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Old 2nd July 2019, 22:14   #1
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Default Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

I booked the Baleno Delta 1.2 Petrol in November 2015 and have clocked 50,000 kms to date so this seems to be the right time to post a long-term ownership report.
Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some-car_sula.jpg

Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some-car_daman.jpg

What wife likes:
Well, my wife saw me writing this post and when I told her I am going to write an ownership review, she said write down what are my likes/dislikes first. So here we go.
  • Likes the front seats, both driver and passenger side. She finds them comfortable in the frequent long drives that we take.
  • Air conditioning cools the vehicle fast and Auto-ac works very well.
  • Vanity mirror is something that she loves more than the seatbelt, she never misses wearing the belts though.

What wife dislikes
  • Rear seats are not comfortable, she finds them lacking under thigh support plus a lot of pitching movement.
  • Center AC vents cannot be closed and she keeps pointing them towards me which makes me shiver.
  • The car is wide and she is never confidant driving it.
  • The clutch has a sharp bite point making it easy to stall the car.

Now its my turn

What I like:
  • Excellent city commuter, decent highway performance. Can cruise at 3-digit speeds all day long (early 3 digits).
  • Feature loaded. The Delta model has all the must haves that you would require from a vehicle.
  • One of the first cars in India to launch dual airbags and ABS standard across all the variants.
  • Very spacious, 5 people sit flat out without anyone being cramped either in shoulder width or on leg room.
  • Best in class air conditioning. No other competitor has such an amazing AC. I remember I went to the showroom and told the SA that i20 has rear ac vents and Baleno doesnt. He replied that i20 needs them, Baleno doesn't. More on that later.
  • The 1.2 liter petrol is such an amazing engine. Loves to rev, good mid-range, decent low-end torque. It is the best 1.2 NA petrol in India hands down. Do try revving the engine whenever you get your hands on this car just to hear the engine note.
  • Its a Maruti at the end of the day so I am not sure I should even mention fuel efficiency. The car gives me around 14.5kmpl in Mumbai traffic with AC always on and traffic which makes me cover around 23kms in around 1hr 30 mins on my daily office drives. Highways I generally get around 17-18 kmpl.
  • Steering calibrated for city driving, super light and makes maneuvering this wide vehicle a breeze in traffic. Weighs up decently when gaining speeds.
  • Very easy to find the perfect driving position, the availability of tilt steering makes getting the driving position even better.
  • Sorted ergonomics, everything falls right where it should be and easy to use controls. You do not need to take your eyes off the roads for quite a lot of features.
  • Lots of cubby holes to keep your stuff.

What I do not like:
  • There is so much part sharing with other Marutis that I do not understand how is this a premium offering. I mean if Nexa is supposed to be premium, then car should be premium and not only the Showroom. It is simply a bigger Swift.
  • With so much leg room on offer, Maruti could have easily given some decent under thigh support for the seats.
  • Head room in the rear is also a bit tight. My height for reference is 5'10" yet my hair brushes the roof liner.
  • As good as the AC might be, when you just have 4 vents up front to cool the entire car, temperature difference in front and rear is bound to crop up. Rear AC vents are sorely missed and it lets down the Auto-AC mode which otherwise would have just been perfect.
  • The sheet metal quality of the outer body leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Though the steering weighs up decently as the speeds go up, there is no feedback.
  • 1.2 litre is a gem of an engine no doubt, but load up 5 people and luggage and a small engine shows its limitations. Lots of downshifts needed to pick up speed, the positive here is that the engine note is so good, that you would love to rev it to 4-5k rpm just to hear that sound.
  • The clutch has a sharp bite point making it easy to stall the car. Also because of its short nature, uphill starts require a lot of high revving and clutch slipping.
  • Bulbous design and light weight affects stability during cross winds.
  • Small glovebox which cannot hold anything other than the leather pouch for the owner book.

