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Old 12th May 2017, 19:06   #1
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Default Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

Anticipation turned to Anxiety; Anxiety turned to prayers! Such is the case when the waiting period for a car delivery is never-ending.

Finally, after a torrid wait of 5 months, my Ray Blue Delta CVT was delivered on 20-Feb-2017.

Since then it has been around 2000 kms and I have understood a fair bit about the positives and the negatives about my new prized possession.

Details can always wait.

So, without much further ado, here are some pics for you to get acquainted with this lovely-looker!
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Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-img_20170220_192428-1.jpg  

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Old 12th May 2017, 19:34   #2
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Default re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

Every story needs to start with some background of the characters / context, after the initial high, to keep the readers entertained!

Chapter 1: The Dilemma!
On a fine Sunday, back in August 2015, I read about post in TBHP about a new limited edition of the Swift - Swift SP; interesting features on the Lxi variant with a price of 5.15 lakhs (ex-showroom), which got me interested.

So I start explaining to my wife that we could exchange our A-star for this version of the Swift to get a bigger, better car, while the EMI will be around 5k per month.

Alas, no showroom in Hyderabad had news of this special edition.

In the beginning of September, I drive down to the nearest Maruti showroom and take a test drive of the Swift Zxi - the 2015 Swift is nothing like the 2011 Swift, when I purchased my A-star; it was much better, loaded with features and made our A-star Vxi seem like it was from a different era.

The price at that time was around INR 7.5 lakhs, on-road. Though the price was beyond what we had decided, it got us thinking of an upgrade seriously.

There was also a test drive of the Tata Bolt, which, after the drive experience of the Swift, felt ordinary. While the Bolt had a nice steering, good suspensions and ample space, the drive experience was not as good as the Swift. Also, on the way back, we saw an oncoming taxi and were confused whether it was a Bolt or an Indica Vista. There ends the option of switching to a Bolt.

We also did a test drive of the Aspire 1.2 MT, Aspire 1.5 AT and Figo 1.2 MT, but the weak 1.2 petrol engine did not excite us and the 1.5 AT, though nice, was on the expensive side. Also, tiny OVRMs, Silver fascia and poor rear-headroom in the Figo, Impractical boot of the Aspire made us drop these cars from contention.

Then, on a Sunday morning, we walk into the Honda showroom (Pride Honda, Madhapur) to checkout the new Jazz. While we were greeted at the showroom and promised a test drive, no one came back to us again during the 20 minutes we spent at the showroom. We liked the space the car had to offer and that was it. The high set and long dashboard hampered visibility and lack of height adjustment in the mid variants and the pricing itself did not help. Looks are subjective, but I felt the older Jazz is still a looker compared to the new one. So we dropped the Jazz even without a test drive.

Then we walk into a Hyundai showroom to check out the Grand i10 and the i20. The Grand i10 was quite spacious and cozy and my wife liked it in the wine-red color. We then moved to the Elite i20. While I liked the i20 and the Sportz version was within our acceptable price band, my wife didn't not like the view from the driver's seat and the lack of height adjustment was a deal breaker.

We then casually move to the Xcent that was in the showroom, behind the Grand i10 and the Elite i20. Within moments of getting into the car, we are in love with all the Gizmos that it has to offer and the on-road price, post discounts, for the top end SX(O) was 7.85 lakhs and got us considering it seriously.

Though Compact Sedans were never in our list, the Xcent made its way with ease. After a couple of test drives, we are very much certain that this would be our next car.

Then comes the news that I would have to travel to Dubai, for my work commitment, for a period of 3 months. So we postpone the booking of the car.

After 3 months, when I returned, we again started thinking whether it was the right time for us to invest extra bucks and switch to a new car, when our A-star was just about turn 5 years old with just 26k on the odo.

And that is where the topic ended.

