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Maruti Baleno Review: Does It Cater To Your Every Need?

Published On Jul 27, 2023 By Ansh for Maruti Baleno

The premium hatchback tries to offer you everything at a reasonable price point

Maruti Baleno, a premium hatchback from the Indian carmaker, offers premium looks, a spacious cabin, and a fun-to-drive experience, besides being the highest-selling model in its segment. But does that make it a good choice for your family? What does it have to offer and what could have been better? Let’s find out in this detailed review. 

An Elegant Look

Maruti Baleno Front
Maruti Baleno LED DRLs

The Baleno has an elegant design language and up front, the medium-sized grille, sleek LED headlights with Nexa’s signature tri-LED DRLs and neat chrome elements add a premium appeal to the hatchback. 

Maruti Baleno Side

The same can’t be said for the side profile, but I don’t mean it in a bad way. The profile of the Baleno has a simple look which doesn’t carry any unnecessary cuts and curves, giving the hatchback a more sober look, further complemented by the 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels. 

Maruti Baleno Rear

The rear profile brings back the premium quotient with the U-shaped tail lamps that have the same tri-LED elements as the front. The hatchback also gets a rear spoiler and more chrome elements which make its design look complete.

Storage For All Your Luggage?

Maruti Baleno Boot

On paper, it gets a boot capacity of 318 litres, which is not the biggest in the segment, but big enough for your intercity trip. You can keep four bags in the boot and would still have space left for a small laptop bag on the side, but nothing more. Also, due to the high boot lip of the Baleno, storing your luggage can require a little extra effort, especially for heavier bags.

Maruti Baleno Boot
Maruti Baleno Boot

If you still have more luggage, you can fold the rear seats completely and use that space for keeping the extra suitcases.

Premium From The Inside

Maruti Baleno Cabin

As soon as you enter the Baleno, your eyes are treated to a black and blue cabin, which does match this exterior blue shade. The cabin carries the premium look from the outside which you can see on the dashboard, which gets a layered design with a silver element between the black and blue shades. 

Maruti Baleno Steering Wheel

The cabin also gets a black and silver flat-bottom steering wheel which matches the colours of the cabin pretty neatly. 

Maruti Baleno Door Armrest

But a cabin can’t be premium just by the looks, it has to feel premium as well, which Maruti has managed to do quite well. The plastics used in the cabin are of good quality, which is pretty nice to touch as well. The doors get leather padding on the armrest to add more comfort. Also, the buttons used on the steering wheel and the centre console are clicky and tactile, giving you the feeling of sitting in an upmarket car. 

Front Seat Space

Maruti Baleno Front Seats

These seats offer a good amount of cushioning and the space that the Baleno offers will not make you complain. As soon as you get inside, the seats will treat you with a good amount of headroom, ample legroom, and adequate underthigh support. An average-sized adult will have no issue sitting comfortably here. 

Is The Cabin Practical?

Maruti Baleno Front Door Bottle Holder

Yes, the Baleno does have a fairly practical cabin. All four doors get bottle holders for 1-litre bottles, with space on the sides to keep smaller stuff. The sun visors have a clip to slip in some documents or toll receipts, and the centre console gets cup holders for both front passengers.

Maruti Baleno Centre Cup Holder

The centre console in itself has a lot of storage. Ahead of the two cup holders, you get a tray to keep your phone or keys and the centre armrest also has ample space inside. You also get a small tray next to the steering wheel towards the driver door which can be used to keep your wallet and the glove box is also of adequate size.

Maruti Baleno Seat Back Pocket

Rear seat occupants get storage in the seat back pockets but there is no dedicated slot for your phone and the rear passengers also miss out on the centre armrest, which should have been there considering the segment and price of the hatchback.

Spacious At The Rear

Maruti Baleno Rear Seats

The space in the rear is as good as the front. The rear passengers get good headroom, legroom and knee room, and the underthigh support is adequate just like the front. The cushioning of these seats is the same as the front, and are pretty comfortable. 

