Highway Hatchback – Maruti Suzuki Baleno

The spankin’ new Maruti Suzuki Baleno looks like it’s ticking all the right boxes.

To answer a question  you’re probably thinking… No, this Baleno has nothing to do with the trusty sedan we got used to in the late ’90s. We’re not quite sure why they decided to christen a completely different car with the same name but we’re not complaining either. There’s a sense of nostalgia attached (clever marketing trick?).

The Baleno hatchback is sleek, sexy and reasonably large for its segment. Externally, it’s a pretty good looking ride courtesy of: a) newly developed, harmonious liquid flow design, b) accentuated chrome grilles in the front and rear that give it a sporty luxe vibe, c) stylish 16-inch alloys, d) UV cut glass, and e) powerful projector headlamps with LED daytime running that add a premium feel to the car. It’s available in six metallic colour options.


Internally, there are so many features you’ll start to lose count. In terms of safety we’re talking dual front airbags, reverse parking cameras, ABS and TECT (Total Effective Control Technology) that ensures effective absorption and dispersion of crash energy. The coloured TFT multi-information display helps you track your drive, showing average fuel economy, power and torque, average speed, doors open display and so on. Also, there’s tilt and telescopic steering to make your ride extra comfortable.

Equipped with a state-of-the-art SmartPlay infotainment system, the Apple CarPlay function is one to look out for. It lets you use your iPhone through the car’s touchscreen and control activities using Siri.


The DDiS 190 diesel, 5-speed manual transmission engine packs a punch with dynamic power and torque, all the while reducing emissions and minimising noisy engine sounds. While Suzuki claims a fuel efficiency of 27.39 km/litre, we’ll just have to wait and see how it fares on city roads. The VVT petrol variant comes in 5-speed manual and CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) transmission, making it a controlled drive with better fuel economy. There are four trims in the market right now: Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Alpha.


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