Last edited by puneetakhouri : 9th July 2019 at 13:01.
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Old 2nd July 2019, 22:37   #2
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Default re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

Some background about me
So I am a software engineer working in Mumbai since 2011. Since my father is a car dealer, my younger brother and myself were exposed to cars very early in our lives. So much so that a lot of our growing up days, we would spend time in my father's friend's garage where the cars my dad purchased would be repaired. And we loved it there! In fact we are so much into cars that even today when I talk to my dad and have to tell him about how intense is the rainfall in Mumbai, I explain it to him in wiper speeds , ohh and I am 31 years old right now .


Buying decision
Cars in Mumbai are more of a liability than an asset. Add to it a fairly decent public transport system, one can easily go without buying a car and that is what I did for the first 4 years of my working life. My first company had office bus facility and I would hop in and sleep. On the days when I would miss the transport, the BEST buses would do the job and things went fine. When I switched job in 2015 October, the new company had no office transport. I was ok traveling by BEST, but to get a LIMITED bus (which have limited stops), I had to walk half a kilometer to and from my office. Add to it the October heat (hottest month in Mumbai is October and not May/June), I was always tempted to get a car for myself. Also I got a handsome leave encashment amount from my previous company, and a 6 digit bank balance was something that was acting as a catalyst for this urge of mine. Earlier my bank balance had been a deterrent and a good one it had been.

The final nail in the coffin
So a couple of things I should mention about Mumbai.
  • Mumbai is known for its good public transport.
  • Mumbai is known for its friendly and nice people.
  • Mumbai is also known for its open manholes and broken pavements.
So for my journey to and from office, I had to switch buses. I got down from one bus and was walking to the other bus stop for the next leg of my journey when I saw a bus arriving. And I did what every Mumbaikar does when they see a bus or train arriving at the stop- I ran. I would be merely 20-30 feet from the bus when I jumped from the pavement to the road in front of the bus stop and suddenly heard a crack. My left leg landed on a damaged manhole cover and the ankle twisted. I was down on my knees in pain when a good Samaritan came forward and helped me get up on my feet. I requested him to kindly stop a rickshaw for me and told the rickshaw driver to drop me home. Since I stayed alone, I also had to buy the crepe bandage and relispray myself on my way home. I will save you the pics of my injured foot.

Since I was not going to be in the office for a couple of days, I had a lot of time to think. My parents also gave me a go ahead this time that go ahead and get a car. Although we had plenty of cars while I grew up, this was going to be the first car which would be registered on my name.

Requirements
  • Daily drive to office so should be a good city car with light controls.
  • Fuel efficient to keep running costs low.
  • Reliable to support my impromptu trips and not leave me stranded on the middle of the road.
  • As feature loaded as I can get. Why not!
  • At least a dual airbag setup. ABS also a must.
  • Mile muncher with ease for those Goa trips.

Cost Considerations
I did some mental calculations regarding my running and the number of kilometres I was expecting to cover annually was around 12-15k. Also I planned to keep the car for around 5 years so the obvious choice was petrol. Although I loved the torque surge of the turbo diesels, I still preferred the silence and refinement of a petrol engine over a diesel. Plus having talked to my dad and his friends, came to know that all your savings on diesel will vanish the moment if/ever the diesel engine or the turbo needs a build. So this confirmed one part of the decision - petrol it was going to be.
Then I started looking into how much I can afford to pay. I calculated that after a downpayment of maybe 1-1.5 lacs, I do not want to spend more than 20k per month on the car including EMI, petrol, insurance and periodic maintenance. So this brought my purchase budget to somewhere around 6.5-7.5 lacs on-road.


Cars Considered
Apologies if my opinion on some car is a bit offending.

Hyundai Elite i20
I used to stay in Chembur at that point of time and the Hyundai showroom was 2 mins walk from my home at Diamond Garden. I went there and was promptly attended to. I wanted to check out the Elite i20 because it is a very good looking car. Also before the Baleno's arrival, i20 was the blue-eyed boy of the premium hatchback segment. Some observations about it:
Likes
  • It definitely looks very good. Everybody likes it.
  • Premium interiors. The interiors really look worthy of a premium hatchback. Right from the colour combination of the interiors to the quality of materials used was very good.
  • Well built inside out. With decent features on offer and a good boot.
  • Hyundai is second only to Maruti in After Sales Service.
  • The body feels tight if I may call it. I do not know how to explain it but the body felt rigid which was very good. Maybe a good chassis.