Last edited by dheepak10 : 26th May 2017 at 15:13.
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Old 12th May 2017, 20:03   #3
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Default re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

A straightforward story is so 90s! There always needs to be a new character than creates a twist in the story

Chapter 2: The other girl

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-marutibaleno24.jpg

While I was working in Dubai in late 2015, I read article and scoop images of the new Baleno which got me excited and the TBHP review in December got me even more excited. So in February 2016, once I was back in Hyderabad, the first thing I do is drive down to the nearest Nexa Showroom and take a test drive of the 1.2 Petrol Alpha variant.

The sprightly engine, oodles of space, safety features and a tight turning radius impressed us, but we felt that the interiors were a bit boring and we were keeping the Xcent as benchmark as we were still sold on it. The salesperson, Mr. Dashrath at Jayabheri Nexa, was surprised when I said that I would like to test the car in my apartment's parking space, but obliged to my request and the car, though big, is easier to park into tight spaces, much like a smaller car.

Now we had something to look at other than the Xcent. So right after testing the Baleno, we drive to the Hyundai showroom and take another drive of the Xcent. Now, i felt that the car's steering was too eager to return to center making the driving a bit uncomfortable in city, where I make have to keep the steering off-center for a major portion of the time.

When it comes to choices, I'm a confused man and finally we decide to put the decision of a new car purchase on hold.

In the meanwhile, we continue to treat enjoy our A-star and explore options of getting a new Double DIN player with bluetooth installed. While my wife was well-versed in driving an MT, she was quite reluctant to drive whenever I asked her to. According to her, driving in Hyderabad city made her tensed and she doesn't like getting tensed on weekends.

Her claim was right - the increasing number of vehicles on road, especially those of cab aggregators whose moronic drivers lack road-sense and are perpetually on phone while driving gets me angry as well.

Come August 2016, I travel again to Dubai on work and this time, my wife accompanies me. We have a good 2-week stay at Dubai and explore places primarily on Toyota and Nissan cabs. My wife then made a comment that it looked so convenient to drive in those roads and that too an automatic transmission. The CVTs were so smooth and no jerk was evident like the automatics that I tested in India - Aspire DCT and Grand i10 TC.

So when we return from Dubai, we go back to the same showroom for a test drive of the Delta AT variant. And Mr. Dashrath walks to me and remembers me as the person who did a test drive in my parking lot . So me and my wife take turns driving the Delta AT variant and love the CVT. The creep function was an added bonus in stop-go traffic and in slopes where it restricts the roll-back action of the car.

After some discussion and working out the cost and finances, we book the Baleno Delta CVT in Ray blue colour on September 9th, 2016. I should mention a coincidence that happened on the day of booking - My A-star, on the way to the Nexa showroom, had a punctured tyre - never before, never again. It was as if she was unhappy about me disowning her.

We decided not to stretch and get the Zeta variant as we were missing only some cosmetic items - Alloys, Fancy MID, 16 inch wheels, Engine start-stop functionality, Auto headlamps. We decided that we can live without these for the next few years. The only things we really missed in the Delta CVT which the Zeta had were Puddle lamps, Boot lamp, Fog lamps and Glove box light. So "Dheepak" misses all the lights!!

Last edited by dheepak10 : 8th June 2017 at 20:20.
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Old 8th June 2017, 20:13   #4
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Default re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

“Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.”
― Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns


Chapter 3: The Long wait and the Final Exhilaration

The deal was made on 12th of September, 2016 with a booking amount of Rs. 13,000/-. On paper the waiting period was quoted as 34 weeks, but I was informed that 4 to 5 months is the normal waiting period.

I was the 3rd in the list for Delta CVT in Ray Blue color, the other two bookings were made in July.

In the meanwhile, I started my preparations to welcome the Baleno. The first step was to bid goodbye to my well-maintained 5 years old A-star. While Maruti Truevalue offered just Rs. 2 lakhs, Cars24 quoted 2.1 lakhs and then an additional 5k bringing the total to 2.15 lakhs. But like all true Software professionals, the first place I post my ad is the Infosys Bulletin Board (or the BB as it is usually referred to). Got two offers for 2.45 lakhs and sold it to the first person to confirm the deal.

