I was tinkering with the idea of changing my car since usually I used to keep a car for a maximum of 5 years and since I wanted a reliable and low on cost on spares car, I decided to stick to the Maruti stable of cars. My first car was Wagaon R and now I have both the Ritz VXI and the Maruthi Baleno, which I'm really proud of. Worth every penny spent. ( in the meanwhile I went to the Hyundai stable and was impressed with their cars too. The fit and finish are just fabulous)
But I decided to wait for a while before I took the decision. I refused to make a decision no matter how many times the SA from Hyundai called me and also told me about the freebies that he would provide with the car. In the meanwhile, Maruti Baleno came up in various media drives ( CarDekho too) talked about the petrol engine being very peppy and good to drive. It was the same engine that has been used in the Swift and I knew that it is very competent. Even though the bookings were open, I wanted to wait for the final price before deciding on the booking. Then the news about the variants started to trickle in. Standard dual airbags, ABS with EBD and seat belt pre-tensioners. I knew then that Maruti had a winner in their hands. I short-listed the Alpha variant and kept my fingers crossed for the pricing to be revealed on 26th October. They had to price it right for me to go for the car. With the kind of features available on the Alpha variant, I felt that the car would be in the vicinity of Elite i20 Sportz or the SV variant of Honda Jazz, may be a little less than that to be competitive. And finally, the prices were revealed. I made a few quick calculations and was glad that the Alpha variant would cost around 7.5. Yes. This car would be the best bet for me.
So, in consultation with my home Princess ( wife ) and daughter , made the booking for a Granite Grey Alpha and I was extremely happy.
What I liked about this car:
1. The car has an amazing road presence because of the width. No doubt it looks similar to the swift but the frontal view gives it a big car look
2. At close to 8.5 on-road, this car felt the most value for money.
3. Safety - Dual airbags, ABS with EBD, Seat belt with pre-tensioners, rear wiper and defogger.
4. Engine Refinement - You have only the rpm needle to confirm that the engine is running.
5. Features - Finally, Maruti has provided a lot of convenience features which rivals have failed to provide in their mid-variants (Rear defogger/wiper, rear seat headrests, 60:40 split seats, automatic climate control, electrically folding ORVMs with indicators etc). The blue lit centre console is a surely a stand out feature in the car.
6. Comfort - Comfortable front seats. One of the best in the business and I being a 6 ' 2" guy can easily sit comfortably and passenger behind me can also sit comfortably at the back.
What I do not like in the car:
1. A bit of underpowered , but the mileage makes justice to it.
2. I would not call the quality of interiors as premium. They could have been better in many places.
3. The rear view mirror should have been higher up on the windscreen. It kind of blocks the view.
4. The rear bench as mentioned in the official review is flat with no contours. Though space is good, there should have been more support at the rear.
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