A part of Maruti Suzuki’s NEXA range of cars, the Baleno hatchback has been soldiering on unchanged since launch. However, for 2019, an updated version sporting a mild face lift is on the cards. Expected to be in showrooms in the first quarter of this year, the updated Maruti Baleno will get mild tweaks for its fascia in the form of a different looking bumper. What will change? The air dam will grow bigger in size and could be lined with chrome, whereas, vertically placed, blacked out fog lamp inserts will be placed at the edges.
This minor update will be in line with the Elite i20, the Baleno’s competitor, which also received a mild face lift last year. We expect lower variants of Maruti’s premium hatchback to score more features, and Maruti might make a few changes to the upholstery. The possibility of more colour options being added to the existing available choices, along with a new alloy wheel and wheel cap pattern cannot be ruled out either.
Available with three engine choices, the Baleno is being offered with the choice of two petrol and one diesel engine. In its RS spec, the Baleno is powered by a 1.0-litre boosterjet motor which pumps out 102 PS and 150 Nm of torque between 1500 – 4,500 rpm. It can also be had with a normally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine which is good for 83 bhp, 115 Nm of torque, and offers the choice of a 5-speed manual or a CVT. Diesel powered variants are propelled by a fiat-sourced 1.3-litre motor which is rated for an output of 75 PS and 190 Nm of torque. This engine is only available with a 5-speed manual gearbox.
On the other hand, Tata Motors’ new premium hatchback is also in its final stages of testing and should come out by August 2019. It will challenge the Baleno and i20’s long standing popularity by being a feature packed, spacious, good looking car, which should be priced to entice. We’ll bring you more details about any new happenings in the premium hatchback space. Stay tuned!