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Old 19th April 2017, 17:13   #91
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

With the lukewarm reviews of the Baleno petrol at the back of my mind I started the TD of the Baleno petrol. However it just took two minutes to bring a smile to my face. The exhaust rasp. Shifted up past 1 and 2 gear and booted it in third. The willingness with which the engine revved upto 3000/4000 rpm and worked it's way to 80kmph was just great.

Actually I deliberately spent a lot of time in 3rd gear primarily to validate the in gear performance of the car. Gave it the beans in 3rd gear from as low down as 30/40 kmph to around 80/90 kmph and the lag was minimal and the pull energetic.

A few points to set a background - I drive a GT TDi and love it's experience. Top speed and 0-100 numbers are academic to me. How easily am I able to pass cars in everyday circumstances matter. The GT and the RS achieve the same goal for me but through different routes. The GT is a heavier car with a high amount of torque. The RS has less torque but is much lighter. It's more like an agile mountain goat. It is not as heavy footed and planted as the GT I never felt it was nervous either. It is just a lighter car and that needs to be taken into account when you use the power.

Braking is great and confidence inspiring. Visibility felt good. I took it round a few corners and it turned willingly. Again it's agile and changes direction willingly. But you can feel the back wiggle much earlier than the GT which does not feel so agile but is much more planted around the corners. Ride in the RS was very good, a bit softer I felt to my GT which has Koni suspenders at the rear. The Baleno felt genuinely fun to drive and evoked the same fun I have in my GT just a different route to it. What I get at 2500 rpm in the GT the Baleno delivers at 3000/4000 rpm but it's oh so willing to rev.

Shift quality is good but the arm rest fouls with your elbow which is a slight damper as shifts are necessary to enjoy the performance. The VW shift quality is not as light but has that wonderful spring loaded feel to it with a meaty gear knob as well. The reviness of the RS is so good and the clutch so light that I had to take a couple of minutes to transition to the ham footed approach needed for the GT's clutch.

I have not driven the NA Baleno but the RS felt more exciting to drive than the Honda City.

I feel the GT TDi is much more clinical and has a detached(not in a negative way) aspect to it's performance. The RS felt more involving to drive and may not be as precise and efficient a performer as the GT TDi. I did drive in medium traffic as well as relatively free back-roads and highways. At no point did I feel the performance characteristics of the engine negatively impact the drive.

I did not pay much attention to the interiors, design etc as I was more intent on assessing how I felt driving it. Maruti has cut costs on the spare wheel offering a 15 inch steel space instead of an alloy. I felt it was an exciting drive as a daily driver. Would I pay 1.4 lakhs for access to that performance which comes with the the hassle free ownership of Maruti. Yes.

Drive on,
Shibu.

Last edited by shibujp : 19th April 2017 at 17:15.
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Old 19th April 2017, 18:43   #92
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by shibujp View Post

I did not pay much attention to the interiors, design etc as I was more intent on assessing how I felt driving it. Maruti has cut costs on the spare wheel offering a 15 inch steel space instead of an alloy. I felt it was an exciting drive as a daily driver. Would I pay 1.4 lakhs for access to that performance which comes with the the hassle free ownership of Maruti. Yes.

Drive on,
Shibu.
You should probably test drive the 1.2 NA as well, to compare. My quick review is immediately above yours, and while I didn't see any performance issues with the RS, it wasn't enough of a difference over the NA to make a 1.4 L premium easy to justify.
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Old 20th April 2017, 14:12   #93
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Overdrive's comparison of the Baleno RS and the GT TSi is out. http://m.overdrive.in/reviews/compar...n-polo-gt-tsi/
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Old 20th April 2017, 14:38   #94
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Zinda View Post
On Baleno RS -
It is turbo charged, but overpriced.
It is more powerful, but has 3 cylinders engine.
Has More torque & better pwr/weight ratio, but has the same tyres, suspension & dynamics.

It comes with factory fitted RS batch, but even the pedals are not Race spec.
So what is the net-net benefit. This car may sell like hot cakes, but isn't this is most confusing RS ever from any brand?

Personally, I would pick Punto Abarth / Polo GT for a true hot hatch!
I do appreciate Maruti's baby steps towards offering better Machines (first S-cross 1.6, and now this), but they have a long way to go without losing opportunities (Swift RS is one). When you want to do something different, you need to identify the objectives, focus on them and keep the volume game out of your mind all this while!
I agree completely, Zinda. There is no tangible benefit in this, apart from the apparently bespoke after-sales service, which, depending on the car's age and dealer WILL vary. To add, there no 'intangible' benefit either, since this car is as semi-alive as a virus. Maruti-Suzuki (MS) has actively kept 'performance' as a gimmickóa strategic shot in the arm to boost sales (I have elaborated on 'shock' tactics in prior posts). At this point, if MS just launched a DRLed, touch-screened tin-can with an 'RS' or 'Sport' batch, it would still sell. Heck, any gimmick thrown by MS will be gobbled up by the sheep around us (Ignis).

