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Old 7th March 2006, 22:59   #1
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Default Mclaren's take on the baleno over the 1st 1000kms, believe it or not in 2 days..

Well it all started off a year and a half back when the family decided to go in for a new car .. Dads 1st choice was a baleno , he had even booked for one .. But i got the booking cancelled and picked up the zen (the super e-zens in bangy were one of the main reasons) for i never knew the true potential of the baleno until i joined TBHP ..

Never ever had i even dreamt that i shall be the proud owner of a baleno this soon .. Almost a year down the line , since i had bought the zen i had the keys to a spanking new pearl silver baleno .. Call it fate or god's grace, from where i look at it i think i was destined to own this piece of machinery come what may ...

I rushed into closing the deal on the car with only one thing on my mind , TRACK DAY .. This time i really wanted to take my own ride to the tracks .. And the showroom guys were kind enough to heed to my request and deliver the car as early as within 2 days..


The 1st day took the delivery of the car , ran around in the city for about 100 odd kms with temp registration .. The main idea to take the car our without the registration being done was that friday was a good day .. After finishing off with the pooja rushed to the garage to meet psycho and his gang .. The next day morning the car was back at the showroom for registration .. Took the delivery of the car at around 6 pm and rushed to the closest shell petrol pump to fill her up ..

Three hours down the line , my baby was up for her RUN-IN .. As i had earlier planned to complete the run-in in two days by travelling to hubli , my parents seemed to have different ideas .. My mom had prayed that she would come to mantralaya if we did survive from the zen accident without any major injuries .. Now , i decided its well and good and what better way to run-in ur car than take it to the abode of lord Raghavendraswami .. We ( ie , dad , mom , brother , aunt & myself) left to my aunts place at hindupur at around 10 pm .. Reached hindupur at around 2 PM with one stop for dinner at lepakshi .. The food certainly was mouth watering .. Picked up my granny from there and left to mantralaya at around 11 am and reached the place by around 6 pm with plenty of stops to let the engine cool down , not to mention the sugar cane juice and the nimbu soda stops .. Finished the darshanam by 8 and immediately left to hindupur by around 9 pm .. Reached hindupur around 3 am .. Had some sleep and and finally left to bangy at around 5 am and reached home by 9 am ..


My take on the baleno :

Looks : Well looks as they say are very subjective .. So let me try not to get into that detail a lot .. From my POV i love the profile view of the baleno (ala jag ishtyle) , the front end has a gleaming character ... The less said about the rear the better .. The drab looking tail lamps are an eyesore , but with the pros from the other ends any baleno owner can live with it i think .. Also v1p3r has promised to do something about the tail lamps really soon .. So the wait continues ..

Handling & Comfort : Well did i mention that im still running on the pathetic stock rubber .. Bridgestone 248's it is , 165/80/R13 ... The car surely handles pretty neat , however body roll was slightly evident .. Not to that extent, but one could certainly feel it .. Didnt gun the car as it had hardly clocked a 150 kms before i decided to take on the crazy trip of finishing the initial 1k kms run-in in less than two days .. Speeds kept varying from 80-100 km/hr ..

It took a rather long time to get to hindupur but the journey never seemed tired at all (atleast for the one who drove the car).. Thanks to the brilliant front seats which grip u tight .. The front seats are a class apart from the rest of the cars in the similar segment .. Cant say the same about the rear seats , mom found them pretty uncomfortable and was continously complaining of back ache .. I thought she might be joking but later on realised just as well that the back seats indeed werent that cozy as it was made out to be on the forum .. Im thinking it could be bcoz of the seats being rather hard as they are new ... Leg room was quite sufficient for my family atleast .. So no complaints ..


The car handled brilliantly over bad roads , soaks up the bumps pretty darn well .. Mom even said it glides over the potholes with such ease .. This coming from my mom certainly means quite a lot .. However , thats not just it .. Over a few potholes got that "khatak" sound that a few owners are complaining about .. I got this sound atleast 5-6 times .. At a particular instant dad did ask if the sound was due to the mud flap hitting the ground thus making the "khatak" sound .. Baleno owners whats ur take on this ??


