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Old 20th August 2005, 20:09   #1
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Default Revvhead blabs about his Baleno - 6000 kms

Hiya all
here is my much delayed report on the Baleno
a lot of reports have been filed on the car
so i will skim over some bits like the dash & general layout & appearance
so as not to bore you to death

Car - Maruti Suzuki Baleno Lxi
Colour - Black
Dealer - Vitesse - Very good efficient service, helful salespeople , good After sales Service
Bought on Loan from HDFC Bank - Bloody Nuisance, should have stuck to Stanchart (prev car)
Kms done - 6,000
Bought 1'st of March 2005 - cost 6.1 on road Bombay
City - Bombay

Well here's the Intro
Was deciding what Mid Segmenter to buy
In View - Ford Ikon 1.6 , OHC 1.5, Baleno

Test brove the Baleno, Loved the way it drove
Loved the price
What went against the Ikon was the size
(basically only seats 4 comfortably)
and harsh ride, seats


anyway more on the baleno-

Drove it straight of the Showroom, into a tyre dealers at Milan Subway
Switched my originals (bridgestones 165/70 R13 ) for a set of
Alloys & Michelin Certis Tubeless 195/60 R 14's, would have preferred 205's but they werent
avaliable in 60 profile
Deal cost me 25K, balancing thrown in for free
i Got 10.5 off on my originals & the 35 K was the cost of the wheels and tyres
Main reason for this change- wanted better handling, greater safety,
Shorter braking distance and Tubless are way better on alloys
plus of course they look neat too.

Got my Music fitted, comes mostly from my Old car except the speakers
Kenwood MD deck, Infinity 2.0 4channel amp, Blaupunkt 5" componenets
fronts, JBL GTO 6" Componenets rear, + a JBL bass Tube
All courtesy Sam.

Really nice PU Leather seats

Was then all set to Move!

So here's the Laymans technical report

Driving pleasure- Awesome. ^The engine is really Torquey, Making city driving a cinch
Very easy crusin in heavy traffic in 3rd , 4th and even ODrive!
OD seems to be geared really short and can move off any speed over 30 with AC, with no
problems.
Talking about the ac, that thing is a monster-Checked it out during My
Test run and easily convinced me that i could afford to Buy a black Car even
in our crazy heat, also figured that withan AC this Kick ass, i really didnt need
to spring the cash for V-cool. Plus been very nervous abt having film
on the front screen for Visibility issues

Handling

- It took slight getting used the power steering, but after that
was very happy with it, while not as sharp as an Ikons, Its pretty good
and i love throwing any car around corners, so this passes the test with
good marks. I wont call it outstanding, but it is Pretty Good
One plus, is that IMO it handles very decently under braking and turning
simultaneously something whioch the Ikon makes me very nervous about

I'll say the handling & the tyres saved my butt, coz i had a huge tankslapper
2 weeks into the new car when a truck shot out of a lane off worli and i had to pull the wheel
quickly, not being fully used to the power steering, i must have turned it too much
and completely threw the back out for a extremely huge snap steer
( iwas doing abt a 100/110 i guess - at abt 1am)
with opposite lock and lots of side to side wheel sawing i managed collecting my car
(PHEW- coz while i was fighting with it for the next scary 100m as it carreened wildly
left and right- i could see visions of a brand new crashed car!!)

Highway handling is very good, however the road surface matters
and on bad roads it can behave a bit oddly and feel floaty after the 130 K mark
However have driven it at 160 flat with no probs and have also done 180 with no
probs, buton the higway is where i feel that the short 5th gear fails you
as i would have much preferred a taller 5th and done without the usability of 5th at 30
in the city. all the higwqy driving was also done with the Ac on.
On a half decent road, lane changes at speed are done under your control,
the car does not float across lanes, it steers across them

Fuel efficiency - Bombay, AC forever on, in very crowded traffic, on short runs maily 3rd/2nd gear
8.5 Kmply. the worst it had ever returned- was post run in when i did tons of reving and
pedal stomping was 8.
driven nicely with normal traffic it can even return 10 and has.

Highway return 13.5 doing good speeds

ride- the ride is Good. Even with the reduced profile tyres that i'm using
the car eats up most bumps with no complaints even when you run over them
at higher speeds its ride has really impressed me.


