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Old 21st May 2009, 18:46   #61
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Wow! What immaculately maintained set of wheels! Great going there!
Ikon- Big Fan! There is a spunk in its roar, isn't it?
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Old 21st May 2009, 19:05   #62
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What a report! Straight from heart, and I appreciate the honesty of the report in areas like sound insulation.
Baleno with the windows rolled up and that simply fantastic ( that makes me speechless ) AC cooling down the cabin, still throws in a lot of road noise in the cabin on a rough patch. It can give rather headache.

But on a few areas, I beg to differ.

1) Baleno's motor could do with lots of more power.

True. But that motor is more than just the outright power.

The engine being quite long stroke has excellent torque and that is an achievement for a G-series motor, as they are inherently stronger in higher rpm. And true to its heritage ( Yes, I call it heritage ), the G series motor is very strong in top end. 3K rpm and the engine truly opens up. Literally. The punch is really really good despite the engine being relatively outdated.

The overall beauty is good torque and great top end.
The car might be slow as compared to the G3HC, but its much more than adequate compared to other cars like Verna petrol. I have driven Baleno on highways quite a lot and the two gears to bash " mine more expensive than yours " ego of other drivers are Second and Third. 3rd takes to 140+ and as the engine opens up after 3K, others are taken by surprise.

The characteristic of Baleno is that its truly a car that one enjoys to drive and feels one-ness with the car. This is absent in even expensive cars specially the G2HC and G3HC.

No car today has the combination of spcae, grace ( for me this car is quite graceful looking ), AC, ride quality and reliability.

Baleno has left a void in the industry. Very few cars had the ability to be so good. May be its my love towards this machine and others might feel I am over-rating it, but again on highways that high third and strong top end gives so much satisfaction.

Its a car for those who enjoy each and every moment behind the wheel.


PS : No offense meant to any car owner of any brand. Its just my opinion.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 20:33   #63
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Vivek,
That's wonderful unbiased post on the twins and the way you have presented it, Kudos to you.
I envy the way you maintain the cars, pays for all the hours you work on it. Thanks a lot for sharing the process to keep the engine bay spotless.

You must have excellent driving skills to park the cars so close. In my opinion - The way you drive and control the car, speaks about the driving and not the top speed.

A well maintained twins
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Old 22nd May 2009, 20:46   #64
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Hi There,
I managed to touch a top speed of 180 kms(as per speedo) for about 15 seconds on the highway....I think the top speed is around 175 and 180 kmph..

hari
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Amazing report vivekji05. It is a privilege to have two such 1.6s at the same time. One question, what is the top speed of the Ikon 1.6?
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Old 23rd May 2009, 08:46   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
What a report! Straight from heart, and I appreciate the honesty of the report in areas like sound insulation.
Baleno with the windows rolled up and that simply fantastic ( that makes me speechless ) AC cooling down the cabin, still throws in a lot of road noise in the cabin on a rough patch. It can give rather headache.

But on a few areas, I beg to differ.

1) Baleno's motor could do with lots of more power.

True. But that motor is more than just the outright power.

The engine being quite long stroke has excellent torque and that is an achievement for a G-series motor, as they are inherently stronger in higher rpm. And true to its heritage ( Yes, I call it heritage ), the G series motor is very strong in top end. 3K rpm and the engine truly opens up. Literally. The punch is really really good despite the engine being relatively outdated.

The overall beauty is good torque and great top end.

No car today has the combination of spcae, grace ( for me this car is quite graceful looking ), AC, ride quality and reliability.

Baleno has left a void in the industry. Very few cars had the ability to be so good. May be its my love towards this machine and others might feel I am over-rating it, but again on highways that high third and strong top end gives so much satisfaction.

Its a car for those who enjoy each and every moment behind the wheel.


PS : No offense meant to any car owner of any brand. Its just my opinion.
Great to see a big fan of the Baleno and G16B engine. Good that you even find the car graceful looking!!

I am happier to know that you have a good understanding about its power delivery characteristics. Sure it pulls well for an undersquare engine that excels in the top part of the rev range. But to me, after driving it for so much time now, the engine doesn't seem to have the kind of low end response I like, especially when compared to the Ikon.

Besides 'an engine could always do with more power' doesn't it?

