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Old 22nd April 2017, 14:24   #1
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Smile My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Hi to all enthusiasts,

This is my first post in the forum apart from the introduction. Its about our new acquisition, the Baleno hatchback.

Before diving directly into the review, here is a gist of what we love and hate about the car.

Things which made me go WOW!!
1. Spacious cabin: I am a six footer and does not enjoy cramped seating. Baleno wins it here for all front and rear passengers.
2. Mileage: Seeing 19.8 kmpl on the MID of a 1.2L petrol hatchback, made me go OMG.
3. VFM: Dual airbags, ABS, ACC, Rear parking sensors, electric folding mirrors with indicators, rear wiper, bluetooth telephony with steering mounted controls, remote lock, and all this for just 6.83 lakh rupees OTR.
4. Engine: The best combination of lightest clutch, good driveablity in the city and highway.
5. All Black interiors: Being from Kerala, monsoons are a challenge to keep interiors clean. Black interiors are most welcome.
6. Big size boot: The design has provided a extremely good boot size for a hatchback.
7. Proper tyres: I prefer stock tyre size always. The 185/65 R15 tyres of the Delta variant give a plush ride and good handling.
8. Aesthetic appeal: Fabric padding on the doors, Stock rear roof spoiler, Speedometer console and the ACC switches are beautifully designed.
9. Brand: The reputation that MS badge carries and what we have experienced during the 14 year ownership of a 1997 Zen.
10. Service Coverage: MASS just 2kms from home.

Things which made me go !!
1. The 'Swift' similarity: Premium features and a well designed rear deserved an all new, refreshing, front design.
2. The plastic quality: Inferior to i20 and Polo.
3. Rear air-con: Badly missed in these days of rising temperatures.
4. Stock fog lamps: Does not make much difference when used with headlamps.
5. Fuel tank capacity: What was the gain in making it least in the segment?
6. Pointless bumpers: Only for form, no function.
7. Absence of ISOFIX child seat mounts in earlier models.
8. Steering design: Similarity with other MS models and the small horn pad are annoying.

Decision process

As soon as we felt the need of owning a car, we started the research. Segments and models considered were the A (Alto 800, Alto K10, Kwid, Eon), B1 (Celerio), B2 (i10 Grand, Elite i20, Jazz, Polo, Brio, Baleno) and C1(City and Ecosport). The most important requirements were:

1. Spacious interiors
2. Petrol engine with decent mileage
3. New model

The official reviews in the forum helped a lot and the details mentioned were found true to each and every word. All the cars felt really great during the test drives and each of them had many positives.

Comparison across options
The Alto twins and Eon scored on good driveability, FE, easy and cheap maintenance and compact size suiting urban conditions. Difficulty to fit tall passengers, even in the front seats was a let down. The Kwid had all the positives of the latter ones, added with style and space. Owing to the longer waiting times and the fact that Renault being a rarer brand in the Indian market, we decided to test higher segments, still keeping Kwid in the final list for booking. Then came the Celerio. Adequately spaced and well laid out interiors, plain exteriors, good features. Added to the final list. The Brio was good to drive, spacious, but had to rule out due to the tiny boot.

Shifting up segments. The i10 Grand and the Elite i20, the cars which were difficult to resist once we sat inside them. Best in segment interiors, rear A/C and too stylish. The Elite i20 is the car, even being so commonly seen due to sales volumes, we tend to drool over. The Jazz was also good in quality and first in space. The rear lights resembling Volvo V40 rear light assembly enhances the appeal. The Polo Highline was test driven and i could say, always, Germans differ from the rest. I almost booked the car before the test drive. But the petrol engines of all these didn't suit my requirements. Still, Elite i20 added to the list. Then came the City and Ecosport. City had the 1.5 petrol in a well built family sedan. The built of the Ecosport was even better. The high ground clearance and mini SUV form were impressive. With kwid, celerio, elite i20, city and ecosport, we had cars over a wide budget range, which was not helping in deciding.