K & N -
4 Months after owning it stuck in a K&N universal filter and havent had the
chance to take it on a long run to see it it has opened up some top end
but FE has jumped and i now get 9.3 regularly including some revv happy driving
The K&N gives a very muted growl compared to the throaty roar it gave in my Matiz though
but makes the car move even better

will post pics of that fitment- My mum has borrowed my digicam for a few days
so when i get it back

Gripes & problems -
The well documented front suspension sound - see my thread on that in the
techincal forum

The gearbox is notchy, while there is no real problem shifting
the feel is quite ordinary really. Its placed a bit far, so when the
seat is all the way back, one actually has to stetch a bit for 1st esp
Reverse slotting is an occasional nuisance, but all one has to do is just rev the car slightly and try and re-lot
but this area could do with definite improvement

The bloody plastic is some funny quality - in the sense it looks ok and all
But scratches very easily, i seem to have picked up scratches on my cosole and door trim
just through normal use- Its really irritating

The original headlights are not good enough for highway driving
Upgraded them to 100/90 with excellent results

the original bicyle tyres are just small for this car, esp with the way i like to drive
they really should give it with bigger boots

THings i liked a lot-

The glove comp actually has a good amt of space & fits well, no shaking when its loaded
The cupholders are good & fit half litre bottles & Coffee cups well
loved the headlight beam adjuster
Very solid Build esp for a maruti.
The seats- esp the front are really comfy & supportive
Power steering is very well weighted and gives a very nice feel and feedback
have driven a Plaio GTX 1.6 and that power steering was not talking to me in the
least so making me very nervous

Of course loved the price
& am still loving driving it!!

Overview- in this riceband and category, there is nothing that comes close
as a drivers car, with lumps of performance, yet with a good ride, and comfy interiors

I am damned happy with my purchase and lovin every driving minute

now having written an overly large Review will quit and add bits in later
feel free to ask all the questions

will post the K&N pics in a bit, dont worry abt the seats
they arent as red as they look in the pics






Last edited by Revvhead : 20th August 2005 at 20:13.
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Old 20th August 2005, 22:25   #2
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Nice review there...Enjoy driving and rev hard
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Old 20th August 2005, 22:56   #3
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Hey, looks like we have more in common than just our sense of humour!

Lovely baby you have there! Maybe it's time to post my review too!
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Old 21st August 2005, 01:19   #4
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And around the same time i was deciding between the ikon 1.3 and the baleno lxi, though in my case it was the mini josh machine as my dad prefers the compact looks of it, though i wanted to get a baleno for reasons obvious to many bhpians.

manson.
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Old 21st August 2005, 09:06   #5
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[quote=Revvhead]Handling

-
I'll say the handling & the tyres saved my butt, coz i had a huge tankslapper
2 weeks into the new car when a truck shot out of a lane off worli and i had to pull the wheel
quickly, not being fully used to the power steering, i must have turned it too much
and completely threw the back out for a extremely huge snap steer
( iwas doing abt a 100/110 i guess - at abt 1am)
with opposite lock and lots of side to side wheel sawing i managed collecting my car



All you need to do on a fwd car is lift off the throttle, tankslapping happens when the car overcompensates for your overcompensating
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Old 21st August 2005, 09:48   #6
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hiya. well the first thing i did was get off the throttle,but the car was gone after i turned and just leaving it at that wouldnt have caught it a i was already sideways and had to catch it else would have run into one of the buildings i guess
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Old 22nd August 2005, 10:59   #7
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Ok, now that i have stopped feeling lazy and as per some requests that i have received, a slightly more detailed desription on the K&N fitting is here-

History- I had a K&N universal filter fitted in my matiz (previous car) which worked well,
But used to suffer sudden strange drops in performance and really didnt help FE at all even with light footed driving.
On selling the car, i took out the filter, cleaned it completely re-oiled it and parked it under my bed

I didnt fir it in my baleno immediately as i wanted to see how it would perform in stock condition. after abt 4 months when i had a good idea of the car's charecteristics, i decided it was time to get going!!