Dislikes
  • Gosh! that steering. No offence to i20 owners but the 2015 i20 has one of the worst steerings I ever laid my hands upon. No weight, no feedback, strong urge to re-center. The weight at 20kmph or 120kmph is just the same, and that is extremely unnerving.
  • Although the SA got me a TD first in the diesel car which I liked as it was very driveable. I told him to bring the petrol home for a TD which he did a couple of days later. The 1.2 liter engine feels so under-powered in that heavy shell. It would slow down to 20kmph in 3rd but would take ages to reach 40kmph.
  • Hyundai petrols are not very generous on fuel-efficiency. A fellow i20 owner said his car gave around 10kmpl in Mumbai. I did not want to spend 300/- per day on fuel for my office trips of 40kms.

Volkswagen Polo
Polo is such an endearing car and it is hard not to consider it. But I had a talk with my then boss, a fellow BHPian @sumithb , who had purchased an XUV 500 recently about his views. He was very clear in his thoughts, he said I love the Polo but I would never buy a VW simply because of its poor after sales service. This thing kept on lingering at the back of my mind continuously.
Likes
  • Timeless design, looked good 5 years back, looks good today as well.
  • A very well built car right from the exterior paint quality to interior components.
  • Generous boot size which can take in quite a bit of luggage.
  • A very good steering with proper weight and feedback.
  • Suspension on the softer side, good for city driving.

Dislikes
  • The moment I got out of the driving seat and sat just behind the driver's seat, the vehicle was almost 90% rejected mentally. This is an impractical car if one wishes to drive with somebody sitting at the back.
  • The overall boolean ownership experience of VW owners. Many are very happy if the car works well, but the moment one has to interact with the Service centers, the entire experience comes crashing down. The reliability issue with the Germans is a concern.
  • Why to settle with a 3-cylinder 1.2 NA petrol when I can get a 4-cylinder NA petrol at the same price :P

Ford Figo
Wasan Ford in Chembur was near my place and I went there to check the car out. I talked to the lady on the reception and she didn't even look upto me while she was talking. I guess my casual attire then would have got her thinking that the guy is simply looking for vehicles but nothing serious. This kind of hurt me, but I still talked to an SA who promised to come to my place with a petrol Figo the coming weekend. In the meantime, he also showed me the demo car standing outside.
Likes
  • Its a Ford, we have a couple of Fords at home so there is always this soft corner towards a Ford for me.
  • Decent space with decent boot size on offer.
  • The diesel engine was a good city commuter with power available on demand.
  • Feature loaded and cheaper than the rivals.

Dislikes
  • It does not feel like a Ford. Having driven Fiesta and Ikon for so long, I am certain it does not feel like a Ford.
  • I loathe that weird infotainment system design. To anybody who cannot recollect, remember that old Ecosport with the numpads and everything. It felt so complicated.
  • Somehow there was absolutely no connect. Even now when I am writing this, I have to think hard about why I rejected it. It simply didn't click at all.

Honda Jazz
Likes
  • Woah! this is called space. Super spacious vehicle.
  • Even though Honda is not what it used to be, it still is above others. The interiors definitely feel premium.
  • Those magic seats! Sad I could not afford a driver back then.
  • Refinement and the name Honda petrol go hand in hand. No exceptions here.

Dislikes
  • Way overpriced than its competitors.
  • Power on offer even though greater than rivals, seemed to exist only on paper. Real world experience was pretty ordinary. It feels slow.
  • That van like look!

