Pros : Fuel efficient, Bi-Xenon headlamps with DRLs, Spacious boot and cabin
Cons : Diesel less powerful comparatively
Of late, I was looking for a premium hatchback and decided to go for the Baleno diesel (Fiat's renowned 1.3l Multijet) after having test drives of the Elite i20 and Honda Jazz. If I would not have taken the Baleno, Jazz would have been my choice. I'll rate this car on 5 parameters.
Features - This is unquestionably the vital USP of Baleno over its rivals. It comes with features never heard in this segment like Bi-Xenon headlamps, UV protection glasses, Apple CarPlay supports and others. Even in terms of safety, Baleno comes standard with dual-front airbags and ABS with EBD. However, in the European crash test agency's tests, Baleno only scored 3-star rating.
Performance - Maruti Baleno is a very nice car in terms of performance, very smooth to drive and very good in terms of road holding capability. The diesel noise doesn't filter much inside the car. The 5-speed manual transmission is a bad thing, I later realised that I should have bought a car with a 6-speed transmission, like Honda Jazz. Honda Jazz also gets 100PS of power while Baleno has only 75PS. The ride is quite comfortable and plush and the Baleno gives me good mileage, but then it lacks punch.
Mileage - The new lightweight chassis has helped the Baleno to extract more kilometers per litre using the powertrains from the Swift. The diesel gives a certified mileage of over 27 kmpl while petrol returns more than 21 kmpl. You get around 20 kmpl in the city with diesel if you drive it in a sane way.
Value-For-Money Proposition - The vehicle undercuts prices of two of its arch rivals: the Elite i20 and the Honda Jazz by a sizeable amount. And it also comes with dual-front airbags along with ABS and EBD as standard. Plus it also offers a lot of segment first features. So, in my perception, it offers the maximum value-money proposition in this segment.
Service Availability - Maruti has the widest network of service outlet in the country and a lot of happy customers. Moreover, there were also reports suggesting separate service outlets for the Nexa vehicle. So, the future seems secure for me.
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