The deal is that the buyer pays me the full amount, post which I'll give the transfer documents signed. The buyer then initiates the transfer at the RTO and gives me a copy of the acknowledgement and then takes the car from me. Transfer process is pretty quick in Hyderabad as the application is online now. The transfer was made on a Monday morning and by evening, the RTO website reflected the new ownership details.

Some parting shots of the A-star (She's nameless as I don't name my cars )
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-06d4b3d672f348bd9d9748f74b438be0.jpg

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-3ecf594d86154a8f91c59e8b21efeb07.jpg

Step 2 was to get the NCB certificate for existing insurance. My existing policy was with Bajaj Allianz and they don't give you the NCB certificate without proof of sale. Then comes the part where you need to pay the discounted amount for the remaining tenure of the policy. After doing the required things within the specified deadline, Bajaj Allianz took a leisurely 2 months to give me my NCB certificate, after multiple escalations via email. They also promised to give a physical copy via mail which hasn't reached me yet.

Step 3 is efforts to treat the new car good, right from day 1. This includes checking out car care items during the Amazon sale. Bought the following items:

The ever reliable Jopasu Duster
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Windek Tyre inflator with auto-cutoff
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Romic Heavy Duty tow Hook, for those situations when she's naughty or when she needs to lend a helping hand
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A simple puncture repair kit again from the same Romic brand
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And finally a 20L gym bag from Decathlon to hold all these items in place

By now, you must have got an idea on how excited I was about the Baleno. The wait till January was fine, but then the last stretch is really painful. I hear about a plant shutdown in December, then about people postponing the allocations in December to January and then finally on 3rd February I get a call from a Senior Relationship Manager that a car has been allotted to me. Then I get another call that the car has been dispatched on 9th February and the expected date of delivery is 17th February, which coincided with my wedding anniversary. But the transportation was delayed and the car could only reach Hyderabad on 18th February.

And then finally, I was able to take the delivery on 20th February.

Delivery experience:
My RM, Mr. Dasharath of Jayabheri Nexa, had a personal emergency and was on leave for a couple of days. He still followed up on the vehicle in transit and promptly called on morning of 18th Feb that the vehicle was to reach the stockyard by late evening. Unfortunately the vehicle could not be delivered on Sunday as the showroom PDI and other stuff will take a day.

On Monday morning my RM called up again, though he was still on leave, and had informed that his colleague, Mr. Krishna, will process my delivery. Mr. Krishna was very helpful and followed-up on things till the delivery, though he was not my RM.

The car was brought to the showroom by 2PM for PDI. Things were fine as per TBHP checklist. So I proceeded with the payment once the insurance quote was generated. At this point I was informed that the temporary registration and accessories fitment will take a couple of hours and I went back home (My home is just 2.5 km from the showroom)

I got a call from Mr. Krishna at 6.30 PM that the car is ready for delivery. I went to the showroom and paid for the accessories and doing a second round of PDI. Had to wait for a few minutes as another car was getting delivered.

When my turn came, I was presented with a cake, a bouquet and a box of Ferrero Rochers. Mr. Krishna explained about the various features and was kind enough to point out that I was using my left leg on the brakes from my habit of driving manual gearbox . He also informed that there minimal amount of Fuel and that I needed to get an air-check done immediately. (Tyres were over-inflated as expected - left tyres and spare had 46 PSI and the right ones had 51 PSI)

Overall the delivery experience was pretty smooth, though they took some liberties with my name on the cake
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-cake.jpg

Nexa experience

I found the Jayabheri Nexa team extremely courteous and professional - there was always someone eager to assist and the queries were generally answered to the point, unless it was about waiting period and expected delivery date. At no point was I assured of a delivery date, till the car was dispatched, which is commendable considering the fact that they risk a cancellation in few cases. False commitment in this context is what makes the Nexa experience sour for most folks.

Last edited by dheepak10 : 8th June 2017 at 20:41.
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Old 8th June 2017, 20:45   #5
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Default re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

If it is priced fine, then it is mine!

Chapter 4: As real as it gets!