The rear seats are spacious enough for three average-sized adults and all passengers have some shoulder room. But the middle passenger doesn’t get the same amount of comfort as the outboard occupants. The middle seat protrudes a little to the outside and the passenger has to sit a little upright, which a lot of people don’t like. But overall, the Baleno provides a comfortable experience.

Features & Safety

Maruti Baleno Touchscreen Infotainment System

The premium feel of the Baleno is complemented by its feature list. The hatchback gets a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This screen is responsive, easy to use, and Android Auto works seamlessly. 

Maruti Baleno Semi-digital Driver's Display
Maruti Baleno Heads-up Display

The Baleno also features a semi-digital driver’s display which shows you all the information is presented neatly, and there is a heads-up display as well with a good implementation. Apart from all this, it also gets cruise control and automatic climate control with rear AC vents.

Maruti Baleno Rear AC Vents

Even in case of safety, the Baleno is well-equipped. You get up to six airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability program (ESP), hill hold assist, 3-point seatbelts for all passengers, ISOFIX child seat anchors, rear parking sensors, and a 360-degree camera.

But safety is not all about the features. While this version of the Baleno has not been crash tested, it is based on Suzuki’s Heartect platform which has not performed well in the past. So the real safety of the Baleno can only be found when the hatchback is crash tested.

Performance

Maruti Baleno Engine

Now, after getting to know all the details of the Baleno, let’s talk about its performance. This hatchback comes with Maruti’s 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine which is well refined and pretty responsive. The carmaker also offers a CNG powertrain with the same engine for those who want greener fuel and better mileage. 

Maruti Baleno AMT

The Baleno is a fun-to-drive car but with a manual transmission. We drove the AMT, which is not as fun. The Baleno's engine is well-refined and produces a fair amount of power for its segment, but the AMT will not let you enjoy this power to its limits.

Maruti Baleno

Don’t get me wrong, this transmission is good enough for your daily city commutes, the overtakes don’t require much effort, be it city or highway, and you can cruise very easily, but the gear shifts are slow and you do feel each gear shift, especially while overtaking or on inclines. The presence of an AMT in a car in this segment doesn’t make sense, considering its rivals are offering a DCT gearbox which has a much smoother driving experience. 

But with the AMT, you have the option to put it in manual mode if you want the controls to be in your hand.

Ride and Handling

Maruti Baleno

The ride quality of the Baleno is very smooth. When driving on broken roads, potholes and over speed bumps, the Baleno keeps you comfortable. Due to a balanced suspension setup which does not have a lot of travel, the cabin does not experience a lot of movement when driving over bumps and potholes, and there is close to no side-to-side movement of the body. 

Maruti Baleno

The handling of the Baleno is smooth as well. The hatchback remains stable when driving in the city and the same can be said for the highway as well. When driving the Baleno, you will get a confident drive experience which will surely be very enjoyable.

Verdict

Maruti Baleno

Now, coming to the main question: Should you buy the Baleno or not? The Baleno offers you everything you need in a car at this price. It gives you good looks, good features, and a premium cabin, but does lag behind in safety.

Maruti Baleno

Nonetheless, the Baleno allows you to do both city and highway commutes with comfort, and offers you a powerful and enjoyable driving experience. So if you are looking for a car that offers you the complete package at the right price, the Baleno is the one for you.

Maruti Baleno

Variants*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi
Sigma (Petrol)Rs.6.66 Lakh*
Delta (Petrol)Rs.7.50 Lakh*
Delta AMT (Petrol)Rs.7.95 Lakh*
Zeta (Petrol)Rs.8.43 Lakh*
Zeta AMT (Petrol)Rs.8.88 Lakh*
Alpha (Petrol)Rs.9.38 Lakh*
Alpha AMT (Petrol)Rs.9.83 Lakh*
Delta CNG (CNG)Rs.8.40 Lakh*
Zeta CNG (CNG)Rs.9.33 Lakh*

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