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Originally Posted by roadlover View Post
Hi There,
I managed to touch a top speed of 180 kms(as per speedo) for about 15 seconds on the highway....I think the top speed is around 175 and 180 kmph..

hari

Was it still climbing or was the speedo sticking to that 180mark during alll those 15seconds?
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Old 24th May 2009, 09:27   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekji05 View Post
Great to see a big fan of the Baleno and G16B engine. Good that you even find the car graceful looking!!

I am happier to know that you have a good understanding about its power delivery characteristics. Sure it pulls well for an undersquare engine that excels in the top part of the rev range. But to me, after driving it for so much time now, the engine doesn't seem to have the kind of low end response I like, especially when compared to the Ikon.

Besides 'an engine could always do with more power' doesn't it?
In case of Ikon, rather the good torque of engine its the relatively low gearing that leads to good bottom end response.
The gearing of Baleno is quite high and this does affect negatively the bottom end performance of the car. Baleno does reach 100 kmph in second, something Ikon cant do.

But what Ikon has is relatively linear power delivery as compared to Baleno. At least till 140 kmph. Baleno's surge is not digestable by everybody, specially those who are not experienced. They first think why the engine is not responding so good, then floor the pedal and suddenly they are caught by surprise.

I do agree that if the engine made around 100-105 horses, it would be even better, but I am satisfied with what Baleno has. And both Baleno and Ikon deliver on one part : satisfaction of driving car.
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Old 25th May 2009, 02:18   #67
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Excellent write-up and yes good points from Mr.aaggoswami too. Well, from an enthusiasts point of view, maybe I will end up with an Ikon, heck I find a friend's ikon 1.3 with wider low profile rubber better handler and more confidence inspiring than my baleno vxi with the stock 185 goodyears. But yeah as pointed out, the brake feel is really not good and I have had a couple of nervous moments with the Ikon at high speeds. But as a whole, its actually the baleno which seems to be an all rounder and yes, shockingly to many, I absolutely love the way the Baleno looks, especially in Vxi trim and in black/white/elec blue color. Oh and I love that front bumper with huge air dam and that meaty steering of the Ikon as well.
And yes, the euro II baleno does have a marginal edge over my euro III baleno. Also, the stock goodyears result into lot of tyre noise at speeds above 110kmph. Also, this part has to do nothing with the performance but Baleno's Climate control unit is simply fantastic.
Talking about ACs, Dad had an old Ikon 1.6 Zxi (non-NXT) 3 years ago and according to him, Ikon felt reasonably slower with aircon switched on which is not the case with Baleno which shows a not so drastic drop in performance.

Anyways, you are extremely lucky to have both the cars (since now both are phased out) and yeah, with the kind of attention they have been getting from you I guess it will be safe to say that they'll remain fun to drive for a really long period of time.


Really great thread.



Regards.
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Old 25th May 2009, 17:14   #68
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That was an awesome read . It brought back memories of my friend 's Ikon 1.6 the JOSH machine . The frequent wheelspin and squealing of the tyres and the free reving engine , the driving position , the gearshift was just perfect . It was the perfect drivers car . Never driven the baleno or lancer but the original City VTEC and the Ikon 1.6 seemed to be the only cars that time that could get your adrenaline rushing !
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Old 25th May 2009, 22:06   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRf1 View Post
Never driven the baleno or lancer but the original City VTEC and the Ikon 1.6 seemed to be the only cars that time that could get your adrenaline rushing !
Time you drive the remaining two as well. While the lancer has an excellent suspension setup, the baleno's engine is a delight. Baleno's suspension too is very good but definately the handling is not as sharp as the Ikon. Any yeah, if possible try driving a lancer invex as well.


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Old 25th May 2009, 22:15   #70
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The baleno needs some suspension mods to keep up with the best. Or if its really new and probably run less than 35k on good roads, its a pretty good handler.
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Old 25th May 2009, 22:27   #71
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The baleno needs some suspension mods to keep up with the best. Or if its really new and probably run less than 35k on good roads, its a pretty good handler.
Well there is a very evident difference between the baleno Lxi and baleno Vxi. The latter being much better than the former thanks to better rubber. And to be frank the only cars that handle better than baleno are fiesta/ikon. The OHC I guess is marginally better but am not sure, while the lancer 1.5 is so slow that its hard to carry good speeds while cornering.

One more thing, although Ikon is a sharp handler and very good in corners it has quite a bit of body roll.