Sure, a so called 'hot-hatch' has to be reasonably fast. But it should be alive standing still, as well as on the move. Heck, I had a 1.2, Petrol, Trendline, Flash-Red Polo with less than 80 BHP on tap and a three-cylinder engine. It truly had character and charm; like a quiet, unassuming mid-bencher who suddenly comes into his own on a football field (It high-revved and turned very, very well). Such underrated heart has been reciprocated not only by Western manufacturers (the erstwhile Figo, the brilliant Eco-Sport 1.0 Ecoboost), but Eastern ones too; examples being the Hyundai Getz, Suzuki Zen and even the Suzuki Swift. I think these could be classified as 'hot-hatches', on account of their price, character and keeping yardsticks domestic.

Considering the comparatively lower sales of their higher-priced, but incredibly capable S-Cross Diesel, I think we can say for sure that the 'masses' don't want to spend on performance, even if it is a MS. At the other end, seeing what happens to folks who focus primarily on the emotive experience of driving (Abarth Punto, Skoda Fabia, Polo 1.6), I think it is safe to assume that the middle-class 'masses' do not give a bleep about performance or the driving experience. They just want an illusion of a real motoring experience to dance in front of them from to time to timeóin order to fight their repressed denial.
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Old 20th April 2017, 18:20   #95
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by shibujp View Post
Overdrive's comparison of the Baleno RS and the GT TSi
As per Overdrive V Box :

Baleno RS 0-100 : 9.7

Polo GT TSI : 10.2

I think Overdrive had got 9.3s for Abarth Punto.
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Old 20th April 2017, 21:02   #96
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Dr.Naren View Post
As per Overdrive V Box :

Baleno RS 0-100 : 9.7

Polo GT TSI : 10.2
I think, these few lines actually sums up the above results very nicely:

In the Baleno RS after the initial sprint, you do get a sense that it's running out of breath. But the Polo GT TSI retains its energy levels right to the redline. Despite the fact that the DSG gearbox does not allow you to properly launch the Polo GT TSI, it takes 10.2 seconds to get to 100.

My hunch here is that if only the GT had a launch control of some sorts or a more controllable MT gearbox, we could be seeing a 0-100 run of ~9 secs here.

All said and done, I am still not a fan of either the Baleno RS or the GT. The former is an excuse for a RS brand and the latter is more of convenience.

If I were in the market today, I would really put my bet on the new launched Figo 1.5 TDCI Sports.

I think this is the real RS & GT Killer here!!

Last edited by Vik0728 : 20th April 2017 at 21:03.
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Old 25th April 2017, 16:00   #97
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Naren View Post
As per Overdrive V Box :

Baleno RS 0-100 : 9.7

Polo GT TSI : 10.2

I think Overdrive had got 9.3s for Abarth Punto.
The timings seem to be consistent. CarWale's road test review reports a 9.69s, 0 - 100 timing for the Baleno RS.

What is more interesting is the reported in gear acceleration timings.
20 - 80 kmph in third : 9.36 (9.91 for the GT TDI, 6.46 GT TSI)
40 - 100 kmph in fourth : 12.9 (11.25 for the GT TDI, 8.xx GT TSI)

Considering the fact that it is manual the figures are quite good.

Drive on,
Shibu.

Last edited by shibujp : 25th April 2017 at 16:03.
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Old 25th April 2017, 16:13   #98
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by shibujp View Post
The timings seem to be consistent. CarWale's road test review reports a 9.69s, 0 - 100 timing for the Baleno RS.

What is more interesting is the reported in gear acceleration timings.
20 - 80 kmph in third : 9.36 (9.91 for the GT TDI, 6.46 GT TSI)
40 - 100 kmph in fourth : 12.9 (11.25 for the GT TDI, 8.xx GT TSI)

Considering the fact that it is manual the figures are quite good.

Drive on,
Shibu.
From the figures above, the GT TSI wins the cake! But I was wondering how they managed to hold on to 3rd or 4th gear for testing those timings on an auto-box!
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Old 25th April 2017, 16:18   #99
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
From the figures above, the GT TSI wins the cake! But I was wondering how they managed to hold on to 3rd or 4th gear for testing those timings on an auto-box!
The GT TSI has tiptronic feature AFAIK which can allow to select gears.
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Old 25th April 2017, 16:51   #100
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
The GT TSI has tiptronic feature AFAIK which can allow to select gears.
I am pretty sure that those 20-80kmph and 40-100kmph acceleration times for the GT TSI are in kick-down mode. Normally in most of such reviews/report, they do mention it also.