Apart from this thing there were plenty other things that did come to me as quite a surprise , at speeds over 90 km/hr i could consistently hear a whistling sound coming from the right front .. Initially i thought this was "tyre noise" but on lending a close ear figured out that it wasnt .. Need to get it checked at 1st service .. Did anyone else face similar issues ..

Apart from these while shifting from 2nd-3rd and from 4th-5th the clutch kind of kicks back pretty hard from a few inches away from the point of release .. Dont know if any of have noticed this either ..

But the most heart wrenching issue for me was the bottoming out on speed bumps . . Dont know if the GC is not good enough for our elephant - ant sized speedbumps that we seem to have here.. But there were atleast two occasions when the cars underbelly was scraping so badly that i had stop mid-way on the bump and yell to my folks to get out of the car .. Apart from this dad managed to scrape over a few bumps marginally too .. This has certainly got me worrying ..


The tyre noise too was very evident , but i guess il have to live with it until my mods are carried out .. Only then will i be in a postion to decide the tyre/rim size .. Due to the undersized tyres on the LXi more than 3 times the brakes locked up on some hard braking to prevent a few animals from being run over ..

Performance : This is one topic that i could go on and on for ever , and any baleno owner would certainly agree with me .. In the cities the baleno is a joy to drive .. Owning to the brilliant torquey 1.6L mill .. Even on the higways the car was pure bliss .. No need to downshift into lower gears at all .. Just floor the pedal and u get that instant surge be it any gear.. Couldnt test the max speed as the engine is brand new (almost actually) .. THe max i hit is around a 100 , with revvs under 3k most times ..


Dad was so floored by the performance of the car that he made it a rule that we both would take alternative turns at driving the car , with dad driving during the daytime and me during the nights .. We were on a very tight schedule and as such couldnt avoid the nigth journeys .. More than 600 kms of the of the 1100 kms were done in the night by me .. But must admit not once did i feel tired ..


Gear shifts are a bit notchy , but i guess that it will free with some miles under the hood .. Its not that bad , but it takes a while to get used to ..


Fuel Efficiency : We clocked 429 kms before refilling at the reliance petrol pump at mantralaya .. 24.7 ltrs of petrol went in , which gives an average of 17.36 kms/ltr with a car that has hardly clocked anything .. Thats brilliant yet again with about 20 % AC usage .. Now coming to the AC did i tell u that it indeed is better than the E-class .. For once the advertising guys really stated the facts ..


All in all this was one hellava driving experience .. Loved every km i clocked on the baleno.. And with all the mods that i have in store it can only get might better .. Until then the car will be have to do with the stock tyres and track day .. All in all , this car is worth every penny that i spent on .. Thanks to TBHP for helping me take this decision .. Well done guys .. My baby is due for service tomorrow , will post the after-service details a little later ..

Whew !!!! Clocking 1200 kms in less than 2 days is really tiring ..

PS : I have tried being as honest as possible , pls do let me know if i have missed out on anything .. Also if i have made any mistake feel free to correct me ..

PS 2 : Sorry for the rather long report ..
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Old 7th March 2006, 23:13   #2
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I guess you would have clocked couple of hundreds of kilometers before i had finished reading the report... as usual a good report man.

good to know that you are back in your best of spirits... it was less than a week back we were all reading ur story about your first love... now its history... as someone said in the other thread.. life goes on.

all the best. hope you see you at the track.

ps: i pity the teacher correcting your papers...
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Old 7th March 2006, 23:18   #3
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At this rate u'll do 1000kms in 2days, 15000 a month and 1,80,000kms a year!!!

Anyway...congrats on ur purchase and enjoy. So when are all the mods commin??
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Old 7th March 2006, 23:33   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclaren1885
at speeds over 90 km/hr i could consistently [b]hear a whistling sound coming from the right front
Probably misaligned door or gap in the beadings. Get both checked.
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Old 7th March 2006, 23:40   #5
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Gosh! you have written a long term ownership report after two days of ownership...

