Maruti Suzuki is gearing up for fresh competition from the Hyundai i20 Elite, whose facelifted version has already been spotted at dealerships, and will be launched in India during the 2018 Indian Auto Expo. The new TVC shows a couple of Balenos being driven on city streets at night, nicely accentuating the curves of the hatchback.
The Baleno is India’s best-selling premium hatchback and is sold through NEXA dealerships across India. The i20 Elite is the biggest competitor of the Baleno, selling nearly 60 % of the Baleno’s volumes. The facelifted car is expected to give the i20 Elite a boost in terms of sales numbers, especially since the premium hatchback now comes with a CVT automatic variant, expected to be priced well since it gets the smaller 1.2 liter petrol (qualifying it for lower excise duty).
The Baleno sold in India is available with 3 engine options – 2 in petrol and 1 in diesel. The petrol engines include the 1.2 liter-4 cylinder K-Series unit that makes 82 Bhp and 114 Nm, and the 1 liter-3 cylinder BoosterJet turbocharged petrol engine with 101 Bhp-150 Nm. The diesel motor is the Fiat Multijet 1.3 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged unit with 74 Bhp-190 Nm. All engines get a 5 speed manual gearbox as standard while the 1.2 liter petrol is also offered with a CVT automatic gearbox. Prices for the Baleno start from Rs. 5.36 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi.
The BoosterJet turbo petrol engine is offered on the high-performance RS variant of the Baleno, which is marketed by Maruti as an affordable hot hatch. Apart from the more powerful engine, the car also gets stiffer suspension for better handling around high-speed corners. Features offered on the Baleno include factory tints, twin airbags, ABS+EBD, automatic climate control, Maruti’s SmartPlay touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry, push-button start, automatic headlamps with projectors, reverse camera and reverse parking sensors.