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Old 21st March 2017, 17:08   #46
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

Excellent review and loved all the details. I commend Maruti for adding the rear disc brake to address the braking needs inline with higher power output. VW didn't bother with the brakes even while their cars' outputs were bumped by 33% more, and the smaller discs at front (256mm vs 288mm abroad) plus rear drums combined with the GT powertrains is an India specific cost cutting.

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Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
With BS6 norms, I think we'll get more power & torque along with hybrids with the next generation cars.
Going a bit off topic from the thread here: I was also looking forward to BS6 fuel standards, but with the govt and oil companies proposing to dilute fuel requirements like RON for petrol, it is worrisome. While agreeing the fact that there will be efficiency losses with lesser RON, the oil companies were pointing to the cost in setting up refineries to manufacture 95RON+ fuel. They were blaming SIAM, citing demands of EU6 quality fuel and RON95 by SIAM only as a tool for delaying deployment of BS6 standards.

To me, it just sounds like the two lobbying groups (auto manufacturers-not all though & oil companies) who successfully delayed BS4 from going nationwide in 2015 and prevented introduction of BS5 in the same year (as per original plan), now pointing fingers at each other when a strict deadline of BS6 has been given.
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Old 21st March 2017, 17:50   #47
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

Expect the Unexpected!

I somehow had the hunch that Baleno RS review would be out much ahead of the Ignis

Wonderful review there!

I haven't got a test ride yet. Most of the dealers in Chennai don't have test ride vehicles.

I had a look at Baleno RS yesterday at NEXA Vishnu (Chrompet). The RS is definitely eye catching (specially in Red).

The skirting on the bumpers and the sides felt solid. But, I somehow didn't find the front grill impressive. It's also in mild gun metal finish similar to the skirts. But the quality is just pathetic. It's so flimsy. The Sigma front grill on my Zeta CVT feels much better.

Eagerly waiting for a test drive
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Old 21st March 2017, 19:16   #48
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
What struck me in the comparison is how far ahead the Punto Abarth is in terms of outright performance compared to these pretenders...but that's another topic, another thread


To me the only hot hatch is the Abarth Punto. Awesome power coupled with a manual, all discs, means a true enthusiast car !!

I vividly remember getting a mild heart attack while driving the Polo TSI with its drum brakes, while I was used to the all discs in the Linea Tjet. was the expression i gave the sales adviser and he didn't bother asking on how was the test drive. It was partially my mistake too since I had "assumed" that the TSI would have all-disc brakes.

That time made a mental note that any car which claims to be an enthusiast's car should have all disc brakes. After all, with great power comes a great(er) need to stop on time. The Baleno "RS" may not have the engine for a hot hatch but it does ensure that anyone pushing it has the arsenal to stop quickly as needed.
+1 to Maruti for that.
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Old 21st March 2017, 22:05   #49
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
The Maruti Baleno RS has been launched in India at a price of Rs. 8.69 lakhs (ex-Delhi).
...
Why the increase in weight? Any breakups available?

Anything special about the engine mounts compared to the K10?

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Sutripta
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Old 21st March 2017, 22:31   #50
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Why the increase in weight? Any breakups available?
During the interview, CV Raman had said that additional weight is due to engine ( say additional components like intercooler, bigger radiator, turbo etc) and also the chassis is strengthened.
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Old 21st March 2017, 23:03   #51
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Why the increase in weight? Any breakups available?

Anything special about the engine mounts compared to the K10?

Regards
Sutripta
Though I dont have technical documents, the K10 engine in the Alto and WagonR come with rubber mounts which suspend the engine with a horizontal coupling shaft/pin. The Celerio gets hydraulic mounts on the crankcase side. which suspend the engine with a vertical link. Seeing the picture of the engine bay of the Baleno RS, it looks like a similar mount if not the exact. Since I have personally used both WagonR and Celerio, the hydraulic mounts make a huge difference to the vibrations at idle and during start. Not sure of the other mounts since I have never taken a look deeper inside the engine bay.
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Old 21st March 2017, 23:17   #52
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
What struck me in the comparison is how far ahead the Punto Abarth is in terms of outright performance compared to these pretenders.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahibrain View Post
To me the only hot hatch is the Abarth Punto.
Was! Abarth Punto was!

We can safely assume that the Abarth Punto is out of production now, since the last remaining stock available even at the factory was produced back in 2015.