Baleno spotted !!
Then came the Baleno, with a price tag midway in the shortlisted budget range. It ticked all the boxes, reliability, FE, spacious and moreover a new model which was a head turner premium hatchback. The test drive car was readily available, that too on a Sunday. The Nexa showroom and the attire of the sales people really felt premium. The Alpha variant was test driven on the highway and it was a great experience.Finally we decided to go with the Baleno. We felt the Delta variant was reasonably equipped.

We were not intending the car to have features such as DRLs, projector headlamps, alloy wheels, rear view parking camera or navigation. Dual airbags and ABS were the features we looked for. The delta variant had those, along with parking sensors, bluetooth telephony, electrically folding mirrors with indicators, making it the best package for us.

The NEXA experience
So we booked the Prime Ray Blue Delta Petrol on the 1st of August 2016 (Booking amount Rs 11,000). As per our request, the SA visited my office to accept the booking, and the booking receipt with official seal was received by mail in couple of days. The dealer Popular Nexa, Calicut and our SA were very prompt and helpful in all paperwork. Amidst all our inconveniences, the SA patiently visited us multiple times to get things done. The delivery was taken on 8th Dec 2016, accessorized as requested. A delicious chocolate cake was arranged by them, cut by us and enjoyed by all in the showroom.

First pic of me and my better half with the car.
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Pic 1 and 2 shows greeting with the bouquet and nexa documents. Pic 3 shows our SA, handing over the keys. Pic 4 shows us cutting the cake.
My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol-p_20161208_155652tile.jpg

Price tag
Ex showroom price: Rs 6,15,123
Insurance (Maruti): Rs 18,653
Road Tax: Rs 49,610
Accessories: Rs 17,100
Total cost = Rs 700,486/-
No discounts were offered as the car was in high demand. The Nexa lifestyle kit did not seem attractive. The extended warranty could be purchased later, so went with the standard 2years/40,000 kms.

The KLXpress
The car came with stock MRF ZVTVs. The process of choosing a registration number is very convenient with the help of online booking and availability statuses provided in the Kerala MVD website. The car was 'running in' till 1166 kms and the first service was completed.

The baleno has undergone complete analysis by Aditya in the official review and has been explored more by DrNaren, SRK, abhik897, farooq817, fourwheels etc. I would like to share my views too.

The light weight body has resulted in panels being flexible in many areas. The boot panel is hard. Being used to a Etios Liva, Light weight doesn't intimidate me. From the front, the baleno looks like a bigger swift. The tweaking was a perfect amount, leaving a design agreeable to all. Those who want a different look could go for the radiator grill from the sigma variant (obviously as many have done already). And the alpha variant DRLs gives the car a more unique look. The car looks really nice in the Prime Ray Blue shade.
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A peek under the hood.
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The looks of the rear are well accomplished with the high and wide bumper, new tail lamps, roof spoiler with the HMSL, ground clearance and 15 inch tyres (of the delta). The rear wiper is a sturdy one.
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The side profile is certainly sporty with the swooping roof-line and window-line, the high rear, rear roof spoiler and blackened pillars.
My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol-img_4127.jpg

The rear quarter mirrors adds to the longish looks of the car, and also enhances visibility.
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The front and rear bumpers are contemporary, which means they are there only for the looks. It protects none and costs well themselves. I miss the old car bumpers, black, protruding and unpainted.
My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol-cats5.jpg

The stock 185/65 R15 MRF ZVTVs. The wheel plate design is good and firmly fixed with the lug nuts, which gives it a kind of alloy wheel look. They can accumulate dirt, but can be cleaned easily.
My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol-cats2.jpg

