Maruti Baleno Raises the Game for Premium Hatchbacks
It has been over a month since Maruti Baleno was launched in India and undoubtedly, the car is receiving an overwhelming response, thanks to the festive season and its fresh looks. The car has garnered 21,000 bookings in just one month and a staggering footfall count of over 56,000 in the last 10 days of the festive season. On the other hand, with the competitors like Hyundai Elite i20 and Honda Jazz selling on a decent count (between 5000-11000 range) and looking at the booking pace, it won’t take long for Baleno to take them over. Let’s see what this Maruti has in order to raise the game in the premium hatchback segment.
With the largest dimensions in the segment, Baleno has a very prominent road presence, at par with Jazz and Elite i20. Then the liquid flow design philosophy of the manufacturer lends the car a smooth profile and carries a bit elegance than the other two sporty offerings. Baleno also gets projector headlamps with white light, absent in other two.
With cars getting fuel efficient each day, new weight saving technologies are emerging along with better engines with hybrid assistance. Though, with Baleno, Maruti has refrained from using the mild hybrid technology, they have made the car lighter yet stronger than the older platform. It uses TECT (Total Effective Control Technology), as Maruti calls it, that focuses on effective absorption and dissipation of the crash energy, making the car safe despite lower weight than rivals.
First in Class Features
Apart from these, there are a few first-in-class features like the LED DRL’s and projector lamps, standard ABS-EBD and dual airbags across the variant lineup, SmartPlay infotainment with Apple CarPlay, tinted windscreens with UV-radiation restricting glass (up to 85%), seatbelts with load limiters and 3-D driver information screen.
Maruti is one manufacturer that has struggled and failed multiple times to climb that premium car tree, but with the advent of Nexa and particularly Baleno, it seems that the company is moving close to achieve this feat.
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