Maruti Suzuki Baleno is a great car to live with in the city like Gurgaon with all kind of weather conditions and with its notorious roads and non-roads across the city; it is as efficient as a small car should be, it has smart storage spaces, it’s well equipped, and it has comfy seats and spacious insides. It is also easy to drive, the 1.2-litre petrol engine doesn’t feel anaemic, and apart from the stiff ride, there’s very little not to like about it. On the highway with the Baleno being loaded to the brim and it having to tackle gradients and cross winds, it does not disappoint either. With a full quota of load – five passengers and their luggage – although it doesn’t feel as energetic as it does in the city.
Now, given the Maruti Baleno’s lack of weight, I assumed that the car won’t feel as stable as let's say i20 elite, especially at three digits speeds. But, it does, even with just the driver. It doesn’t feel flighty, isn’t affected by cross winds much, and is completely planted under quick lane change no matter what speed. It brakes well too. Here the lack of weight helps. It has strong braking power, which is easy to modulate, and there’s hardly a twitch even under hard braking.
The ergonomics of the Baleno– which includes everything from the lovely driving position; to the easy to reach and operate controls for the infotainment system, the light and wipers, and the climate control; to the effortless ingress – is spot on.
One thing I think could be the sore point is soft suspensions and the fact that the Baleno is primarily a driver’s car.
Overall this is the best decision that I have made as my first car.
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