The side orvms are well shaped with nicely integrated blinkers. The mirror fixture on the door looks refreshing. It kind of looks similar to those of the mini cooper (http://www.team-bhp.com/carpics/mini...ertible-03.jpg).
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The rear roof spoiler is marvelous. It is integrated well, yet huge and protruding to compliment the looks.
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The short and stubby antenna looks nice.
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Now few things at the interiors. The plastic quality is reasonable, not premium. The dashboard and centre console design is refreshing. Ergonomics are in perfect order. The all black interiors are easy to keep clean and age well. The steering is bigger than the one i am used to (Toyota liva has a smaller steering with thumb contours and a bigger horn pad, which makes it easy to use with just my right hand). Here the horn pad is at the center which is difficult to use. The steering audio controls are of good quality and easy to use.
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The speedo and tacho console looks fine in the blue white lighting. It looks more sporty at night with the lights on. The tacho helps, in case if you find the engine so silent, to know whether it is ON or OFF. My Etios Liva dont have one, so we never know how fast the engine is running. Generally, we judge it by the engine noise. The Delta MID has the gear shift indicator and mileage indicator which is very useful. Being new to the K12 engine, the gear shift indicator helped me to learn and get accustomed as in when to upshift/downshift. The mileage display helps to compare different driving styles, A/C usage and traffic conditions of oneself. I explored the MID options for the sensors and the locking options with the help of the manual. It was easy to use. I miss the colour TFT MID in the test drive vehicle (alpha).
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The audio unit is nicely integrated to the dash, with a monochrome display, bright enough even in daylight. Nice chrome lined knobs and CD deck. The music quality with four speakers is decent, me not being an audio buff. The Apple Carplay unit in the alpha will be always missed. Wish Maruti offered it as an accessory.
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It even comes with a remote. This can keep the rear passengers happy and adds a premium touch.
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The ACC controls are easy to operate and designed in a stylish manner with a circular display and asymmetric buttons. The cooling is very fast. At some instances, when i would prefer a silent operation, i would turn off the auto function, which keeps the A/C running and blower unheard. The A/C vents are on either side of the audio unit (similar to wagon r, 1st and 2nd gen i20, innova, fortuner etc), which looked refreshing to me.
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The seats are wide and interiors are spacious to accommodate tall and broad framed people (my family is full of them). Loads of space,in the front and rear, so that the elbow or knees can be comfortably adjusted or moved to avoid fatigue.
My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol-cats4.jpg

The seat covers, which got me compliments from all those who saw the interiors. They are excellent in texture, feel, design and fitting. This is the first time we opted for seat covers. For the last 2 cars we could maintain the stock fabric covers with care and little 3M help.
My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol-img_4112.jpg
My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol-img_4113.jpg

The door pads feel strong at the top and flimsy at the bottom. There is sufficient storage and nice fabric padding. Love the silver and chrome accents.
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The driver side door pad has the only back lit button.
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The twin map lights at the front and the rear roof lamp. Altogether sufficient for the cabin.
My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol-cats.jpg

The passenger sun visor with a mirror and the airbag warning. Bummer !! I was not aware of such an important thing about airbags.
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The boot is a very spacious affair, which made everyone go 'aw'. Last 2 cars we bought were hatchbacks, and we have managed all kinds of trips(without hiring a sedan with a bigger boot) with the boot space 100% of the time. This boot was big for a hatchback and well laid out. The tray easily lifts with the boot lid and hence wont intrude with the loading. The full size spare tyre neatly tucked beneath the boot mats.
My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol-cats7.jpg

The accessories we opted for were the fog lamps, seat covers and the vinyl floor covering. The fog lamps provide a brighter view of the road surface ahead. It could have been more powerful. The vinyl covers the whole carpeted area and is easy to clean whether it is dry or wet dirt. It covers all horizontal, vertical and curved surfaces. It is fixed directly over the carpet floor with velcro. The cost was around Rs 3000. We have also put normal mats (Rs 700) over the vinyl covering.
Floor at the front.
My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol-cats6.jpg

Floor at the rear.
My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol-cats8.jpg

