First launched in 2015, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno has been a top-selling premium hatchback for India’s largest automaker. Sold exclusively from the Maruti's Nexa chain of premium outlets, it gave Indian buyers a bigger, more spacious and more feature-packed car compared to the Maruti Suzuki Swift. And of course, it took on the likes of the well-equipped Hyundai i20 and the fun-to-drive Volkswagen Polo. But that said, while the Hyundai i20 got a mid-life update last year, the Baleno was pretty much unchanged since launch – apart from the introduction of the sportier Baleno RS variant in 2017. But now Maruti Suzuki has given the popular premium hatchback a mid-life update. So what’s new? Read on to find out.
So let's start with the exterior changes on the new Maruti Suzuki Baleno facelift. The updated premium hatchback gets a new bumper that looks a lot sportier and has a wider air dam with bigger openings. The fog lamp console is now detached from the central air dam too. The Baleno also gets an LED headlamp update instead of the HID lights seen on the current car. The headlight, however, remains unchanged.
Also part of the facelift is a new grille that is more sculpted, with an updated chrome lining that makes the front end look more premium. Around the side, the Baleno remains largely unchanged apart from the new 16-inch, diamond cut, black two-tone alloy wheels, making the car look a lot more current taking a cue out of the Hyundai playbook. Around the rear though, Maruti Suzuki has not made any changes to the Baleno.
Moving to the interior, the updated Baleno hatchback retains the overall design of the dashboard and the placement of the buttons. What's new is the upholstery on the seats – now in a blue and black combination and it looks rather chic. The Baleno facelift also gets a new infotainment system; the overall size of the screen is the same but it gets a new head unit sourced from Harman and more importantly, a whole new user interface that looks a lot more modern.
Connectivity options like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto remain in the Baleno as before, but the new navigation setup now showcases traffic warnings and speed limits as well. Coming to speed limits, as with every new car, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno facelift also gets the speed limit beeper that buzzes continuously after 120kph, and once after 80kph and 100 kph.
In terms of engine and gearbox options, nothing has changed. The updated Baleno gets a 1.2-litre, four-cylinder, K12 petrol engine that makes 83hp and 113Nm, and a 1.3-litre, turbocharged DDiS diesel engine that makes 75hp and 200Nm of peak torque. The diesel engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, while the petrol engine gets the option of a 5-speed manual and a CVT automatic.
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