Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Review & Test Drive

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Overview

The Baleno RS is the company’s second launch of the year after the Ignis and is the faster version of the existing Baleno model. It is also the company’s entry into the ‘hot hatchback’ segment in India.The ‘RS’ in Baleno RS stands for ‘Road Sport’ and comes fitted with a 998cc BoosterJet petrol engine that delivers 100 horsepower and 150 Nm of torque and comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission setup. The three-cylinder motor can churn out so much power due to a bit of forced induction trickery and the help of a turbocharger.  Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS  On road price starts from 8,36,309/-. Check for price details of Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS in CarzPrice.

When it comes to appearance, then the Baleno RS gets a few nips and tucks. The front-end design has been updated with projector headlamps, new grille layout and a new bumper. The side profile remains similar as the existing Baleno but now gets side skirts and blacked-out wheels. The back gets the ‘RS’ badging and an updated bumper as well.Inside the car, the biggest attraction is the inclusion of the SmartPlay infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and in terms of safety, the Baleno RS comes with dual airbags, disc brakes on all four wheels, ABS and EBD.

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Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Design

A quick look at the Baleno RS makes it tough to spot any key differences but a closer look reveals the new bumpers at front and rear along with skirtings all around. The alloy wheels are the same as found in the standard Baleno but in the RS they’re painted in black. The rear bumper too features a blackened out area that looks particularly well with contrasting colours.Overall, the Baleno RS looks sportier than the regular version without being too loud. While one might say Maruti has played it safe, I think this approach is better since cars with a loud exterior have always been received with mixed reactions from Indian consumers.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Cabin

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 Performance

The main reason for buying the Baleno RS is its new 1 litre three-cylinder Boosterjet engine, which develops 99 hp and 150 Nm of torque. On the track, we spent most of the time caning the motor and the engine absolutely loves to be revved. There is enough action till about 6,000 rpm, after which the rev limiter kicks in.

There is hardly any lag from the engine even at slow speeds and going quickly is quite rewarding. Acceleration is brisk and the power delivery is linear. We managed to accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h in 10.26 seconds. On the back straight, our top speed was a speedo indicated 183 kmph, which is an impressive number for a hatchback. As of now, the company is only offering a five-speed manual transmission in the Baleno RS. While, purists will love the manual gearbox, there are customers who would’ve liked the option of an automatic as well.

The gearbox itself works well and the shifts are precise and the throws are short. The clutch too is light so driving this car in traffic too should be effortless.With the pace of the car going up, Maruti Suzuki has rightfully upgraded the brakes too. The Baleno RS gets an all-disc setup instead of the front disc and rear drum setup on the regular Baleno. While braking from 180 kmph too the car was stable and brake fade too was minimal The suspension too has been stiffened up a bit and as a result of this, body-roll was controlled in the car during high-speed cornering on the track. With updated steering gear ratios, the steering too feels quicker and the feedback from the unit is praiseworthy.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Rideing

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.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Safety

All the wheels get disc brakes along with ABS and EBD, and hence the vehicle never runs out of stopping power. The carmaker is also offering other usual features, like engine immobilizer, keyless central locking, speed-sensing doors, child safety door and seat belt warning.View offers on Maruti Cars from Maruti dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Price

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Rs Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 8,36,309/- (Baleno RS 1.0L) to 8,36,309/- (Baleno RS 1.0L). Get best offers for Maruti Suzuki Baleno Rs from Maruti Suzuki Dealers in India

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Verdict

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 priced at Rs 8.69 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi, which is a competitive price tag for the car, considering the experience it offers. While the interior of the Baleno RS is unchanged and the exterior is mildly updated, the driving experience is totally different from the regular Baleno.

 

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