The Maruti Suzuki Baleno has for longest been the best-selling premium hatchback in the country. Even in the face of newer competition from the likes of the Tata Altroz and the new-gen Hyundai i20, the Baleno remains undeterred from the list of top 10 most selling cars each month. Maruti Suzuki have now announced that the Baleno has crossed 9 lakh sales milestone in the domestic market alone. It was just in October 2020 when the Baleno crossed 8 lakh sales milestone in India. In just 5 months since then, Maruti has sold 1 lakh more units of the Baleno. Here we take a look at five reasons that makes the Baleno such a popular premium hatchback in India.
Excellent interior space
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno has one of the most spacious interiors in its class and that has to be one of it's strongest points. Even if you are around 6ft tall, you will find generous legroom in the second row of the Baleno. The hatchback also has enough shoulder room in the rear seats to sit three adults in decent comfort. The seats themselves are quite comfortable and supportive. Most importantly, Maruti Suzuki have packaged the interior very well to give a greater sense of space and airiness.
Excellent mileage being the only mild-hybrid in segment
One of the biggest highlights of the Baleno has to be its SHVS mild-hybrid system, making it the only hatchback in this segment to be offered with such a feature. The system brings in idle start/stop feature and also provides a mild torque boost when getting off the line. The Baleno has an ARAI-claimed mileage of 23.87 kmpl for the manual version, while the automatic variant is rated at 19.56 kmpl. You can expect 18 kmpl and 15 kmpl of mileage respectively in the real world.
Easy ownership experience and wide service network
Maruti's expansive service and sales network all across the country is known to everyone. That brings with it an easy ownership experience that is very difficult to beat. Although Maruti's service isn't quite as affordable as it used to be once upon a time, Maruti Suzuki cars are still one of the most affordable ones to maintain. Moreover, the company's customer-friendly attitude and premium retail experience through the Nexa showrooms have greatly contributed to its success.
Comfort and Refinement
The Baleno is an extremely comfortable car to be driven in and to drive as well. Easy and smooth - that's what describes the Baleno's drive experience. With a soft suspension setup, the Baleno has an extremely comfortable ride quality. The engine is also super refined and combined with low NVH levels, the experience inside the cabin of the Baleno is really pleasant.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno is priced between INR 5.90 lakh to INR 9.10 lakh (ex-showroom) in India. The pricing is quite reasonable for all that the Baleno has to offer. It may not be as flamboyant as some of its newer rivals, but they are also considerably more expensive. The Hyundai i20 crosses the INR 10 lakh mark and even the Tata Altroz is more expensive at the top end of the spectrum. The Baleno thus offers very good value-for-money in the premium hatchback segment.