Now that you have heard about the buying decision and experience, it is time to get to the real stuff - the actual cost of things.

I will keep this part simple and straight forward.

Date of Invoice - 20-Feb-2017
Ex-showroom price - INR 7,28,292 (Base cost of INR 6,36,062.88 + VAT at 14.5% of INR 92229.12)
Road tax at 12% - INR 87,400
Registration charges - INR 1385(Temp registration - INR 300 + Permanent registration with smart card - INR 1085)
Extended warranty - INR 10095 (4 years or 80,000 kms)
Insurance - INR 15,518 (Depreciation protection with PA cover for 5 passengers)

An extra word on the insurance cost - I did manage to get my NCB of 50% transferred from my earlier policy to the current one and managed a discount on basic premium of INR 6977. A special thanks to TBHP for keeping us informed on everything that matters in a buying process

Cost of Official Accessories - INR 10,200

The official accessories opted by me were minimal - 3D foot mats, Body side moulding (Black with chrome), Mud Flaps, Fog Lamps, Window line chrome, OVRM chrome garnish and Boot lip chrome

I did not opt for the basic accessories package or the Nexa Loyalty card. The official arm-rest (same as the Zeta variant) is available for INR 2200. I did not opt for that as usability of the arm rest in my driving position is nonexistent.

While the Zeta variant comes with fog lamps and the switch is present in the steering mounted stalks, the delta gets a button next to the parking sensor switch. The color of the switchgear is a little off when compared to the other buttons which were part of the standard package
The functioning is the same as the one on the stalk in Zeta. I keep the switch in ON position always and the moment the guide lamps or headlight is turned on, the fog lamps turn on along with it.
Do note the storage slot below where the remote of the audio unit is stored (The remote has never been used).

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-fog-switch.jpg

In addition to the official accessories, I did buy some accessories from the marketplace. These include the Blaupunkt car charger with integrated glass breaker and seat belt cutter.

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-charger-1.jpg
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-charger-2.jpg

Make-shift Boot lamp from Aliexpress for $1.95 - Manually operated with the button in the center. The boot lamp is mounted in the hook provided in the boot. The actual cutout for the integrated boot lamp can be seen on the left.

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-boot-lamp-1.jpg

Rubber inserts to avoid rattling noise from the boot lamp while driving over non-ideal roads (which are aplenty in India!).

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-boot-lamp-2.jpg

Foldable window shades with magnetic mounts for all four windows, bought from Indian Decars in Banjara Hills. The driver side shade only covers 70% of the glass and leaves sufficient gap for side view mirrors.

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-window-shade.jpg

Radmo Dual Smart phone cum tablet mount purchased from indiegogo.com and shipped from Israel - fits in the CD slot. It is claimed that you can still use the slot while this mount is fixed; haven't tried it though.

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-radmo.jpg

Nexa memory foam cushions received as a gift from my uncle. They cost INR 900 each. It doubles up as rear seat arm rest when not in use.

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-cushions.jpg

And finally we have the 3D footmats. The rear mats do not cover the hump in the center; I have to get a bit creative and make a cover for that area as well.
The foot mats have a rough bottom which ensures that they don't slide during use. The quality is pretty decent and they keep most of the sand particles in place till we do our weekly cleaning.

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-foot-mats.jpg

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Old 8th June 2017, 20:46   #6
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Default re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

There are positives and negatives with everything; it is the greater of the two that makes creates an experience.

Chapter 5: The experience so far!
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-intro.jpg

This is where I get to show-off my point-and-shoot digital camera photography skills and explain the complete experience. So brace for a long thread!

The Looks
The looks aren't radical, but she's got it!

She has a moderately aggressive front and the front three-quarters is one of the best angles to view from. And in the ray blue color, she sparkles when dressed with a slight drizzle!
Do note the fog lamp which is an official accessory.

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-front.jpg

The OVRM chrome garnish does make the OVRMs eye-catching. The OVRMs come with an integrated blinker. Though the blinker is not visible for the driver, the visibility is quite good for anyone who trying to overtake you.