Tata Zest
By far my best experience at the showroom was at the Tata showroom in Chembur. The Sales guy was welcoming, he answered all my questions and immediately got us a petrol Zest for a TD.
Likes
  • When you talk of Tata, you don't talk of space. Tata is known for it. Even Nano has lots of it.
  • A really comfortable car with a good solid built feel.
  • The sport mode definitely makes the engine more driveable.

Dislikes
  • Was not sure about a petrol engine from Tata. Although it was a non-turbo Revotron, it was still not very old at that point of time.
  • Too many horror stories from TASS.
  • The taxi impression that the car brings. I was afraid it would be more adopted by the taxi segment than by private owners.

Some honorable mentions

Tata Safari Dicor
I mean come on! Who does not think of buying a Tata Safari. It was a dream car for every kid growing up in the 90s. Dicor was about to be replaced by the Storme so they had some mouth watering discounts. I was so tempted that I was willing to give up all my financial considerations just to own one of these. But my dad brought me back to my senses.

Harley Davidson Street 750
I rode the Harley belonging to one of my friends and thought why not a bike instead. My parents were dead against my decision. My dad explained to me that a guy who buys a Harley already has a car or maybe two sitting in his garage. Do you have one? Although I am sure I would not have got this even if they had agreed, but it still was all around me.

Last edited by puneetakhouri : 9th July 2019 at 09:57.
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Old 4th July 2019, 20:41   #3
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Default re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

Enter the Baleno
So the Baleno was launched mid October and there was a lot of frenzy around it. Had heard about the project YRA (Team-BHP Scoop Pics! Maruti YRA / Fronx Hatchback, uncamouflaged!)from Tbhp so was definitely eager to check it out. So after recovering from my ankle injury by last week of October, I decided to check out the Baleno at the Sai Service Nexa Lower Parel showroom. I got a couple of my friends to accompany me to provide varied opinion on the car. When we reached the showroom, I could not find the car, all I could see was a group of people looking onto something totally covering it from all the sides. I went in and we found the group looking at the Baleno.

First Observations
  • The car looked good. I still think that the gap between the front grill and headlights filled by the bumper look a bit awkward, but still overall a decent looking car.
  • Acres of space! It was also accentuated by the fact that the rear bench has poor under thigh support so the leg room looked even larger.
  • The angle between the dashboard and the front windshield is so acute that the IRVM kind of creates a blind spot of its own.

Pricing
I talked to the SA after the TD about the price that it would go for on-road. He said the Delta petrol would be approx 7.0 lacs on-road. But I would have to take insurance from them and their financing guy from HDFC would help me out. I asked for some discounts and he looked at me and smiled and said, Sir the car is selling like hotcakes, I won't be able to offer even mudflaps complimentary right now.
On road price - 7 lacs.
Insurace - 24k zero dep for one year. (I should have bargained on this).
Financing - Ex showroom price of 5,97,000/- @ 8.xx%(I forgot the xx part).
Accessories - Lamination + mud flaps + door visors + door side strip = 7000/- approx.

Booking Process
One of my concerns was that a TBhp official review was not out and I wanted to go over it before I finalize. But the SA had told me that the booking would be cancelled if I wanted to "No Questions Asked".
I went home and talked to my parents. My dad said that since it is a Maruti, chances are that not a lot will go wrong with it even though it is a very new offering. I always knew that a new customer is the guinea pig for the car manufacturers to niggle out issues, but since this was a Maruti, I expected the niggles to be far and few and to be sorted out no questions asked.

I talked to the SA whom I had talked to the first day about going ahead with the booking. He said that I need to book the car by paying a DD/Cheque/NEFT in favour of the dealer for 11,000/- following which he would book the car for me and let me know when it is allotted to me.

I made the booking on 1st November 2015 and was told that I should get the car within 2 months if I decide to go ahead with the Premium Silver. For Ray Blue it could take around 4 months. So Premium Silver it was going to be.

The dealer booked my request with Maruti and I promptly received an sms from Maruti about the same, and the waiting began. I also told him that I will take the car along with the registration and not with a temporary number.

