Maruti Suzuki drives in new hatchback Baleno

Premium hatchback comes in two engine options

Maruti Suzuki drives in new hatchback Baleno

 India’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki (MSI) on Tuesday launched its second offering to be sold through the NEXA premium sales channel — the Baleno premium hatchback.

The new Baleno has been expressed as a global car, which will be manufactured in India, and is in line to be exported to 100 countries, including Suzuki’s home, Japan.

The car, which comes with two engine options — 1.3-litre diesel DDiS 190 and VVT 1.2-litre petrol — packs in many segment firsts.

On the exterior side, the car boasts of a liquid flow design, aerodynamic outside rearview mirrors, and projector headlamps with DRL (daytime running lamp), among others, while the interiors are embellished with many elements.

Apple CarPlay

A new installation in the car’s infotainments system is the Apple CarPlay, which allows occupants to access their iPhones, after being connected through USB.

According to MSI Senior Vice President (NEXA Channel) — Marketing and Sales Partho Banerjee, “The car is built on a brand-new Suzuki platform which is lighter by 100 kg, and stronger by 10 per cent, making it more rigid than other platforms in the industry.”

The car also packs in several safety essentials such as ABS (antilock braking system), airbags, and Total Effective Control Technology (TECT), while the makers have also offered an optional CVT automatic transmission variant in the petrol car.

Expand new markets

The Baleno hatchback follows the S-Cross crossover into the NEXA stable. While the former does have considerable competition from brands such as Hyundai, the company appears confident.

The Baleno is available at an introductory price range of Rs 5,17,783 to Rs 6,97,929 (for petrol), and Rs 6,36,863 to Rs 8,35,329 (for diesel) — ex-showroom Bengaluru.

New wine in newer bottle

Maruti Suzuki’s latest premium offering — to be sold through the exclusive NEXA sales channel — is not be confused with an earlier namesake.

For one, it's a hatchback, unlike its earlier namesake, the Baleno sedan. The sedan, which was manufactured in the country between 1999 and 2007 garnered little response, and was overcome by sweeter machines that have ever since overrun the market. But, in the last few years, the Indian car market has evolved. And the Baleno, in a premium hatchback avatar, may just be what Maruti needs, to proclaim itself the hatchback king.

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