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Old 3rd December 2006, 10:09   #1
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Default Baleno LXi - First 50 + 150 Kms.

Here I am joining the Baleno fraternity. Everyone around me gave wierd look when decided on Baleno. My neighbours, I am sure, felt happy in sheer jealousy. This is one of the last few Baleno LXi's being delivered in Chennai and getting the car is a story by itself. I approached Kapico and they did'nt have stock to sell. Then went to CARS India and the only vehicle they had got sold by the time I finished the Test Drives. Called Khivraj and by the time I went to the showroom, the cars were sold off. Finally, managed to secure one Silky Silver from them. Later, they had a Black which I switched to.

50Kms (Day 1)

Took delivery of my LXi on Thursday evening from Khivraj Motors. Could'nt have chosen a busier time to take delivery. The Black One was glistening in the evening sun. I had the Dealer fix Sony A250 XPlod (4 Speakers) and Keyless Remote. After the customary puja, started off for a small trip. As I was still undecided on upscaling the wheels / tires, decided to change the same next day. Couple of things were very apparent in the first few minutes. The car is spacious. Especially when you graduate from M800. It is very quiet inside. Suddenly you are isolated from the chaos around you. AC is phenomenol. We had to visit a place 20 kms away and I could'nt have chosen a more congested route. I was more nervous than a guy out on his first date. Every two wheeler and three wheeler appeared to target my car and leave their signature on the body. It took me one hour to each and that has been the longest one hour in my life. I managed to reach 5th Gear only twice. The Gear lever gives a faint vibration and not sure that is normal for a Baleno. Finding the 5th gear was slightly difficult. Gear shift not as slick as Zen. Completed the day with a 50 kms run.

150 Kms (Day 2 and 3).
Took the vehicle to Tyre Store for upscaling. My head was spinning with numbers and jargons i.e., 185/65, 100 PCD, 35/40/45... Offset etc etc. Till the end could'nt figure out the actual Offset for LXi. checked Aura D1455 Alloy (Stock Alloy for VXi) and that showed 45mm Offset. Could'nt accurately figure the Offset for LXi Steel Rims. JRD mentioned that 30 to
38 is ideal for LXi. Aura did not have anything exciting to offer. Finally decided to fix a Malaysian Alloy with 45mm Offset with Good Year Eagle NCT5 (185/65). Extracted a promise from the Tyre Dealer that if T-BHP disapproves the same, I will return for replacement (T-BHP meet was scheduled for the evening since Samurai was visiting). Anyway the alloy was one good looking piece. Sorry folks, no pics at the moment. Samurai took a snap and let me request him to post the same. Took the car out after change and difference was palpable. Car felt more stable and
comfortable. Met most Chennai BHP'ian for the first time... GTS, Esteem Lover, Slip Stream, Supreme Baleno, Headers, Samurai etc etc. Alloys had the approval of everyone. Samurai suggested that I keep the Offset between 35 to 40. I decided to check since I was driving to Pondycherry the next day.

Started for Pondicherry at 9 AM taking ECR. Drive was quite comfortable. Kept the speed below 100 kms and engine below 3000 RPM. Tubeless felt very comfortable. However, the road / tire noise was definitely higher and audible inside the cabin. Power was available on all the gears comfortably. Found 5th Gear with ease all the time. Steering felt a trifle heavy at all speeds. Lack of cubby holes was a minor irritant. Even M800 has handy slots for keeping coins etc. No apparent issue due to higher Offset. The wheel bay seem quite adequate and nothing seem to interfere with the wheel travel. Still not decided if the Alloys needs to be changed and
Offset reduced to between 35 - 40.

Am I happy with the Vehicle.... .
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Old 4th December 2006, 15:57   #2
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Nice review, Subbu.
I have posted a pic of your wheels on the Chennai meet thread.
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Old 4th December 2006, 17:14   #3
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Great buy Subbu. And to think Maruti is on the verge of discontinuing the Baleno just as the demand was beginning to pick up.

Vibes do filter to the gear lever but its not annoying. The gear box will get slicker with time though it won't be as slick as that on the zen. But its not too bad. The Baleno is not the most refined car around but its great value and a wonderful all-rounder. You get power, comfort, a good ride, decent handling and super economy(both fuel and maintenance) for a price that is not very much higher than the Esteem VXi and cheaper than all the other cars in its segment.
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Old 4th December 2006, 18:41   #4
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Second 150 kms

Sunday evening I drove back from Pondy to Chennai. I started around 5 PM from Pondy and the drive till Pudhupatinam was ethreal. It was a near full moon and the back waters here and there had both a eerie as well as a soft tone. Stuck to less than 2500 RPM and 90 kms Speed.

The road, being quite narrow, was'nt half interesting as driving during the day time. Added to that are the following irritations on the road by people who simply lack any grey cells.

1. Cycles / Mopeds with no reflectors and you see them at the last moment.
2. Cars on the opposite side with full beam. Drivers who will not even dip when approaching close. (I have every mind to fix a 1 million candle light high power focus lamp on the roof of my car and zap the daylights out these morons)
3. Sumo's and Ambassadors driven by psychopath's who push you to the shoulder with impunity.
4. Steel Barriers placed by Police with not one policeman in the vicinity. You have to reduce speed to the minimum and with no purpose served.

There is a very slight vibrations when crossing 80 kms and disappears immediately. Brake's felt very assuring.

I have started liking the slight stiffness in the steering. In fact, it feel reassuring and does'nt react to any jerk.
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Old 7th December 2006, 00:40   #5
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Excellent review Subbu.....I too own a baleno lxi and found tht there is lack of stowage area
Originally Posted by Subbu View Post
.......Lack of cubby holes was a minor irritant. Even M800 has handy slots for keeping coins etc. ......
Am I happy with the Vehicle.... .
Oh btw i think u should go ahead with upsize of tires.....though after upsizing u will notice the steering a lil more harder......

Last edited by hari_rama : 7th December 2006 at 00:41.
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Old 1st April 2007, 20:53   #6
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I could not find a new Baleno for sale so I'm settling on a used one. Any recommendations for extracting the best performance. I am concerned about FE, at least while I'm in the city, as I dont want to leave a large ecological footprint behind. BUT my foot gets nice and heavy when the front office views an open road ahead, and I like being the fastest guy on the road.

I'd like to know if there are any interesing mods (not alloy wheels) to maximise performance.
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Old 2nd April 2007, 13:24   #7
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what is this offset. i did not understand that.
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Old 2nd April 2007, 13:36   #8
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Subbu welcome to the fraternity .. If your gear lever is vibrating just get it checked by MASS .. Maybe the gear rod is touching the headers or something ..

Wizardofid - For performance you could start with a air filter , headers and then graduate to port/polish etc .. For more info on mods (performance) on the baleno check out iceman's and my gallery .. That should be of some help to you ..
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Old 9th July 2008, 12:02   #9
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@vivek, the thread's more than a year old now !
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