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Old 4th October 2006, 17:38   #1
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Default Baleno 5000Kms Review

Thanks to the forum where large number of users advocated Baleno.
This is my first big car and was driving a omni before.

My Initial take when I saw a black Baleno which was Alloy clad,
It looked amazing with all the shiny chrome grill and the smell of the new car added to the impact. I was smitten

The test drive just proved all the facts that were mentioned on the threads here, great pickup tall gear ratios etc etc. The car was super silent which reminded me of the 13 noise reduction technologies advertised on the maruti website. I was impressed and made the purchase on 7th sep 2005. An ausipicious ganesh chaturti day.

Now let me not reiterate the same things that's already described in the threads, but I shall talk of the finer nuances that you experience over a period of time.

Economy : Got the car and good price, The maintaince is nill apart from the free services and 2 oil changes within 2500 KMS .
Well boss, some maruti engineers are well equipped to hold the gun at your temples, the SA on my third service when the car was run 2500 kms advised that if I do not change the oil as per the service schedule I may not be able to claim any warranty. Can you negotiate with logic on such terms. Well I conceeded as 650 buck is not too great a amount to fuss for. I need not comment on the accessories like fog lamps and the rear view mirrors which are prohibitively expensive had a good mind the sell the mirrors back when they were new and make some dough since I had scrapped all my savings to make the downpayments. The car return 13 KMS in city and 16 KMS on the highway with AC on 70% of the time.

Engine performance : Great show here, tap the pedal to feel the surge, you can imagine my satisfaction more so since I just graduated from a 800 cc engine. Any gear the engine alwys delights you. Particularly the 2nd 3rd and 4th is amzing the 3rd gear is what I term automatic you can crawl from under 20KMPH and rip till 80KMPH.
The noise less engine now sounds to me like a disiel engine. I was made aware through this forum is that its the tappet noise.
Another point this car surely senses the quality of fuel and responds accordingly. My freind's ikon is realtively more silent with this respect.

The AC is making strange old pump like noise which is discussed on the technical thread. The funnny thing is this started once when the AC was switched just when I was releasing the clutch. The performance of the AC is brilliant more so from the time I learnt how to make it more effective from the threads that discuss on AC operation. It is surely set to make your teeth chatter. So a caution on the usage i guess the luckier ones are with the automatic climatizers.

Ride comfort: It scraps on the bottom with 4 people but with 2 in the front most of these issues are nonexsistent. The thadak like noise mentioned in the threads are very evident on deep craters at high speeds. The seats are good with ample support but of late the driver's seat is developed a creaking noise which was allegedly fixed in the third service and was due to seat bracket.

Interiors Looks: I agree with all the threads and my personal opinion too is that its very dull and plasticky. Especially when you compare with interiors on Accent etc.

Exterior Looks: Well as the old adage goes "the beauty lies from within", I have come to terms with this.

Well I got to cut this short will include my experiences as we go by.
Apologies if my write up is confusing you on whether I like the car or not.
Let me be explicit its like a newly weds experience I think,
initially he would want to be with his wife all the time and she is the prettiest thing,
As we move on he just puts up with his wife to humor her.
And further on asks himself why do I have to put up with her.. .
No Offence meant to any one on the matrimony bit.

This is more or less my experience with my wife (read Baleno) I consider her still brand new.

Last edited by kiranpashtakar : 4th October 2006 at 17:44.
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Old 4th October 2006, 18:22   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranpashtakar
Economy : : .
Well boss, some maruti engineers are well equipped to hold the gun at your temples, the SA on my third service when the car was run 2500 kms advised that if I do not change the oil as per the service schedule I may not be able to claim any warranty. Can you negotiate with logic on such terms. Well I conceeded as 650 buck is not too great a amount to fuss for..
.

Did you check the service schedule given in the manual and verify facts? As long as you keep all invoices that show where and when you service the vehicle you have nothing to fear. Don't fall for this
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Old 5th October 2006, 08:57   #3
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat
Did you check the service schedule given in the manual and verify facts? As long as you keep all invoices that show where and when you service the vehicle you have nothing to fear. Don't fall for this
Ajamat the service manual says at your third service you need to change the oil,
but my contention was the third service as per the manual shoud be done at the end of the 1rst year or 10000km whichever is earlier

Now agrees my car was one year old but the kms run was only 2500kms so where was the question of the oil change,
At this point the SA threw up his hand and said well its your wish but there can be warranty complications if the need arises.