P.S: I am not a big fan of comparing in gear accelerations between two different motors (especially here a diesel and a petrol), with significant difference in gear ratios and turbo motors. It doesn't give a proper picture. The response could be dull from 20-50kmph and explosive from 50-80kmph. 20-80 kmph in 3rd gear for a Laura 1.8TSI would be a sad number and boring too

Last edited by Rehaan : 25th April 2017 at 17:50. Reason: Removing shibujp's quote, as his post was removed ;)
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Old 26th April 2017, 21:40   #101
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by avinash_clt View Post
P.S: I am not a big fan of comparing in gear accelerations between two different motors (especially here a diesel and a petrol), with significant difference in gear ratios and turbo motors. It doesn't give a proper picture. The response could be dull from 20-50kmph and explosive from 50-80kmph. 20-80 kmph in 3rd gear for a Laura 1.8TSI would be a sad number and boring too
Irrespective of the type of engines the in gear timing give an idea of the driveability of the car in real life conditions especially in traffic conditions such as ours. This makes the car more of an all rounder and fun to drive as a daily driver. That is in fact a trait shared by all VW group cars especially the diesels and the TSI which all have great in gear performance.

The in gear speeds are the ones in which we spend 80 - 90% of driving time too.

Drive on,
Shibu.
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Old 27th April 2017, 13:19   #102
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

As per the Autocar Issue this month, the following are the figures for these warm hatches

Baleno RS Abarth Punto GT TSi
0-80 6.65s 6.15 7.5
0-100 10.25s 9.32 11.02
20-80(in 3rd) 9.48s 10.44 6.48
40-100(in 4th) 12.53 13.55 8.1

I believe the GT Tsi is in kickdown mode for in gear runs.

Also, the 0-80 times of these cars are fantastic and I would be more interested in that since the initial acceleration kick is the one that pushed you back in to the seat and plants that smile
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Old 27th April 2017, 16:21   #103
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
I believe the GT Tsi is in kickdown mode for in gear runs.
In automatics, the gearbox downshifts when you floor the pedal at 20 kmph. So it is not an "in gear" acceleration run. This is a test of quickly the gearbox reacts when you floor the throttle.

- Fast gearbox (eg: DSG) + Good engine (1.2 Tsi) gives you a great kickdown mode 20 to 80 kmph timing
- Slower gearbox (Eg: CVT) + Good engine (1.5 iVtec) gives you a slower kickdown mode 20 to 80 kmph timing

This timing will be lot worse in a dull gearbox (Eg: AMT) + dull engine (1.5L TUV300) combination

In the manuals (Baleno/Punto), the tester does not downshift. In the 3rd gear at 20 kmph, he floors the accelerator. This is a test of how the engine pulls from low RPM.

Last edited by smartcat : 27th April 2017 at 16:23.
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Old 27th April 2017, 16:58   #104
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
In automatics, the gearbox downshifts when you floor the pedal at 20 kmph. So it is not an "in gear" acceleration run. This is a test of quickly the gearbox reacts when you floor the throttle.

- Fast gearbox (eg: DSG) + Good engine (1.2 Tsi) gives you a great kickdown mode 20 to 80 kmph timing
- Slower gearbox (Eg: CVT) + Good engine (1.5 iVtec) gives you a slower kickdown mode 20 to 80 kmph timing

This timing will be lot worse in a dull gearbox (Eg: AMT) + dull engine (1.5L TUV300) combination

In the manuals (Baleno/Punto), the tester does not downshift. In the 3rd gear at 20 kmph, he floors the accelerator. This is a test of how the engine pulls from low RPM.
Yes, I agree thats why I mentioned the note about that. Almost all the automatics are tested in this manner by most testers.
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Old 28th April 2017, 07:42   #105
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review

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Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
As per the Autocar Issue this month---
Here is the AutoCar India test track data of the comparison,

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Letís put it this way, if we were comparing the standard versions of these cars, the Punto would come dead last
Quote:
The Abarth Punto is in no way practical. Thereís a dearth of storage spaces, the ergonomics are terrible, the infotainment system is buggy and some of the controls are counter-intuitive. It also feels decidedly old in this company, and cabin quality and the equipment list leave a lot to be desired. But as a mechanical package, it is just spot on. The motor puts a grin on your face and holds it there until you turn the car off, the steering just sucks you into the driving experience and the chassis manages to be both taut around corners and comfy over bumps. Plus, it really looks the business
Quote:
And while sensible things like build quality and practicality are important here too, performance and excitement are even more so in this segment. So, though itís the most expensive, and it has its fair share of shortcomings as a car, the thrills it serves let it race ahead of the others. While the other two are merely warmed up, the Abarth is a proper hot hatch, and thatís why itís our pick.
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the Baleno RS, which makes it quicker than the Poloís 11.02sec. Of course, being an automatic, the Polo gets it back in kickdown acceleration, doing 40-100 in 8.10sec to the Balenoís 12.53sec in fourth, and 20-80 in 6.48sec compared to the Balenoís 9.48sec in third. The heavy Abarth is actually the slowest at in-gear acceleration, taking 13.55sec and 10.44sec to do those sprints, respectively. But from a standstill, it just creams the other two with a staggering 9.32sec 0-100kph time
Link

Last edited by volkman10 : 28th April 2017 at 07:50.
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