Fitting - By now i had realised that My fitment of the K&N in the matiz was nowhere close to ideal, (partly due to the lack of space in the car and partly due to mistake/ignorance

I was initially toying with the idea of a cold air intake, but decided against it as knowing our weather i was going to run into flooded roads (didnt even realise how right i was going to be!!) and having a low placed cold air intake suction would not be idea (Bombay is more like Snorkel country)

I decided to try and go for a regular but well dited and thought of fitment.
After lots of inspecting of the Engine bay, placement of the radiator & fan , and a discussion with iceman, i settles on a mounting, which (doesnt require genius) would be basically in the location of the original airbox, having found out the most cold air comes directly there,
Its out of the path of the Blower and far away from the engine, so picks up minimal heat from the engine bay.

The filter was pulled out from it Bed storage and then fitted, i used no major amt of additional piping, used the original hose and led it into the area of the airbox, and had it fitted on a clamp there.

Right- now it was time to run it. I was lets say a bit disaapointed by the very Muted growl that it gave, having being spoilt by the throaty roar from the Matiz, but i could definitely hear the suction gasp evetime i pulled the acclerator cable, so ikew it was doing its thing.

Now driving it around - well the Baleno has so much low end grunt that realistically in a sense it a bit hard to tell what the filter is doing initially, but as you rise the revs keep flowing a little more than they were before

The Long runs with top whack will tell me all about that, but havent really had a change to do those, but it does kick the car straight up to 120 seriously fast .

FE- this was a big smile moment. First run, the FE went up y 1 Kmpl!!! i was griining like a pig in the mud.
Second run, lots of hard revving, the FE stayed the same as if i had no K&N but has not pushing hard!!
#rd run, FE back up by 1 kmpl.

Overall very satisfied with the results-
Gives the car more kick & really helps the Mileage.

Will later when able, put in a set of headers & a freww flow and then we will all be ready to GO!!!!!!!!!!!

The Location & fitting



Sited well clear of Fan & radiator and reasonably away from the engine

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Old 23rd August 2005, 18:44   #8
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This is good stuff. As it is this man drives like a madman, now he can go faster???

I like to drive slowly baba.... so that i can listen to my music. Who wants to hear the engine of the car, sheee...

ok now I'm going before all of you beat me up.
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Old 23rd August 2005, 18:48   #9
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Oy ! what do you mean madman!!
I have stories about you too!!! 3 wheeler moslester!!

Just you wait, I'm gonna get back and fit the headers and free flow!!!

Last edited by Revvhead : 23rd August 2005 at 18:59.
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Old 25th August 2005, 13:39   #10
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Revvhead, Well done ..full marks on your writing capabilities. U really seem to have summed up the Baleno very well and any one who is contemplating buying it will definitely buy it . Your next report should be of the car with a free flow and headers ... it sure will be a rocket !! Carry on taking care of this beauty .. and am sure she'll give u plenty of smooth rides ..

cheers
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Old 25th August 2005, 13:48   #11
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OK Revvhead took me for a spin last night. I think I left my gonads in his car!!

There should be a law against him. lol
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Old 25th August 2005, 14:05   #12
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The car looks sexy.

My choice would be different on color selection of leather seats. I would go with dark brown colors without going for the sun stickers on the windows.
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Old 25th August 2005, 16:32   #13
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Hey Revvhead,

You car looks like the twin of my car, except for the alloy design and tyre model, same size though. Great review, I agree with it completely, Baleno is the real deal. This is really crazy, but I didn't know anything about Baleno as a performance car until I joined this forum in Jan 2005.

I am yet to go for performance mods though, right now only have stock K&N replacement. I may go for an universal K&N someday, exactly what warranties did you lose by installing Universal K&N?


BTW, just 5 minutes back I convinced a friend to buy a Baleno, in Black of course. He must be walking into a dealership as we speak. He had booked a Swift Zxi, however his delivery time was pushed to November.
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Old 26th August 2005, 15:38   #14
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Good report revvhead. But one question. How come your Baleno has a three spoke steering wheel? I thought all Balenos had a 4 spoke one.
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Old 26th August 2005, 16:58   #15
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No idea about that deeps,
Have only seen a 3 spoke so far, even in the test cars i drove

Last edited by Revvhead : 26th August 2005 at 17:04.
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