Coming to the driving experience. Most of my drives are in city or urban highways. The silent engine and the NVH gives a sense of luxury and comfort. Adequate power on tap and the engine is heard only if you revv too hard. The best driveability for a petrol among its competitors. The length and width of the car can be easily tackled in traffic. The car clearly seems wider when viewing from exterior than what you feel while driving. The parking sensors function adequately. The EPS response seems fine since i am already used to that of the Liva. I have read about the steering centering issue in many posts. I have felt the same once or twice but not always. The clutch is ultra-light and gearshift is smooth. Still, my other car, the toyota liva has the shortest travel for clutch and throw for gear, which is not the case in the Baleno. The gear ratios are good enough to keep u going fast and still give good mileage in urban conditions. You could easily crawl under 40kmph in the 4th gear. The 15 inch tyres and the suspension works together to give good ride quality and road grip. The ground clearance is more than enough in the city and highways. Stability is good, but obviously not the best handling with the light weight body and EPS. Brakes are fine, but yet to be tested in deviant conditions.

I have not got a chance to experience the ABS in action. This is the odo and mileage as of today, with sedate driving, urban conditions. ACC working all the time. With ACC OFF and just A/C or fan i think it could be pushed upto 18.5 kmpl. In fact, there is considerable difference in power felt between ACC and just A/C. During my first long highway drive (356 kms) before the first service (i.e., running in), i could get an FE of 19.9kmpl, (sorry for not taking a screenshot). The first and second free services were done at MASS, Sarathy Autocars just 2 kms from my home. The spare tyre was rotated in the second service. The car was returned clean and the attitude of the personnel was pleasant. The Nexa android app is a good thing. The service history and the upcoming reminders can be viewed.
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So far, very happy with the baleno. I have couple of highway trips planned. Hoping to come up with some vivid trip reports.


Last edited by KLxpress : 29th June 2017 at 12:07.
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Old 30th June 2017, 11:07   #2
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Default Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th June 2017, 12:42   #3
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Default Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Congratulations KLxpress. This is no nonsense hatchback when it comes to complete package for common man.
I say this because after going through same selection process, i also finalized Baleno Delta trim in blue color for my sister, booked 2 days back.
Delta model covers all the necessary equipments that we need (minus luxury gadgetry upgrades).
It looks really good in this shade of blue.
Enjoy the ride and drive safe.
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Old 30th June 2017, 13:13   #4
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Default Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Congrats on the new Ride. I too have a silver Delta 1.2P. Has been serving me well for the past one year. You will enjoy the car,perfect for city. Mileage when driven very enthusiastically, gives me 13 in the city. Take care on highway rides as being very light, car tends to do take offs in strong winds
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Old 30th June 2017, 13:56   #5
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Default Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Hey congrats on the wonderful car. Took your time completing the review with details it seems . Started in April huh?

Wishing you & your family unlimited safe & happy miles with the Baleno. It really is a superbly packaged, well priced car. Very aggressive strategy by MSIL. I love it. If I was out in the market today for a hatch, I'd cetainly buy a Baleno (although DDIS not K12) myself.

Happy motoring.
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Old 30th June 2017, 15:00   #6
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Post Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky View Post
Congratulations KLxpress. This is no nonsense hatchback when it comes to complete package for common man. It looks really good in this shade of blue.
Rightly said Nicky. Its an all-rounder petrol hatchback. It looks exquisite in blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrock View Post
Take care on highway rides as being very light, car tends to do take offs in strong winds.
Thanks for the alert. Also, we have to stay put when in three digit speeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
Took your time completing the review with details it seems. Started in April huh? Wishing you & your family unlimited safe & happy miles with the Baleno. It really is a superbly packaged, well priced car. Very aggressive strategy by MSIL. I love it. If I was out in the market today for a hatch, I'd certainly buy a Baleno (although DDIS not K12) myself.
There was an awkward break by me, in editing the post. If it was not for the price-wise and feature-wise aggressive strategy by MSIL, we would have went straight for VW Polo or elite i20. Luckily, choosing the right time to make the purchase decision and having the time and patience to invest in the booking period turned out so advantageous. And obviously, DDiS is addictive for many.
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Old 30th June 2017, 17:26   #7
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Default Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Congrats on your Ride. Delta surely is the most VFM variant in line-up. I own a ZETA 1.2 Ray blue, and I somewhat regret choosing this color.

