The Maruti Suzuki Baleno is one of the most prized members of the brand’s Nexa line of cars. Making its grand debut back in 2015, this premium hatchback has sold well over 9 lakh units so far. Its success was so noteworthy that Toyota India couldn’t help but adopt the Baleno and convert it into the Glanza, which has found them decent sales. However, it is the Baleno that truly holds the top spot when it comes to sales volumes. In April 2021, Maruti Suzuki managed to sell an unbelievable 16,384 units of the Baleno – making it the country’s best-selling premium hatchback.
For comparison, the best-selling car in April 2021 was the Maruti Suzuki WagonR, which moved a total of 18,656 units. Moreover, when pitted against its Glanza counterpart, the Baleno sold over 14,200 more units over a similar period last month. Available at all Nexa outlets in four different trim levels, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno costs between Rs 5.98 Lakh and Rs 9.30 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). For those who have been following the recent trend of price hikes among automakers in India, you will notice that the Baleno has become pricier than what it was in April. This is because Maruti Suzuki has passed on some of its increasing overheads to customers, which reflects in the price of the Baleno shooting up by up to Rs 20,000.
The Baleno is offered in up to five exterior colors – Pearl Arctic White, Pearl Phoenix Red, Magma Grey, Metallic Premium Silver, and Nexa Blue. On the mechanical side of things, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno comes with two 1.2-liter four-cylinder petrol engines. One of these is a regular naturally-aspirated mill, while the other is the brand’s ‘DualJet’ unit. Having noted that, the difference in their power output is not really that vast. In the case of the DualJet motor, maximum output is rated at 89hp, with the standard four-popper producing 82hp. Irrespective of the badge, both engines develop an identical 113Nm of peak torque. Weirdly enough, the more powerful engine can only be had with a 5-speed manual gearbox. Meanwhile, the other one can be had with either the manual gearbox or a CVT automatic.
When it comes to safety features, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno gets dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, and ISOFIX anchor points across variants. The Baleno can also be had with a reversing camera, automatic LED headlamps, keyless entry with push-button ignition, electrically adjustable & foldable wing mirrors, automatic climate control, and a 7.0-inch touch-infotainment system with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay. While it is fairly well-equipped with features, the Baleno’s interior feels dated and isn’t exactly the benchmark when it comes to material quality. However, the cabin has enough room, and the rear seats of the Baleno offer far more space than the Volkswagen Polo.
The exterior design of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno hasn’t changed since its introduction nearly six years ago. For the most part, whatever little tweaks were made were not major enough to make the whole car seem all-new. Still, the Baleno is definitely not a bad-looking hatchback – in fact, its exterior styling is considered quite attractive. To be fair, I doubt Maruti Suzuki would have sold so many of these if buyers thought it to be a buzzkill on the design front. As for its rivals, the Baleno goes up against the Hyundai i20, Tata Altroz, Honda Jazz, and the aforementioned Volkswagen Polo and Toyota Glanza.