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-ovrm-chrome.jpg

The side profile brings out the balanced proportions and shows how the roof slopes downward towards the rear before merging into the neatly integrated spoiler.
Here's the side view with the official side moulding and window line chrome accessories. Also, the mudflaps can be viewed in this angle

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-side-1.jpg

Here's another shot from a different angle. The wheel caps have cutouts for the wheel nuts, which make them appear alloy-like. They can be removed without removing the bolts.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-side-2.jpg

A closer look at the 15-inchers and the mud-flaps. Both front and rear get full cladding in the wheel well - while the front gets a plastic/rubber material, the rear get a carpet-like material. There's still the occasional sound of small stones hitting the under-body.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-mud-flaps.jpg

The rear-view gives it a squatting profile and is one of the least-attractive angles. While the thick boot chrome is available as an accessory, I did not opt for it as I prefer the subtle boot lip chrome. Also, this help breaks the monotony in the rear. The HMSL lights are mounted on the spoiler.

The rear glass comes with a wiper and washer. I have never found the need to keep the rear wiper continuously on during rains. An occasional wipe and a few seconds of defogger is good enough.

The Indian variant does not come with rear fog lamps; we get 2 reflectors, instead.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-rear-view.jpg

The Practicality

Upgrading from the A-star the primary criteria on my mind was 'Space', and the Baleno has oodles of it.

The front seats are quite supportive and offer decent lumbar support. My back used to get strained in the A-Star during long drives, pretty quickly, but in the Baleno, I can go for a long distance without a break.

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-front-seats.jpg

While the front seats are well contoured, the rear seats are almost flat, but can accommodate 3 adults. The backrest angle is neutral; neither upright nor relaxed.
Do not the ISOFIX child seat mounts which are part of the standard safety features. Two ISOFIX child seats can be mounted in the rear seat.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-rear-seat.jpg

While my A-star was pretty short on legroom, Baleno has ample legroom for the rear passengers. The driver seat is set to my wife's driving position (5'2" frame), while the passenger's is set to mine (5'8" frame). With the seat in my wife's driving position, you can add a pouf at the rear and rest your feet .
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-legroom.jpg

Boot is practically laid out and spacious. Loading lip is quite high - almost 8 inches above the boot floor. Do note the tethers for the ISOFIX seats on each side.
The 60-40 split of rear seat is also visible in this pic.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-boot-space.jpg

The spare wheel is a full-size steel wheel. Tools are sadly not housed in a neat case. I have placed them in the space around the spare wheel with sufficient cushioning to avoid rattles.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-spare-wheel.jpg

The jack needs to be placed in the metal bracket next to the spare wheel and tightened so that it doesn't move, else there will be a lot of noise on uneven surfaces.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-jack-fitment.jpg

Driver footwell gets ample space in the CVT variant; dead pedal for resting your left foot which is not going to play any part in the drive. The bonnet lever can be seen on the top right.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-driver-footwell.jpg

The cabin is all-black, thus making it easier to maintain. A closer look at the dashboard texture - a leather-like pattern.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-dashboard.jpg

The same texture extends to the doors. Both front and rear doors get arm-rests with fabric inserts. Cushioning is on the leaner side. The doors also house the speakers. The Zeta version also get tweeters on the front door, but the Delta doesn't.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-front-door.jpg
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-rear-door.jpg

The front door houses the driver console and the switch-gear is shared across so many cars in the Maruti stable. Driver side window gets one-press up and down. OVRMs are electronically adjustable and foldable from the driver console.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-driver-console.jpg

The center console houses the audio unit and has an appealing layout. Note that the gear console is tilted towards the driver side.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-center-console.jpg

The steering wheel houses a family of button and they are practically laid out. The Delta variant gets a button for activating Bluetooth media, while the higher variants get a voice command button which can be used to control your mobile device ("Ok Google!"). The buttons are all backlit in a shade of orange (like the sunset, if you want me to put it artistically).
Sadly, there is no steering mounted control for the MID.
The wiper displays an INT mode, but in all practicality it is just the lowest speed of the wiper - non-adjustable.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-steering-wheel.jpg

