2022 Maruti Suzuki Baleno AMT review: Should you buy it?
Maruti Suzuki's Baleno has always been a hugely popular car ever since its launch in 2015. Despite not having many changes, it has been consistently featuring amongst the top bestselling cars in India. However, with the influx of new competition, the company has introduced the facelifted Baleno with extensive updates inside and out. Here's our review.
- Premium hatchbacks have seen a huge spurt in demand owing to changes in the consumer buying pattern.
- Hatchbacks are not just basic automobiles and they also need to have premium styling and features.
- Hence, to keep up with the competition, the Baleno (facelift) arrives at the right time and is armed with a new design language along with a completely overhauled cabin architecture.
There are plenty of noticeable changes to the new Baleno and it looks much more aggressive now. The grille is noticeably larger while there are new LED headlamps with three element DRLs. The rear section gets new C-shaped taillamps and a new bumper design. The bonnet as well as the 16-inch alloy wheels are also new. The car is offered in six shades.
The interiors are a pleasant surprise with a massive jump in overall quality levels. The layered dashboard goes well with the dual-tone cabin design. There is also new switchgear while at the center, there is a large 'free-standing' touchscreen which comes with a new infotainment system. Space on offer is similar to the previous-generation Baleno.
Features are a huge draw in this segment and Maruti Suzuki has increased the equipment levels of the Baleno (facelift). Aside from the 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment console, there is smartphone connectivity, a head-up display, a 360-degree-view camera, automatic climate control, connected car technology, rear AC vents, and six airbags. You also get an Arkamys premium audio system and a voice command feature.
While rivals offer multiple engine options, the Baleno (facelift) continues with its sole 1.2-liter petrol motor with 90hp/113Nm. Standard is a 5-speed manual gearbox while an AMT is optional on select variants. We tested the AMT variant and found it to be quite smooth in terms of shift quality and there is less lag now. The engine itself has a linear power delivery.
Maruti Suzuki has extensively updated the Baleno in terms of its mechanicals. The car gets new suspension and bigger brakes. The effect of that clearly shows with a much improved high speed stability and ride quality. Even the steering is updated. It feels more direct now and provides a much confident handling. A bigger highlight would be its fantastic fuel efficiency range of 17-20km/l.
Prices for the Maruti Suzuki Baleno (facelift) equipped with the AMT gearbox start at Rs. 7.69 lakh (ex-showroom) while the top-end version as tested here is priced at Rs. 9.49 lakh (ex-showroom). We think the Baleno (facelift) is an excellent value proposition owing to its stellar fuel efficiency figures along with the enhanced equipment list and styling. Overall, it is a strong buy.