This must be the fastest run-in I have ever heard. Congrats on your new car, regarding your report, tell us something we don't know Baleno newbie.. Although I have a feeling you will become a Baleno veteran faster than most of us if you keep this going.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclaren1885
Also v1p3r has promised to do something about the tail lamps really soon
Does it involve his friend Mr.Jack?
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Old 7th March 2006, 23:44   #6
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Nice write up..!!!
The fastest ownership experience posted i guess.....



Quote:
Originally Posted by karthik247
At this rate u'll do 1000kms in 2days, 15000 a month and 1,80,000kms a year!!!
Quite a possibilty
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Old 7th March 2006, 23:50   #7
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maybe its the age! I have to pacify myself thinking so.

Enjoy dude. Wear seat belts and see taht all wear it.

See you at ICE section
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Old 8th March 2006, 01:12   #8
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Nice short-long ownership report,bro.

Quote:
But the most heart wrenching issue for me was the bottoming out on speed bumps . . Dont know if the GC is not good enough for our elephant - ant sized speedbumps that we seem to have here..
Cross the Speedbumps at a 45 degree angle. I got this from riding super-bikes.
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Old 8th March 2006, 01:13   #9
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Hey Mclaren wonderful review. Very well written. Enjoy the new car smell and have fun with it.
Do let us know about the mods. I am too eager to know as always
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Old 8th March 2006, 09:31   #10
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Quote:
At this rate u'll do 1000kms in 2days, 15000 a month and 1,80,000kms a year!!!
And people keep saying, my car runs a lot. hehe.

Good report there mclaren. Congratulations on the baleno.

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Old 8th March 2006, 10:03   #11
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Great short long report Mclaren. Congrats on the Baleno...
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Old 8th March 2006, 11:07   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclaren1885
Now coming to the AC did i tell u that it indeed is better than the E-class .. For once the advertising guys really stated the facts ..

I believe the Maruti people claim it to be better than the S - Class a/c.
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Old 8th March 2006, 11:17   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclaren1885
It took a rather long time to get to hindupur but the journey never seemed tired at all (atleast for the one who drove the car).. Thanks to the brilliant front seats which grip u tight .. The front seats are a class apart from the rest of the cars in the similar segment .. Cant say the same about the rear seats , mom found them pretty uncomfortable and was continously complaining of back ache .. I thought she might be joking but later on realised just as well that the back seats indeed werent that cozy as it was made out to be on the forum .. Im thinking it could be bcoz of the seats being rather hard as they are new ... Leg room was quite sufficient for my family atleast .. So no complaints ..
Mclaren..congrats on your new purchase. As regards rear seat comfort, the Baleno is supposed to be up among the best. So, I was quite surprised by yor comment. The following reason could be attributed : You probably would have gone non-stop for quite some time. On long journeys you need to take a break of at least 15-20 mins every 2 hours especially with 3 at the back. How old is your mom?
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Old 8th March 2006, 12:27   #14
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Man you got some energy .. 1200km drive, then the report and then service .. Life on the FAST lane !

Congratulations ...
Brilliant front seats - very true
Rear seat - no experience , can't say
Khatak - resolution for my car in my 1000 km report
Whistling noise - haven't come across it
Tyre noise - not much .. but then the stereo is always on + the NCTs may be better than the Bridgestones
Bottoming out - haven't faced it with 4 or 5 on board
Hard braking - thankfully didn't need any yet, so no lock ups
Clutch kick back - haven't felt it
Gear shifts - yep they do get better ..
17.36 kmpl - incredible !!!


Did you upgrade the headlights before the trip ? If not, how were the stock lights ?
Is the dash illumination a tad too bright , does it distract one during night driving ?
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Old 8th March 2006, 16:28   #15
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Mclaren, congrats on the new car.

The whistling noise you get from the drivers side after a certain speed might be because of defective rubber beading which surrounds the window. We had a similar problem when we first bought our accent. It made a whistling noise near the drivers side if we went over 110 kph.. Upon changing the beading, the noise disappeared.
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