The much awaited premium hatchback from Maruti, Baleno, is all set to make its debut on 26th October in India and promotions have already started. This new premium hatchback will join the S-Cross as the second model to be sold in the Nexa dealerships and will be a prime rival of the highly successful models, Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo. The Baleno will rival all these models and will try to undercut them in terms of pricing and that is a very crucial part for Maruti to play. They have to strategically place the Baleno in our market keeping their own model lineup in mind as the car will be positioned ahead of Swift but it is yet to be seen if this car will fill in the place between their sub-four meter sedan, Dzire and midsize sedan, Ciaz or will it be a filler between Swift and Dzire.
The Baleno will share its both petrol and diesel engines with its siblings but with slight update likely. The 1.2L, 83bhp K-series petrol engine will be on offer with a standard five-speed manual gearbox and an optional CVT transmission which will put it straight against Jazz. To take on the diesel versions of Jazz and Elite i20, Maruti will equip the Baleno with the 1.3L, 74 bhp Multijet diesel engine along with SHVS technology which is expected to make Baleno the most fuel efficient car in its class.
This engine will have Variable Geometry turbocharger over the Fixed geometry turbocharger in Swift and will be equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox. It is also speculated that Maruti may launch the 1.0L Boosterjet petrol engine equipped version of Baleno later which is surely to be priced over all the variants of Baleno and Dzire as a flagship variant which may enter the territory of Ciaz.
Maruti will not be cutting down on features either as you can expect features such as auto climate control, push button start, electric folding mirrors, Smartplay infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, steering mounted controls and navigation system. Other features will include adjustable steering wheel, alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, camera, rear de-fogger, wiper, ABS with EBD and dual front airbags and many more. Looking at the equation of engine line-up and feature list, we can expect Maruti to place Baleno a bit premium over the Dzire which means it may start from INR 5.2 lakhs for its petrol version and INR 6.1 lakhs for the diesel version.