The wait is finally over
And the wait got over just the day when my patience was going to get over. I had decided that if I do not get the car by December end, I would cancel the booking and look at something else. In the morning of 31st December 2015, I received the sms from VAAHAN that a number has been allotted to my vehicle. I immediately called up the SA and he said to come and take the delivery in the evening.

The Delivery Process
I took my friend along and we went to take the car. I was told to wait while the SA brought and put my car in the display area where the door visors and side strips were being fitted. The lamination was done and looked ok. The car really looks amazing in those studio type lights they have in the display area.
Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some-img20160101wa0009.jpg

The SA provided me all the documents in a leather pouch which looks good.
Was handed a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates after I performed the Aarti.
Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some-img20160101wa0006.jpg

The car was the talk of the town for its looks back then so I would get occasionally stopped on road by people asking about it, even Fortuner and A-Class owners. I would be lying if I say I did not love that!

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Old 4th July 2019, 21:31   #4
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Default re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

Tragedy Strikes the Second day of Ownership
So while backing up in my basement parking the next day with my cousins sitting, I had gotten so used to being a passenger in the car that I forgot that I am a driver. So I was chatting with them and reversing slowly till the car hit something and stopped itself . It was a pillar that I hit and the result was this.
Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some-bumper_scratch.jpg
I was heartbroken and was literally pulling my hair out while my cousins were giggling. They said that it is like a nazar ka teeka so now don't worry nothing else would happen. I am not sure how much their saying this helped but I was ok.
Later I was introspecting why did it happen and why couldn't I see or hear the pillar behind. I observed that the if the music system is turned on at high volume, then it drowns the parking sensor sounds. And that is what happened with me. It would be good if Maruti could preset the music system volume to maybe 5 while reversing or mute it altogether.

The Drive
The 1.2 liter engine in this light body is a match made in heaven. It makes the car very sprightly and quick off the line. The engine is silent and none of the vibrations creep into the car. I personally think one of the best ways to see if a car is silent is to check how many people have cranked a running car. My friends and a couple of valets have cranked up the car even when it was on. Now I make it a point to either point them out that the car is running, or turn it off. There is absolutely no sound or vibration inside the cabin and apart from the tachometer there is no way to figure out if the engine is still running.
The 3rd gear can pick up right from the 20kmph and goes up just fine. Sudden accelerations demand a downshift which bring the engine upto around 2500 RPM and that is when the car feels eager to leap. Add to it the sweet sounding engine makes that revving very pleasing. The engine is also very fuel efficient and easily returns over 14kmpl in Mumbai dense traffic conditions.
Baleno also cruises very decently on the highways and is easily able to maintain triple digit speeds. It does get affected by cross winds but holds the line very well. The 2017 and later Balenos which come quipped with the softer suspension setup have body roll and the handling isn't as good as it used to be. But considering the fact that it is primarily a city car, this softer setup does help in day to day drives a lot.

Suspension Review
So the 2015 and 2016 Baleno owners including myself had a complain that the ride was very stiff. I mean I have driven a Fiesta/Swift and even they are slightly on the stiffer side but Baleno was at a different level. I would exaggerate it and go on to say it was sports car level stiff. I personally found the ride so bone jarring that I remembered each and very pothole and expansion joint and road level difference on my entire office to home stretch. Also because the car is light, the rear moved out if you encounter a pothole or undulation while cornering. It was indeed very pleasurable when I took the car upto Lonavala and Chorla ghats, but day to day drive was very painful.
Then heard that Maruti is changing the suspension as a goodwill gesture and the owners are finding it really very good. They were not recalling the cars but if anybody approached them, they would replace it for that car. So after covering 25000kms on stock suspension, got them replaced in November 2017 after 2 years of purchase. Dropped an email to Nexa regarding the suspension stiffness. Within two days, received a call from Sai Service Nexa CRM that please come with your car after 2 days and get them replaced.