That leaves us with only two choices - Baleno RS if it's a manual and GT TSi if it's an automatic.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 02:18   #53
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

Last week, I'd popped over to Nexa next to Museum Road in Bangalore, just to see what the Baleno RS is really all about.

One look isn't enough to tell it apart from the regular Baleno, unless you catch the little skirts around the car the new mesh grille. Catch it from the back though, and you may be able to tell it from the regular car if you're a keen observer. Personally, I believe the blacked out portion at the back looks nice and makes the rear look a little less 'heavy'.

I do also like the subtle cosmetic changes unlike the tacky looking skirts and spoiler on some of the Ciaz I routinely see.

Climb inside and you really don't see anything special that separates it from the regular petrol Baleno at all, even if you poke around a bit. Nothing really to suggest that it's the 'RS' version.

And I'll tell you what. If you're a regular Joe and you drive both the 1.2 K12 and the Boosterjet, back to back, I bet you wouldn't be able to tell the difference! At least, not immediately!

I did drive it around for a good 20 minutes before handing back the car. So from that 20 minute drive, I can tell you that the steering is pretty direct but way too light and numb for my liking. Just like the regular Baleno petrol.

The first chance I got to prod it a bit, I did! Sure, it has just a little more poke than the k12; and the digital power and torque gauge readouts in the instrument cluster is pretty cool, I'd admit, but I'd still take the k12 because there's something about the way that engine revs that makes it one of the sweetest small-capacity petrol engines around!

I like that the boost is nice and linear all the way up to around 5kish RPMs, and I do miss driving a manual (another admission). The manual in the Baleno is one of the nicer ones out there.

I do like the softer suspension around town and it feels reasonably taunt for brisk commutes. So no complaints there.

The brakes seemed great even under duress. Sharp and progressive. Is it better than the regular Baleno? It probably is! The 4 discs suggests that it should be. I couldn't tell any discernable difference on the street, but then I wasn't going to try emergency drop-anchor stunts in afternoon traffic.

The big question though is the price. Is it worth it? I'd say, no. Not when the 1.2 k12 is around at 1.5 lakhs less, nope!

Is it worth it over the Polo GT at 50k less? Again, I'd say no.

The Polo's engine feels a bit meatier and more refined and that's a good enough reason, in my opinion.

But the real reason why the GT is the one to go for at 50k more is simply because the DSG is the distinguishing factor between the two. The manual is certainly more 'fun' and the DSG can be a bit clinical at times (admission number three), but it's the quick and smooth gearbox that makes all the difference.

The feeling of solidity whilst operating the doors of the Polo is something Maruti can't match though, and the recent onslaught of updates to the GT would also make it worth the extra 50k, in my opinion.

What tilts it in the favour of the Baleno RS, is:

1) A the more pliant ride (it's softer than the Polo's, which can get a bit stiff on occasion)

2) Loads more cabin room (the Polo is a two seater, if you've got two 6-footers up front)

3) Infinitely better service (Maruti service is fuss free, and VW is just about average at best)

4) Running costs (the Baleno shouldn't cost you more than 5k-7k a year for routine service, but the Polo is going to be not less than 10k a year and there are no free services other than a name-sake check-up at 6 months)

5) Better brakes (the Polo can be a bit scary some times)

6) Manual gearbox (yes, I do miss a manual)

The bigger question though, is not the price of the Baleno RS, but the mild detune the car has received. Power and torque figures have been dropped a smidge to keep the aam-junta happy when they notice the upward decimal-creep. In the bargain, the engine may just have lost some of its valuable zing that could have potentially set it apart from the garden-variety petrol Baleno.

Well, at this point, all we can say at this point is "Thank heavens they gave us rear discs!"

Last edited by suhaas307 : 22nd March 2017 at 02:36.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 07:05   #54
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

I've driven Baleno for a good 20 minutes, twice, with regular Baleno in between. In my humble opinion, Baleno is not for purists but it's a good practical performance car for people like me who want a little extra from a regular car. I've driven Polo GT TSI and Baleno is no match to it. But add to it the pathetic unreliable ASS of VW along with unreliability of DSG, limited rear seat space, the Baleno becomes a far more attractive package to me. Polo GT TSI is a driver's car and brings a smile on your face but it's ownership experience can make you cry too. I have experienced it too. No offense to Polo GT owners here and I'm sure there are many happy owners out there but it's not for me.