The only thing that doesn't scream of 'Space to offer' is the glovebox and that's all I have to say about it.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-glovebox.jpg

And coming to the last bit on the topic of practicality is the Automatic Climate control that is accompanied by a very capable air-conditioning system. It works like magic and we love this feature to the core. The blower noise is also well-contained in most situations.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-climate-control.jpg

Last edited by dheepak10 : 2nd July 2017 at 15:33.
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Old 2nd July 2017, 15:55   #7
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Default re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

The Driving experience
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-driving-experience.jpg

To summarise my experience with the Baleno CVT, all I can say is that it is 'Nirvana at the wheels'. Long gone are the times when I used to curse every idiot on the road. Now I just settle into a relaxed state behind the wheel and drive in a relaxed state of mind. In my wife's words - 'I don't have to fight with the car anymore during the drive'

Just slot the gear lever into D and set off. The car starts to creep as soon as the foot is off the brake-pedal - a bliss in start-stop traffic. The creep mode is so well done that it can also be used like a Hill-assist feature; the car doesn't move back in most slopes. For steep slopes, the use of handbrake is recommended.

Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-gearshift.jpg
The gear-level has the safety button on the front; only by pressing this button can we get into Reverse (R), Lower Gear Ratio (L) and Parking (P) modes. Without this button, only the 'D' and 'N' can be engaged.
The Gear lever also houses a Sports Mode (S) button. Engaging the 'S' mode just increases your RPM by 1500 and gets you into a very responsive state of the engine. On an average 'S' mode keeps the engine spinning between 3500 and 4000 rpm.

On the contrary, in the 'D' mode the engine spins at a relaxed 1500 rpm at 80 kmph and 1900 rpm at 100 kmph speeds on normal roads. This gearing helps the CVT achieve great mileage figures in both the city and the highways.
Cruising at city speeds at 60 kmph keeps the engine at 1000 rpm.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-rpm.jpg

Some of the most commonly asked questions on the Baleno CVT:

How is the rubber-band effect?
The rubber-band effect is as pronounced as a driver's accelerator input pattern. At stand-still slot the gear into D from N and let go of the break, there's a 0.5 second delay before the car starts of without any accelerator input. This is the normal behaviour of the car. If you try to floor the pedal in this interval you'll get a well pronounced rubber-band effect.

Similarly, when you need power for overtakes within the city or the highway, if you floor the pedal, you'll get the rubber-band effect. Maintaining the car at healthy RPMs in the 2k to 2.5k range will help gain momentum quickly, without experiencing any rubber-band effect.

That said, there can be scenarios where you see that the engine is near 2k rpm but the car is still moving slowly in a slightly upward slope. It just means that the CVT's ratio is still at a higher one and a little bit more accelerator input will adjust the ratio get you the right response. Once you spend a month behind the wheel looking out for signs from the car on its behaviour, you'll be used to handling the CVT like a pro.

Can I make overtaking manoeuvres without 'S' mode?
The S mode is just a placebo. You can get the rpm to the 3k range in the D as well which will give you sufficient power during overtakes. In my first long drive, I did use the 'S' mode a couple of times and then I understood that it was not required. During my recent trip to Bangalore, the 'S' mode was never used in the round trip of 1200 km.
I have also driven in 2 lane highways without dividers and the 'D' mode is all you need. Occasionally in a steep slope, you may want to use the 'L' to maintain a lower gear ratio.

How much mileage does the CVT give?
The CVT is quite fuel efficient. In my daily office commute (7 km round trip) within the city I get an average figure of 12 kmpl. My A-star with a manual shifter and a 1-liter engine used to give 12.75 kmpl in the same route.
Cruising between 80 and 100 kmph in the highway, I was able to attain 22.5 kmpl during my return trip from Bangalore.
Here's a pic of the average on the MID during one of the highway trips (The MID usually shows 0.7 kmpl more than actual figures)
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-mileage.jpg


The audio system

The audio system sounds average and requires a great amount of tuning to make it sound good. The audio is tuned to be very warm; equalizer can make the sound clip at average bass levels.
That said, the 'Pop' mode of the equalizer is well tuned and provides a decently balanced tone, though a bit bassier still.

