Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Overview & Test Drive

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Overview

You know it’s probably a good time to consider buying a sporty hatchback when the country’s leading carmaker decides to make one. Maruti has a pedigree when it comes to making fuel-efficient, reliable and cheap-to-run cars, but for its first performance hatch, the company has for once let the fuel economy figure (21.4kpl) take a back seat in the brochure. But power is right at the forefront. It’s called the Baleno RS and it uses a new 1.0-litre, three cylinder, direct injection, turbocharged petrol motor that makes 102hp and 150Nm of torque. At first, the numbers seem a bit underwhelming but factor in the car’s light 950kg kerb weight, and it starts to make sense. Lighter than the competition it is, but you’d be surprised to know that the RS weighs 60kg more than its normal petrol equivalent.

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Of course, the new engine is heavier but Maruti tells us that much of this extra mass is a result of chassis strengthening. Still, that makes for a power to weight ratio of 107hp per tonne. And Maruti claims the suspension’s now 10 percent stiffer too.But you won’t be able to appreciate any of this until you drive the Baleno RS. What you will, however, are the subtle styling changes. To go with the sporty image, there’s a revised grille, and different bumpers at the front and rear; the latter looks particularly aggressive. And then the blacked-out headlamps, side skirts and the RS badge distinguish it from the regular car. View offers on Maruti Cars from Maruti dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Look

Let’s talk about the looks first. At first glance, it’s hard to spot the differences vis-a-vis the standard Baleno; the changes are mostly cosmetic and most of them are centred up front. For instance, the Baleno RS gets a mesh treatment to the grill; the redesigned front and rear bumpers have been squeezed and sharpened for a racier look.

The thin side skirts add some flair. The 16-inch alloys are the same as in the standard Baleno but painted in a gorgeous black that really makes the car stand out, especially when contrasted with the Fire Red shade. Topping it all off is the ‘RS’ badge that finds a coveted place at the back of the car.Everything else remains unchanged and you get the same features as you’d find in the top-of-the-line Alpha variant of the Baleno. That includes turn indicators on projector headlamps with LED daytime-running lights, LED taillight cluster, turn indicators on outside mirrors and UV-cut glass.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Comfort

Inside the cabin, though, nothing’s changed. You get the automatic climate control, 7.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay and all the other standard infotainment features. Unfortunately, some low-rent buttons and plastics too have made their way into the Baleno RS, which is a let-down. The front seats, like the stock car, are large and comfortable with soft cushioning and generous under-thigh support (although we’d have liked a little more lateral support in a sporty car like this) and it is the same story in the back, where the ample legroom and wide bench give enough room for three adults. All in all then, Maruti has found a good middle-ground between performance and practicality, but it could have focused a bit to make the interior different from the stock car and thrown in a few more ‘RS’ bits, maybe?

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 info on Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS check orsp.in 

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 theThe mileage of the Maruti Baleno RS is 21.1 km/l as per the ARAI mileage. We shall give you the real world numbers after we review the performance hatchback, post its launch. This is good enough for a vehicle that performs this well.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Rideing

The suspension’s been stiffened on this one, and that’s given the car a bit more stability at speed, although the Buddh International Circuit, where we’ve driven it, is hardly the best place to evaluate this, or indeed other everyday driving characteristics. The car also turns a bit more willingly into corners and handling on the whole has improved a bit. What adds to this feel is the steering which now feels a touch heavier and gives you more confidence. It’s still not bristling with feedback though.The brakes on this car are great, no doubt helped by the addition of discs at the rear. Despite repeated hard braking sessions on the racetrack there was only minimal fade felt.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Price in Hyderabad

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Rs On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 9,77,588 to 9,77,588 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 Bottomline

If you are looking for a quicker family hatchback, the Baleno RS won’t disappoint. With better acceleration, steering and brakes, the performance is an improvement over the standard petrol version. But this comes at a price. The Baleno RS commands a Rs 1.4 lakh premium over the standard petrol car and does not have any additional kit. Yes, along with the more powerful engine and rear disc brakes, you also get a stiffer chassis, improved steering and suspension. However, our sources tell us that all Balenos will get the stiffer chassis soon, anyway. That being the case, the Rs 1.4 lakh premium does seem like a lot. But performance has never come cheap. So, does the car do justice to its RS badge? Yes it’s quick, but out here on the F1 track it didn’t seem a quick hot hatch. Then again, this circuit has made many a sportscar look slow. Guess it’s time to put the Baleno back to back with the Abarth Punto and the Polo GT to find out.

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