Maruti Suzuki has crossed the benchmark of 1 lakh bookings with its premium hatchback, the Baleno and the manufacturer is rightfully content. The car further solidifies the sentiment that the sweat broken by Maruti over the research and development of their cars was not a futile exercise. It was launched in October 2015 and has gained the crown of segment leader within a short span of its existence. The carmaker is buoyed with the positive response and has plans to export the hatch to over 50 countries across the globe. The sales milestone also includes small portions of exports. The manufacturer has recently started shipping the Baleno to European markets and is using the Mundra Port in Gujarat for the same. The first lot, which consists of 1,800 units will be sent to Italy, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Belgium and Spain. Maruti has also started exporting the car to the Japanese market, though, it only has been a few weeks.
Talking about the specs, in India the Baleno is offered in both 1.3 litre diesel and the 1.2 litre petrol variants with the engines mated to 5-speed manual transmissions, however, the European and Japanese markets only receive the 1.2 litre petrol engine, paired to SHVS hybrid technology. The transmission options here in India vary from a CVT to a 5-speed MT. International markets also have the added advantage of a 1.0 litre BoosterJet variant, the launch of which is still pending in India.
Maruti Baleno has been causing nightmares for both the Honda Jazz and the Hyundai Elite i20 in India, and with the launch of a more powerful 1.0 litre RS variant, it is expected to generate even bigger numbers.
Watch First Drive of Maruti Baleno