Being a techie, the first thing to do before spending extra bucks on a good sound system and speakers is to tune the existing one to sound like you own a better sound system.

And thus I installed the Viper4Android (V4A) app. Installing the V4A app is not a child's task. The Linux mode has to be set to 'Permissive' which can make the phone vulnerable. I then found a script which will only make it 'Permissive' for the V4A app and 'Enforced' at all other times.

Here's the V4A settings for Bluetooth on my Oneplus X, for those of you who want to try this route (The setting not mentioned here are turned off). Ensure all other sound enhancements are turned off.

Master Power - ON
PlayBack gain control - Moderate strength, 5x max gain, -1.9 dB max output
Spectrum Extension - 0.3
FIREqualizer - +3.5, +4.5, +5.0, +3.5, +1.5, +1.0, +3.5, +4.5, +5.0, +3.5
Dynamic System - Common Headphone v2, 18% Dynamic Bass
Viper Clarity - Natural mode, 3.5dB clarity strength

This small app makes the sound in the Baleno really good. Spending around 3 hours in installing and configuring the app did help save a lot of bucks on a new set of speakers and audio unit.

The audio system also comes with Auto Volume Control (AVC), which is turned on by default and set to level '2'. This works very well by maintaining the volume levels at a good level to negate the road and wind noise at higher speeds. We love this feature.

The tantrums so far

Nothing in this world is perfect. We did have our set of problems with the car. Below is a list of all issues fixed so far:
  • Rattle from handbrake area - Fixed twice; the cable was tightened a fair amount in the second attempt post which the issue has not recurred in the last 2 weeks.
  • Driver side Door vibration - Striker lock mechanism adjusted to fixed the rattle from the door.
  • Boot not closing with ease - Striker lock mechanism adjusted. To be noted is that the hatch door in Alpha variant is quite heavy compared to the other variants. Hence, Alpha variant hatch closes without much effort compared to other variants
  • Excessive rattle from the dashboard - The entire dashboard had to be removed and the couplers tightened to fix this. Not recurred in a month.
  • Noise from rear right brake - 4 attempts made to fix this issue. The noise was very faint after the 3rd attempt, but faint is not NIL for me. The liners were cleaned again in the 4th attempt the day before (30-June) and there has been no noise since the last 2 days. I still keeping this under observation.
  • Suspension Noise - Only appeared when riding on wet surfaces and from the rear left side. The suspension was replaced under warranty without any questions or further examinations. Here's a pic of the new suspension (the coil spring is the same from earlier).
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-shock-absorber.jpg

With the new suspension, the usual 'thuds' are no more audible. The SA said that the travel of the new suspension is longer than the older one.

While the issues (except dashboard rattle and brake noise) were not major, the multiple visits to service center did test my patience at times. But giving a good service satisfaction is one area where Maruti maintains its reputation. Varun Motors, Nanakramguda, has been quite helpful in getting my issues resolved to satisfaction.

Here's a summary of my likes and dislikes in my experience so far:
Positives
  • Revv-friendly and fuel-efficient engine with a lovely CVT transmission
  • Well thought out cabin offering a lot of room, light and practicality
  • Well equipped Delta variant with safety features
  • The wonderful Automatic Climate Control AC system
  • 170 mm ground clearance with a slightly stiffer suspension means that there is no bottom scraping in any of those unscientific speed-breakers which make you feel like you are positioned in a rocket for launch when your front wheel is at the peak of hump.
  • Excellent choice of wheel and tyre size
  • Wonderful After sales support network and service

Negatives
  • Not-so premium interior which starts to rattle pretty early. Might need good upkeep to keep it in shape in the long run.
  • Swift-like headlamps mar the individuality of the car
  • Boring roof-liner in a premium offering when budget offering like Tiago offers a much better option.
  • Absence of rear arm rest

At the end of the day, the positives outclass the negatives; I am a satisfied customer and I love the car. Hope more CVT cars are brought by Suzuki to India.

