8 Features Maruti Has Now Incorporated In Its Cars
The list includes some segment-first features and others which are certainly a welcome addition by buyers
In recent years, we have seen carmakers increasingly focus on offering a bucket load of features in their models, especially in terms of technology. Some brands will keep pushing the boundaries of their segment with new features at more affordable prices. While Maruti cars were not exactly sparse in terms of amenities earlier, they were lacking compared to the equipment list of their rivals. Taking cognizance, India’s biggest carmaker has introduced a ton of first-time features to its models.
Here’s a look:
1) Head-up Display
When Maruti started teasing the facelifted Baleno, it took everyone by surprise with the introduction of a segment-first head-up display. It relays information such as the current speed, clock, drive mode (in AMT variants), RPM meter, instant fuel economy, door ajar warning, and climate control info. Maruti has provided this feature only on the top-spec Alpha trim of the Baleno.
2) 9-inch Touchscreen System And Premium Audio
Another big upgrade that debuted on the new Baleno was the 9-inch touchscreen SmartPlay Pro+ infotainment system (which debuted on the new S-Cross in Europe). It’s the biggest factory-fitted central display yet for a Maruti. It has a more sophisticated user interface (UI) than the brand’s usual SmartPlay system and is more detailed. The touchscreen system also displays information such as average speed, driving time, and average fuel consumption. The Baleno also comes with an Arkamys-tuned music system, which again is a first for a Maruti model. Both the touchscreen and the Arkamys-tuned system are limited to the top-spec Alpha trim of the premium hatchback.
3) Connected Car Tech
Another feature upgrade that Maruti debuted on the facelifted Baleno was the connected tech on offer. It includes Suzuki Connect (telematics), Alexa connectivity, and even smartwatch connectivity. Following the Baleno, Maruti has also introduced this feature on the recently launched Ertiga and the XL6. The Suzuki Connect App in the facelifted Baleno, can perform tasks such as turning off the headlights, unlocking and locking the doors, and setting speed limits. In the refreshed Ertiga and XL6, it can also turn on the AC, albeit only in the AT variants.
4) Paddle Shifters
When the new Brezza’s spy shots surfaced online, we got a glimpse of its cabin which featured paddle shifters among the other new stuff. It was believed that the SUV will be the first Maruti to get this feature but the carmaker has introduced them on the new Ertiga and XL6. It is available from the second-from-base VXi trim of the Ertiga.
5) 360-Degree Camera
Maruti upped the ante for the premium hatchback space in India by adding a 360-degree camera to the Baleno (a segment-first). The four-camera setup is certainly a welcome addition to the hatchback and the new XL6 as it helps owners maneuver their cars in crowded and tight parking spots. It is expected to be a part of the upcoming new-gen Brezza and Maruti’s compact SUV as well.
6) New 6-speed Automatic Transmission
Until now, models such as the Ertiga, XL6, Ciaz, and the S-Cross, which came with the 1.5-litre petrol engine, were offered with a 4-speed automatic transmission. However, with the evolving times and growing competition, it was time Maruti introduced a new and more refined AT gearbox. This came in the form of a 6-speed torque converter unit which debuted on the facelifted Ertiga, followed by the new XL6.
7) Ventilated Front Seats
One of the most important features being passed on from premium models to mass market cars is ventilated seats. We have seen multiple mainstream carmakers like Hyundai and Skoda-VW provide it in their offerings and now, Maruti has decided to join the list. The facelifted XL6 is the first car from the brand to get this feature, albeit restricted to the Alpha+ trim.
8) A Beefier Safety Kit
While Maruti has been focussing on providing multiple new features in its cars over the years, one aspect where it had started falling behind was safety. That’s changed with the facelifted Baleno which now comes with up to six airbags. The carmaker has even upped the number of airbags in its two popular MPVs – the Ertiga and XL6 – as they now get up to four (available as standard in the latter). The latter also comes with a tyre pressure monitoring system (a first for a Maruti product).
Features That Are Still Missing In A Maruti Car
While Maruti has brought in additional features (a couple of segment-firsts as well) to the equipment list of its recent launches, there are still some amenities which the carmaker can think of offering in its upcoming models. These include a digital driver’s display, wireless phone charging (available in the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios and Aura), and even ADAS. Although the recently introduced features are surely a welcome move by the carmaker, going the extra mile will surely help its models edge out their competitors more efficiently.
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