Maruti Suzuki recently launched its first hot hatch in India, the Baleno RS at an aggressive price of Rs 8.69 lakh, which undercuts the Fiat Punto Abarth. I went down to a Nexa dealership in New Delhi and assessed the car. Here is what I think about the new Baleno RS based on my first look.
As soon as I saw the Baleno RS, I really could not notice a lot of changes on the outside, only until you notice those black alloy wheels and the re-styled front and rear bumpers, which now have a lot many cuts. Look closer and you’ll be greeted with some more changes, like the re-designed front grill & a ‘RS’ badging on the back. That was all about the exterior changes the new ‘RS’ variant comes with.
Step inside and you will be a little disappointed, the Baleno RS is exactly the same as the regular Baleno. You have all the equipment and features In place, the plastics are soft and the large infotainment system still looks beautiful but there’s something missing and that is the ‘RS’ factor.
Suzuki has done some cost cutting when it comes to the interior of the new Baleno RS. I was expecting some ‘feel sportier’ factor like leather seats, contrast seat threads or a ‘RS’ badging on the gear knob. We think Suzuki should have offered all this albeit at a special price because, with the ‘RS’, it is targeting a niche set of buyers that demand more than the ordinary.
Coming to the technical part, It is Suzuki’s first sports hatch in India and they have given it a 1.0L booster-jet turbocharged petrol engine that produces 102PS of power and 150Nm of torque, sufficient for a Suzuki car that is generally light weight. So we expect the Baleno RS to give you that confidence where you can overtake on the highways, without giving it a second thought.
Just push it to its limit and enjoy a lag free driving.