Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS First Drive Review

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Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Overview

Maruti is stepping up their game in the Indian market and of late they have been pushing the envelope in various new dimensions. The carmaker introduced their premium NEXA brand having niche products to taste the higher end of the mass market segment. Maruti recently experimented a different design direction with the launch of the Ignis targeting millennials and now they are finally entering the performance oriented segment. Yes, we are talking about the new Baleno RS that comes with a brand new BoosterJet engine. We just drove the hot hatch at the Buddh International Circuit, testing the limits of the 1.0-litre turbo petrol motor. The RS moniker here stands for ‘Road Sport’ and we see if the first performance-centric hatch from Maruti justifies the RS badge.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Exteriors

The Maruti Baleno RS is a sporty version. So, in terms of dimensions and overall design there isn’t a major change on the hatchback. The final styling is a bit different .There are matt black alloy wheels and even black front grille. There is a front spoiler, bigger front and rear bumpers. There is also a rear spoiler that is integrated neatly. The wheel size is also larger and the tyre profile is lower. The dimensions of the Maruti Baleno RS haven’t changed. The front grille also gets some tweaking.

The colours that will be made available in the Maruti Baleno RS will be a lot more stylish. From what we understand, the Maruti Baleno RS is likely to have lower ground clearance but of these added body kit that will reduce the clearance. However, as the Baleno already has some good clearance it won’t be that difficult. The bigger tyres enhance the design further. It is the exterior, where the difference in changes are visible. There is a single RS badge at the rear. This time, Maruti has gone subtle in its styling with the badging and differentiating. At the same time, the Maruti Baleno RS interiors do not see a major change.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Interiors

Inside the cabin, the Baleno RS 1.0 mimics the same interiors as the Baleno standard with the same equipment list and design. The overall quality, fit and finish feel good, and there is good attention to detail inside the cabin. However, some plastics are compromised on their quality. The seats are very well shaped, and offer good comfort and support. All the seats have excellent cushioning with plenty of legroom and headroom. There are decent amount of storage spaces inside the cabin to keep the car clean and tidy. The placement of the centre console is ergonomic and all the controls fall in easy reach of the hand. The multifunctional steering wheel feels good to hold, and has numerous buttons to control the audio system and phone. All the windows are fairly large in size, and the front and side visibility is very good. The boot is decently sized at 339 litre and the rear seats can be flipped forward in a 60:40 split format, which aids in practicality.

The 7.0-inch touch screen infotainment system gets all sorts of connectivity options (including AUX, USB, iPod and Bluetooth). The audio system comes with four speakers and offers excellent sound quality. Some of the key features include keyless entry, follow-me home headlamps, automatic climate control, front centre armrest, tilt and telescopic steering, reverse camera, parking sensor (rear), leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, and body-coloured electrically-adjustable ORVMs with turn indicators, to name a few. The TFT instrument cluster has been carried over from the standard Baleno and it omits various parameters like distance to empty, instantaneous fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, average speed, gear indicator, shift indicator, etc.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Gearbox

The currently sold Baleno petrol has the best performance of its competition, be it the Elite i20 or the Honda Jazz. Maruti will further enhance the performance and the best will be offered on the five-speed manual version of the Maruti Baleno RS. The Baleno will even have stiffened suspension for better handling characteristics. The Baleno’s other strong point will be its fuel-efficiency. This engine will produce 101bhp at 5,500rpm and 150Nm of peak torque between 1,700rpm and 4,500rpm. As the body weight of the Baleno is lighter than the rest, this power should be more than sufficient. At the same time, it will be a lot more efficient too. The Maruti Baleno RS does have good performance and at the same time good efficiency. For more information on Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS check Isc2013

The Baleno RS even gets 16-inch tyres and there are wider than the regular hatch. This help to enhance the hatchback’s ability to push it further. The front brakes are 14-inch ones and the. Interestingly, the ARAI-claimed fuel efficiency figure is 21.1 kmpl. What this figure translates to in the real world remains to be seen.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Driving

The handling is much better than the regular Baleno. There is a good amount of torque right from the low end and the Baleno RS 1.0 potters around the city without much effort. The power delivery is very crisp and linear. The engine feels quite refined and the NVH levels are well within control. The steering wheel offers decent feedback; it is light, easy to operate at low speeds and weighs up nicely as the speed increases. The ride quality is excellent for the most part, and so is the handling with tight body control and eagerness to dive into corners. The suspension set-up is nice and most of the potholes, broken patches of road, etc., are tackled easily. The car remains planted always and maintains its composure even at high speeds. To know more info on car loans visit Fincarz.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Safety

Maruti is offering the Baleno RS in a single variant and hence the car is loaded with top spec safety features as standard such as dual front airbags, ABS, EBD and ISOFIX child seat provision. Additionally, the Baleno RS comes with all-four discs for better stopping power. In terms of after sales, we all know that Maruti has a very renowned and wide network across the country. The NEXA channel is growing with each passing day and the ownership cost of the Baleno RS will definitely be the lowest compared to the other performance hatchbacks in this segment.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Price in Hyderabad

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Rs On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 10,18,264 to 10,18,264 for variants Baleno RS 1.0L and Baleno RS 1.0L respectively. Maruti Suzuki Baleno Rs is available in 1 variants and 7 colours. Below are details of Maruti Suzuki Baleno Rs variants price in Hyderabad. Check for Baleno RS price in Hyderabad at Carzprice.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Summing Up

The new model Baleno RS 1.0 offers a good balance of performance and handling, something which is bound to go down well with prospective buyers. The main opposition includes Fiat Abarth Punto, Volkswagen Polo GT and Ford Figo.The Baleno RS is Maruti’s entry into the performance hatchback segment and this car will create quite a stir among enthusiasts. It will be retailed through the NEXA channel and being backed by Maruti’s stellar network, the Baleno RS will give a tough fight to the Abarth Punto and the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI.

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