Last edited by dheepak10 : 3rd July 2017 at 14:42.
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Old 2nd July 2017, 17:07   #8
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Epilogue

The car is only as good as the owner who maintains it!

Ray Blue is a bit difficult colour to maintain; a short trip can make a layer of dust visible on the car.

I don't trust another person can maintain my car better than what I can. So the daily cleaning is done by Yours truly with the help of the humble Jopasu Duster.

Once in a week, me and the missus clean the entire car with a rinse-less solution. We keep separate micro-fiber cloths for wiping the solution and then patting the car dry.

This is preceded by cleaning the floor mats and succeeded by interior cleaning.

Once in a month, I do use the Formula 1 protectant to clean the interiors and give it an extra bit of shine.

We are so particular about keeping the car clean that even the wheel caps are squeaky clean by the time we are done.

And once in two weeks, we do check the tyre pressure with our tyre inflator.

There have been videos and reports of spotting minor dents on the Baleno door and also on door panels that flex a considerable amount.

This hasn't been the case with our car. We feel that it is quite sturdy.

And finally, a parting shot before concluding my initial ownership review at 3900 km on the odometer in 4 months.
Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far-parting-shot.jpg

Last edited by dheepak10 : 2nd July 2017 at 17:09.
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Old 4th July 2017, 01:49   #9
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th July 2017, 10:07   #10
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

Congrats Dheepak. So finally the thread is up. Nice write-up there. I'm interested in the boot lamp. Can you confirm how bright the LEDs are? And is it sufficient enough to cover the entire boot area reasonably? This is one thing I missed on my car because the loading lip is too high and the boot is generally dark in the garage. I reach out for the torch in my phone for now.
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Old 4th July 2017, 11:14   #11
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

Quote:
Originally Posted by farooq817 View Post
Congrats Dheepak. Can you confirm how bright the LEDs are? And is it sufficient enough to cover the entire boot area reasonably?.
Thanks Farooq! The device has a button in the center for on/off and this is surrounded by a circular strip of of LED lights. It is quite bright and covers the entire boot area with ease.

Even I used to find it difficult to access the boot contents in my basement parking without the boot lamp. This light has been quite useful.

In case you are going for it, do not forget to attach some dampening sticker in the bottom to avoid rattling noise.
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Old 4th July 2017, 12:25   #12
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

Congrats Dheepak, The car looks a stunner in that lovely colour. I do understand that its a bit difficult to maintain this colour but you are in a right direction & taking good care of it.
Maruti's have had this problems of rattling in most of its cars. They are yet to improve in this department but as you said positive outclasses negatives.
Just wanted to ask you how is the CVT gearbox. Is there any delay in selection of gears when there is sudden acceleration? The LED in the boot is a nice addition.
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Old 4th July 2017, 12:36   #13
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

Fantastic writeup Dheepak. Hoping to see the Ray blue on Sunday (Tbhp drive). Might take it for a short drive too (if your wife permits )
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Old 4th July 2017, 12:44   #14
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

Well written review, Dheepak! I fully agree with you that the Delta variant is a very good VFM pick. It has all the essentials that one can ask for - Airbags, ABS, rear wash-wipe, rear defogger, a basic ICE, power windows, MID with all essential data unlike Hyundai's wannabe MIDs (though without fancy TFT), climate control, electric mirrors.

Also thanks for your detailed description of the CVT and the way it behaves. I am sure many readers will find it useful. Wishing you happy mile crunching with your ride
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Old 4th July 2017, 21:24   #15
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno Delta CVT - The experience so far

Well written writeup Dheepak by covering all the details especially the CVT part

Yeah, these colors can be a pain to maintain as minor dust layer too show up. But the glee on the face and admiration you get from others when it is sparkling makes the effort worth it. Speak with experience of maintaining a red color car
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