Suzuki took the wrap off the Baleno hatchback at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show on 15 September. Billed as one of the important launches of the year as well as a global model by Suzuki, the Baleno will play a major role in the company's sales plans.
The Baleno is the new face of Suzuki for the international market, while in India, the model will be the next premium product at Maruti's Nexa showrooms.
The production of the vehicle started in India a couple of days ago. The India launch is expected before Diwali; unconfirmed reports suggest it will be on 26 October. With the Baleno hatchback launch, Maruti Suzuki will try to cater to the premium car segment where the Japanese manufacturer did not see enough success in the past.
From the pictures released, the Baleno looks fabulous and has all the styling ingredients to be another successful model for Maruti Suzuki. Overall, the car measures 3,995mm in length, has a width of 1,745mm and a height of 1,470mm. The less-than-four-metre length makes the car eligible for the excise duty cut in India which will help Maruti Suzuki to price the hatchback competitively. Suzuki calls the design of the Baleno as Liquid Flow with flowing shoulder line and curved body panel.
The front grill has been shaped in 'V' which is not the usual style of Suzuki vehicles. The sweptback headlamps have been inspired from the Swift and come with daytime running lamps and LED taillamps. The vehicle sports blacked-out A-pillar similar to the Swift. Additionally, the Baleno has beefed-up wheel arches and ORVM's with integrated turn indicators.
The cabin of the Baleno is designed to seat five persons. The interior seems to be large and will have enough legroom, knee room and shoulder room. The steering wheel of the car is similar to the one in the Swift. The dashboard also adopts the 'V' theme in layout and highlights the Smartplay infotainment system. The infotainment system is equipped with Smartphone Linkage Display Audio compatible with Apple CarPlay. The Baleno also boast of adaptive cruise control with speed limiter.
The Baleno sits on the new-generation platform, which increases rigidity, enhances fuel efficiency and improves handling and stability with better NVH performance. The premium hatchback will be sold in the new 1.0-litre Boosterjet petrol engine. The engine features reduced displacement that will help the car attain better fuel efficiency. The diesel engines are the 1.2 Dualjet engines and come equipped with the SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle) system. However, the Indian Baleno is expected in the same 1.3-litre DDiS diesel motors along with the SHVS mild hybrid system debuted with Ciaz hybrid.
The car will be positioned above the Swift and is expected to cost around Rs 7.5 to 9 lakh.