This is the most commonly seen color for Baleno and has given a certain exclusivity to Baleno as this shade cannot be seen on any other cars.
I have just completed 10k in 1 year of ownership, and have been a satisfied customer, more so after rear suspension upgrade.

NEXA accessories are exorbitantly priced and do not have much variety.

Last edited by silverado : 30th June 2017 at 17:32.
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Old 1st July 2017, 09:11   #8
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Post Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
This is the most commonly seen color for Baleno and has given a certain exclusivity to Baleno as this shade cannot be seen on any other cars.
That is so true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
I have just completed 10k in 1 year of ownership, and have been a satisfied customer, more so after rear suspension upgrade.
Kudos

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
NEXA accessories are exorbitantly priced and do not have much variety.
I would like to know what all accessories (both Nexa and aftermarket) you have already purchased/trying to procure.
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Old 1st July 2017, 16:44   #9
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Default Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Congrats buddy. That was a good, nice review and photos.
Rated 5 stars.
Hope to see your KLxpress the next time you bring it to Calicut.
You know where to find me.
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Old 2nd July 2017, 08:02   #10
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Default Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Congrats KLxpress, it's indeed a value for money car. I have bought my zeta 1.2 ray blue on May after waiting for 6 months.

Initially booked Delta but found few features truly worth it on the zeta variant.

Enjoy your ride and keep updating the thread, I should start my soon.
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Old 2nd July 2017, 15:20   #11
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Default Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Congratulations KLxpress. Wish you miles of smiles with your Baleno.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLxpress View Post
So far, very happy with the baleno. I have couple of highway trips planned. Hoping to come up with some vivid trip reports.
Will be waiting for your trip reports
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Old 3rd July 2017, 10:57   #12
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Default Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLxpress View Post

I would like to know what all accessories (both Nexa and aftermarket) you have already purchased/trying to procure.
Nexa accessories : Door side strips, Mudguard, Wind deflector on window, Parking cover.
Aftermarket : Boot mat Rs 2200 - Some Taiwanese brand which is very sturdy and covers entire boot properly.

Nexa boot mat leaves gaps on all sides and is very thin and cheap looking.
Floor molded mats - These are available online for around 1200-1500.

Autofoam car seat covers - They cost me Rs 11000 ( Napa leather ), excellent cushioning and good feel.i liked your seat covers as well

R for Rabbit child car seat - Rs 4900 - online
Car back seat organizer - Rs 250 - online

Car vaccum cleaner - Bergmann - Rs 850.
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Old 4th July 2017, 00:41   #13
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Post Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

@knightrider_7, @Abhi_abarth and @vsun, Thank you guys.

@silverado. Thanks for the details. I am considering the Bergmann Car vaccum cleaner, Hella auxiliary lamps, ambient lights and some other accessories. Will elaborate soon.
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Old 4th July 2017, 11:36   #14
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Default Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Congratulations KLxpress. Beleno indeed is a good car. Good choice of colour too.
I do wish they would change the design of the steering wheel.

Few questions:
How is the A/C's performance? is the pickup lag very evident?
What fuel type do you use? is it making a difference to your milage?

Thank you. Happy driving!
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Old 4th July 2017, 21:14   #15
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Default Re: My Maruti Baleno (Prime Ray Blue) 1.2L Petrol

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
I have just completed 10k in 1 year of ownership, and have been a satisfied customer, more so after rear suspension upgrade.

I have also done 10k over 16 months in my 1.2 l alpha. Have been on several road trips to Himachal, except for the stiff suspension, I havent faced much issues. Yes , due to the light build it does jump on the flyover joints.
I'm interested to know how you do the suspension upgrade and how do I bolster the thin rear seat ?

Last edited by bblost : 4th July 2017 at 22:25. Reason: Fixed quote tags.
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