Well I can sit and argue about the logic and rational but at that point I only saw 650 bucks against some potential problems. And conceeded for a oil change

Thanks for you advice though...
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Old 5th October 2006, 09:20   #4
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Kiran, the oil change is recommended also if it has sat in the crankcase for that long, not only if you have driven that many kilometres.

Congrats on a good review.

Have you put any accessories? I have seen some fake wood panels - anyone has used this on a Baleno?
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Old 5th October 2006, 09:40   #5
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Nice review Kiran. I have been driving a Baleno Lxi myself for nearly 18 months now and I have nothing but admiration for the car. It will do almost anything you ask of it, at a moment's notice. My only crib is that the ground clearance with four/five people in it leaves something to be desired, as you have noted too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by filcord
Have you put any accessories? I have seen some fake wood panels - anyone has used this on a Baleno?
Those fake wooden panels look so tacky that you are probably better off living with the dull plastic finish. I have yet to see a really good wood finish interior panel. I am not talking about the super expensive category cars, just in cars in the sub 10 lakhs segment.
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Old 5th October 2006, 10:21   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranpashtakar
I was impressed and made the purchase on 7th sep 2005. An ausipicious ganesh chaturti day.
Great review! I bought mine (Baleno LXi) on 10 Oct 2005 and it has run 10,183 kms so far. No problems so far except that I had to change the AC blower motor. It seems that it was slightly touching the outer rings causing noise. A new blower motor was replaced free of cost with no fuss at Millenium Motors in Pune.

Yeah, the AC is a chiller and this car surely needs climate control. Those lucky guys with VXis.

What I hate about the car is when I take it on bad roads, it cribs with every part trying to make a noise in unision. The doors and many other joints (seems endless) making hell of a rattle. Back to good roads and all the sounds vanish and it is like an eerie silence. I used to drive an Indica before this. I must say the Indica takes bad roads much more gracefully.

Regards,

Pradeep
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Old 5th October 2006, 13:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pradkumar
I used to drive an Indica before this. I must say the Indica takes bad roads much more gracefully.
Having driving the Baleno for 8000 since Jan'06, my experience is quite contrary to yours. I have an Indica too.
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Old 5th October 2006, 14:06   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filcord
the oil change is recommended also if it has sat in the crankcase for that long, not only if you have driven that many kilometres.
Hey thanks that was a paradigmn shift for me.

Just curious to understand how does age effect the oil properties,
I will probably do some research myself,,, any help is good help.

Thanks again

Last edited by kiranpashtakar : 5th October 2006 at 14:08.
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Old 5th October 2006, 14:42   #9
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Chemical deterioration takes place due to various factors like chemical reaction between the various components that make up the oil. In other words, the oil looses its stability over a period of time. In fact it is advisable to have the oil & oil filter changed every 6 months or 5000 kms so that the oil in the sump is always fresh. If you are using SYNTHETIC OIL (which does not make sense for low mileage) then you can go the full distance or time period as synthetic oils are much more stable.
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Old 5th October 2006, 15:40   #10
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Having a baleno for a year now all i can say is that its an absolute pleasure to drive it.
Apart from a slight squeeking noise from the front disc brake due to water and dirty floor mats there is nothin wrong with the car. During the year I have done about 10,000kms and have booked it for a complete service next week.
Hope its back to the clean and noiseless Baleno it was earlier by the end of the service. Shall keep you'll posted.
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Old 6th October 2006, 12:08   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranpashtakar
It is surely set to make your teeth chatter. So a caution on the usage i guess the luckier ones are with the automatic climatizers.
Climate control is anyday a better option. But for those of us who don't have it, use the slider control for temperature and you can reduce the cooling (useful in the evenings).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranpashtakar
I agree with all the threads and my personal opinion too is that its very dull and plasticky. Especially when you compare with interiors on Accent etc.
Felt the same when I compared with the beige interiors of my friend's Accent. But then, it seems it comes with its share of problems - becomes dirty fast (esp. when it goes for service) - and keeping it clean is a pain. With black interiors, you don't need to worry about dirty spots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiranpashtakar
Exterior Looks: Well as the old adage goes "the beauty lies from within", I have come to terms with this.
I have actually come to like the looks, especially the rear which I used to hate before I got the car. I love the rear as it is.

