For Maruti’s petrol­head fans, we tested the new hatch­back’s petrol en­gine vari­ant

Car India - - CONTENTS -

With no really dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures vis­ually, save for the ‘DDiS’ badge, the Baleno’s spark-ig­ni­tion coun­ter­part uses the same 1.2-litre K12 VVT petrol en­gine also seen in the Ritz, Swift and DZire. Here it is tuned to pro­duce 84 PS at 6,000 RPM and 115 Nm at 4,000 RPM. Paired to a five-speed man­ual, the Baleno feels ea­ger and rev-happy. The rorty en­gine note, ac­com­pa­nied by those dig­i­tal power and torque graphs, makes things more ex­cit­ing. Look in the en­gine bay, though, and a bare mo­tor lies there; no cover, and ex­posed ex­haust man­i­fold inches away from where your hand would usu­ally rest af­ter open­ing the bon­net. The space there looks like they planned a V6, but then de­cided against it at the last minute; more crum­ple area it is, then.

On the move, the petrol Baleno clearly is an eas­ier-to-drive car. It’s quite nim­ble, the clutch is light, the gear-lever shifts soft and sure, and the sus­pen­sion is de­cent. The steer­ing feel is quite dead. How­ever, the brak­ing is smooth and drama-free. The ac­cel­er­a­tion isn’t brisk, but is ad­e­quate; 100 km/h comes up in 13.73 sec­onds and it can get up to 155 km/h.

Equip­ment level is the same as in the diesel Al­pha top-spec model, so you get the auto cli­mate, touch­screen in­ter­face and pro­jec­tor head­lamps. The 890-kg weight makes it much lighter than most other of­fer­ings, though it does pack in a lot of equip­ment over­all. At Rs 7.14 lakh (ex-Pune), it is priced rather com­pet­i­tively. There is also a CVT op­tion on of­fer for those who pre­fer the con­ve­nience of an au­to­matic, avail­able in the ‘Delta’ trim at Rs 6.89 lakh (ex-Pune).

Power and torque graphs are an ex­cit­ing ad­di­tion and in­ject more fun into its rather me­diocre per­for­mance K12 1.2-litre four­pot petrol makes 84 PS but is more fo­cussed on midrange per­for­mance; ex­posed en­gine and ex­haust man­i­fold close to bon­net...

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