Baleno RS is quicker than Baleno. In fact regular Baleno is very similar to first generation Swift which I still enjoy driving. Baleno RS is more exciting. Steering is better along with throttle response. You can feel the torque difference quickly. I agree that it's overpriced by 50k or so do most of the so called premium cars.

Do check out this link .
All hot hatches are compared here by Aditya Patel. Check out his views on normal Baleno and test results and it will be clear what I'm trying to convey.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd March 2017 at 09:48. Reason: Typos
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Old 22nd March 2017, 09:54   #55
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
The K12 is a good engine the one of top two 1.2liter NA engines in the country.
Out of curiosity, which is the other engine you rank highly?

Quote:
When comparing these one major point which is not obvious is the low cost mod potential. The K12 being an NA engine doesn't gain much post a chip or a remap. But the 1.0 Boosterjet is detuned for India and being a turbocharged petrol should yield some decent figures above its original rated output.
Good point. But I'd be wary of turbo-lag. Any remap for more power will bring lag to this small 1.0L...something I hate. You really have to live with a car suffering from poor low end torque (e.g. the Civic) to know what it's like. I spent a lot of time & effort improving <2,000 rpm power delivery (RaceDynamics, intake, exhaust); don't think I'd ever get a mod that does the opposite.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 11:38   #56
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Out of curiosity, which is the other engine you rank highly?

Guess he is talking about the 1.2 iVtec as the other one. It feels really peppy on the brio(have one back home) and is very fuel efficient too.

Last edited by SoumenD : 22nd March 2017 at 11:39.
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Old 23rd March 2017, 20:49   #57
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Out of curiosity, which is the other engine you rank highly?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoumenD View Post

Guess he is talking about the 1.2 iVtec as the other one.
I would like to put my money on the 1.2 VTVT from Hyundai

I have driven this engine, both on the I10 and I20 (I-Gen) and personally, it is one of the most versatile engines on sale today.

Ofcourse 1.2 iVtec is a equally good (if not better) engine, but that 1.2 from the Korean stable is
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Old 23rd March 2017, 21:06   #58
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Good point. But I'd be wary of turbo-lag. Any remap for more power will bring lag to this small 1.0L...something I hate. You really have to live with a car suffering from poor low end torque (e.g. the Civic) to know what it's like. I spent a lot of time & effort improving <2,000 rpm power delivery (RaceDynamics, intake, exhaust); don't think I'd ever get a mod that does the opposite.
OT : Agreed. Same thing annoys me on my City iVtec as well. On highways it's bloody brilliant but doesn't excite me a bit in the city (ironic considering it's name). On the other hand the iDtec is satisfactory in this regard. These high revving NA engines don't excite at all low rpms (shame considering 90% of the times the usage will be inside the town).

My mantra is simple now : Unless you're buying an exotic, expensive car, petrols are not worth it. Get a diesel. Your mind as well as heart will be happy.

Last edited by The Brutailer : 23rd March 2017 at 21:09.
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Old 23rd March 2017, 21:24   #59
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Any remap for more power will bring lag to this small 1.0L...something I hate.
Not only lag, too small a block to be made too power dense. I mean, making a 1.0 block much power dense is going to cost the owner in terms of reliability (Both, engine and gearbox) - no two ways about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
I would like to put my money on the 1.2 VTVT from Hyundai
Let me second you buddy, I am also impressed with the new crop of engines coming from the Hyundai stable, especially this super silent (One can bet his kids that the engine is OFF in a Grand i10, if he doesn't look at tacho - even at silent places) and well delivering block. Equally awesome is the 2.0l block, there are few engines as creamy and smooth.
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Old 23rd March 2017, 23:16   #60
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by The Brutailer View Post
My mantra is simple now : Unless you're buying an exotic, expensive car, petrols are not worth it. Get a diesel. Your mind as well as heart will be happy.
This is where the Boosterjet and TSI mills shine in the city.

In fact, the linearity of the Boosterjet is a pleasant surprise! Not only do you get to enjoy it at low revs where the torque delivery and boost are sufficient for the urban crawl, it lets you exercise the throttle pedal and rev it out once in a while, since the linearity of the turbo mill lets you drive it like you would a naturally aspirated engine.
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