Maruti Suzuki has introduced a CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission) automatic gearbox on the Zeta (petrol) variant of the Baleno hatchback. This variant is priced at Rs 7.47 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
When launched in October 2015, the automatic transmission was only available on the lower-spec Delta variant of the Baleno, as Maruti felt that the CVT option on higher variants would be too expensive.
Like the regular Zeta variant of the Baleno, the CVT-equipped Zeta gets chrome door handles, alloy wheels, front fog lamps, telescopic steering, keyless entry and go, height-adjustable driver's seat, auto headlamps, follow-me-home headlamps, auto-dimming inside rear-view mirror, leather-wrapped steering, front centre arm-rest with a storage bin, illumination for the glovebox and a colour TFT screen on the instrument panel. The Zeta however does not get projector head-lamps, and Maruti's SmartPlay infotainment system, both of which, are available only on the top-spec Alpha variant.
That said, the CVT-equipped Zeta variant makes the Baleno a worthier rival to the automatic V variant of the Honda Jazz, as the Baleno Delta CVT paled in comparison in terms of features. It is also a substantial Rs 65,000 cheaper than the CVT-equipped Jazz V variant, which is priced at Rs 8.12 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). However, the Jazz V gets paddle-shifts for the automatic gearbox, while the Baleno Zeta does not.
Maruti sells the Baleno through its Nexa dealership network, and has plans to export the premium hatchback to more than 100 countries. The manufacturer's premium hatchback is also the first India-made model to be exported to Japan, its parent market.