Mine's done around 12000kms in 18months. The only problem I had was the boot light not going off, thereby leaving the car battery dead. Had it fixed and no issues henceforth. No engine noise, no a/c noise, no nothing. Get in, and with the windows rolled up permanently, it is pure bliss inside, without the cacophony outside getting on your nerves.

Bottom scrape on high speedbreakers with full load is an issue, which I avoid by being careful while negotiating bumps.
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Old 6th October 2006, 20:51   #12
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Nice review... My Baleno has now done 22.5k kms and is going strong...however, in my case the dealer recently replaced the crankshaft saying that there was some problem at one end of the shaft. It seems a bit less noisier now compared to earlier.
Well the car has been generally reliable and I have paid nothing on the maintenance till now. The crankshaft was replaced under warranty.
My mileage for the past two checks is close to 13kmpl / 13.5 kmpl in city driving. I have an Lxi with 185/65R14 Goodyear Eagle Tubeless Tyres and an aftermarket spoiler that cost me close to Rs 2.5k, a JBL/Pioneer HU system with two amps (cost 48k+installation) and League Alloy wheels.
The max I have done in my car is close to 180kmph on the mumbai pune expressway.
Rattles are not that big an issue and I frankly find the car reasonably silent on this aspect, even on rough roads...howaeve I believe that the car has some amount of transmission whine that could have been lower.

Front seats are pretty supportive and allowed me (with an l5-s1 disc herniation) to cover 760 kms from mumbai to hyderabad non stop!!

Engine is a bit noisy but a gem and loves to rev. Have done a speedo indicated 105kmph in 2nd gear and the pickup is pretty decent.... If you so desire, you wont be left behind by any car in the C or C+ segment.

All in all, I covered 22 k kms in one year in this car...it still puts a smile on my face when I take it out in the morning for office...one of the best front seats in the business and a nice driving position...all in all..a high VFM car

Last edited by Buffetfan : 6th October 2006 at 20:55.
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Old 7th October 2006, 00:03   #13
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Now let me butt in here.I keep hearing that the Baleno is a great VFM proposition.If its the LXi everyone is talking about,I agree completely.But I really dont think the vXi is great VFM.At present,the Baleno Vxi sells for 7.80 lakhs on road (Mumbai reg)!That is some serious money folks,that is NHC,Verna,Fiesta 1.6 territory.
True,the Baleno does a few things that these cars cant-it has a brilliant suspension set up,great a/c,bullet proof reliability,great all round visibility,decent handling and good front seats.But there are lot more things that it does not.It does not give you a luxurious feel at all.The exteriors are way better than the interiors IMO.I test drove 2 Baleno Vxi's back to back for 45 minutes (both the euro2 and euro3).The engine is not that refined,the gearbox has that irritating vibration like all Marutis and i was hardpressed to find the fifth most of the time.The euro 2 engine was eager and had a nice punch and it will bring a smile to many faces,but the euro 3 was just about ok.
So its a great car in its own right,but in my opinion the VXi is overpriced by a lakh atleast.Its more of an entry level sedan like Ikon 1.3,Petra 1.6 and Accent.Sorry to spoil the party folks,I adviced my boss to buy a Baleno Vxi and sell his Esteem Vxi,but looks like that wont be happening due to the high price.Even after the 50K discount,the on road price comes to 7.3 L.So he may just buy another Esteem instead.
Great review Kiran.Looks like you are having a good time with your car and that is what really matters.Have a great life with your new wife even after the honey moon period.Good luck!

Last edited by roms : 7th October 2006 at 00:11.
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Old 7th October 2006, 12:04   #14
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Roms,
the key with Baleno is to negotiate... I am sure that VXi can be had for <7lakhs on road if you negotiate properly.. I havew seen people buying the Lxi for around 5.7 lakhs on road here in hyd.
In fact last week one of my friends recently bought an esteem VXi for Rs 5.2 lakhs on road and the dealer was willing to give him a Baleno LXi at Rs 5.8 on road....god only knows why he did not take the plunge... I drove his esteem two days ago and all I could think of was the opportunity that he missed...there is quite a bit of difference in these two cars!
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Old 7th October 2006, 18:37   #15
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Thanks for that info Buffetfan,will let my boss know about that as well.He is anyways considering the Baleno Lxi now.The Lxi costs 6.45 L on road after a 40K discount that is currently on this month.The discount is down from 60K to 40K.Lets see if we can haggle for more.

Last edited by roms : 7th October 2006 at 18:38.
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