About the 35K thing, well I know of atleast two balenos with more than 70K and 85K under the belt, and they still handle as good as my car which has done about 25K. Although both of the other cars I mentioned have 195/60R14 tyres which should probably help.


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Last edited by YC.BALENO.CHD : 25th May 2009 at 22:29.
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Old 25th May 2009, 22:42   #72
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Better rubber makes thing spicier. I have driven only with 195/60R14 which I forgot to mention.

I have seen quite a few car become soft and bouncy as they close in on the 40k mark. Must be the roads down south.
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Old 25th May 2009, 22:46   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydiablo View Post
Better rubber makes thing spicier. I have driven only with 195/60R14 which I forgot to mention.

I have seen quite a few car become soft and bouncy as they close in on the 40k mark. Must be the roads down south.
Let us not talk about your car. Its leagues ahaed than the stock cars. What an amazing sleeper!

Do not know about roads down south, but yeah we have excellent roads at Chandigarh and and nearby routes are good too. Needless to mention, the cars I mentioned are painfully maintained and both the guys are die hard fans of the baleno hence the good condition,
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Old 25th May 2009, 22:55   #74
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Originally Posted by YC.BALENO.CHD View Post
While the lancer has an excellent suspension setup, the baleno's engine is a delight. Baleno's suspension too is very good but definately the handling is not as sharp as the Ikon. Any yeah, if possible try driving a lancer invex as well.
Though not as good as Ikon/Fiesta, Baleno is a very good handler. Baleno offers very good ride quality and if we consider that good ride quality, the handling is quite nice. A very good combination of ride and handling. Similar is true for Lancer, but lancer motor is not so strong.
We have travelled to Indore from my city in Baleno, in that state the highways are very very rough, still we were able to maintain good speeds thanks to good suspension of Baleno and we can still carry good speeds into corner with ease.

In case of Baleno, rather than chassis and suspension, the stock tyres gives up faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydiablo View Post
Better rubber makes thing spicier. I have driven only with 195/60R14 which I forgot to mention.

I have seen quite a few car become soft and bouncy as they close in on the 40k mark. Must be the roads down south.
Baleno is strut suspension all round, and they need looking into after 40K kms. We have travelled a lot on highways and at around 30K kms, we are feeling that the suspension needs some attention.

Generally if the car is overloaded, Baleno would also sag, as any car with rear strut suspension would do.

As far as a good compromise between ride and handling goes, my pick would be :

1) Baleno
2) Fiesta
3) Lancer
4) Ikon.

Other driver's car from that era, i.e. G1HC ( OHC ) cant come close. Anything less that super smooth surface and G1HC was not comfortable at high speed.

This again brings me to the beauty of machines at that time, and two of those timeless piece are with Vivek.

Baleno was always a dream, but the boy racer would not settel down for anything less than Ikon.
Baleno is a very very capable middle aged man who can do what boys could do. But Ikon 1.6 is pure boy racer.
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Old 25th May 2009, 23:43   #75
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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
T
This again brings me to the beauty of machines at that time, and two of those timeless piece are with Vivek.

You gave words to my thoughts.
At the time when we were going for baleno, the Lancer 1.8, ikon 1.6 and OHC had long been axed and it all ultimately boiled down to fiesta 1.6 exi and the baleno. Maybe we would had picked a fiesta exi/zxi but the baleno vxi was terrific VFM. And I have allways been a fan of old school jap sedans so moving from esteem to baleno seemed perfect.
And never have I ever regretted the purchase over NHC,Fiesta,Aveo and verna which we had considered then.
There is something about all these old cars (OHC,Baleno,Ikons,Lancers) that is very addictive and IMHO most of the new cars lack the flair and character of these cars from previous generations.

Now and then some of my friends read somewhere in magazines and say that the new City with 115 horses is the sportiest car in the segment and the best ever and I laugh at there faces reminding them of old VTEC and the others. While those who haven't driven the old cars think I am joking others who get a chance of driving my car and the other prev gen sedans soon stand converted as well.

Oh, and how I wished I had an Ikon 1.6 or OHC v-tec as well. Everytime I read of classifieds for ikon 1.6s going for around 1.7 lakhs I find myself day dreaming.

And I guess my fanboyism (yeah I admit it) shall remain until a new gen sedan with an engine like OHC vtec, suspension like Ikon and overall aspects like baleno is launched in the Indian market.



Regards.

Last edited by YC.BALENO.CHD : 25th May 2009 at 23:49.
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