reverse parking sensors, keyless entry with push button start, door ajar warning light and other such features are also expected to make it to the final list.
In terms of wheel options, considering the current trend, we can expect its top end trims to feature an attractive set of alloy wheels, whereas the rest might get steel rims with tubeless tyres. Both of these may measure 16 and 15 inches respectively.
1. External appearance seems to be good.
2. Interiors and comfort features are expected to be at par with others.
1. Ground clearance seems to be low.
2. Head room may not be as good as other hatchbacks.