Post Suspension Change
Oh what a relief it is! The ride quality has improved so much. Earlier the undulations or expansion joints that I would slow down on are so unnoticeable now. But the body roll has drastically increased and so is the nose dive. Also because the seats lack side bolstering, driving across turns would throw the driver out of the seat, but the car holds its line well.

One more problem with the suspension is that it creates a noise more than the actual impact felt. So when you hit a joint or a pothole on one tyre, the noise would be such as if something broke, but your body would barely feel a jerk. The NVH could have been better.

AC Review
The AC unit on the Baleno has to be class leading. It cools the car instantly irrespective of the temperature outside. The auto-AC also works very well and brings the temp down instantly. The blower is also silent in the first 2 speeds, gets slightly audible up 3-4 and gets loud on full blast. However, you can still talk even if it runs on full. The biggest shortcoming is the absence of rear AC vents. My SA was wrong, the Baleno does need rear vents. On a normal day I set the AC on auto mode at 25 degrees and it works fine when we are two people in the car. The blowers run at 1-2 speeds and things are fine. But if somebody is sitting at the back, they find the airflow lacking and request to increase the cooling. So you eventually have to switch from auto mode to manual mode and increase the blower level to maybe 3-4 and then they are comfortable. This would not have been the case if rear vents were present. Maybe in some face-lift going forward.
Also whenever the AC kicks in, it can be felt in the performance of the vehicle.

Brakes
Baleno has front disc, rear drum setup except for the RS where the rear is disc as well. The brakes have a spongy feel to it but they do what they are supposed to do, nothing fancy there. Also the weight of the car is very front biased, so I am not sure even with rear disc brakes, how much difference would it make. But the area of braking department where the Baleno shines is the ABS configuration. The ABS is so well calibrated that it never interferes in your regular day to day hard braking situations. It triggers very late and hence you have better predictability when it comes to braking.

Tyre Review
Delta comes shod with MRF ZVTV 185/65R15 tyres. All the wheels including the spare are at the same configuration so you can perform a 5-tyre rotation instead of a 4-tyre one as in the higher Baleno models like Alpha and Zeta. The tyres last long and even now with 50k kms on them in 3.5 years, they still have over 4.5mm of tread depth left. The braking is ok and the grip levels are good in dry conditions as well as wet conditions. What they lack is noise control. There is a lot of tyre noise which gets accentuated by the concrete roads of Mumbai. I get them rotated and balanced every 10k kms and they have even wear and tear all around. I will replace them soon with XM2s probably, but they have served well as long as they have lasted.

NVH Review
If a truck is beside me moving or standing stationary, my hands automatically go to the power window switches expecting the windows to be slightly open and feeling I should close them. The road noise also creeps in a lot at speeds, I think it has to do with the tyres as well so I cannot really put the blame entirely on the NVH, maybe a tyre change will help me decide. In short the NVH is poor, there is a lot of outside noise of every form creeping into the cabin.

After Sales Service Review
The Japs have always been reliable, and this one is no different. Apart for the suspension change and the periodic services, I have never had to visit the service centers for any reason. The Nexa service centers are fantastic in aesthetics and the staff is pleasant. But I don't think it is any different from any other Maruti service in any other way. The SAs will make sure that they fix anything that is bothering you, but the small niggles or small things like rattles, wiper nozzle adjustment, etc, you will have to point out while getting your car delivered or will be left untended to. They have so many cars to look into and the Service Centers are always full, so the small things are something they never look at. I make it a point to call them 2 or 3 hours after giving my car to tighten up the dashboard and body pads, etc as mentioned in the User Manual. Also my car has a couple of scratches given to it at the Service Centers itself, they apologise for the same but still request you to give them 10/10 rating when Maruti calls for feedback.

Baleno requires servicing every 10k kms and each service costs approx 4500-6000/-. Parts are not expensive, the K12B petrol takes in 3.5 litres of 0w20 grade oil. It costs around 1500/- for the semi-synthetic one and 3500/- for 0w40 fully synthetic one. Service Advisors also try to put in a lot of unnecessary stuff like AC maintenance for 4500/-, germ-clean, etc while preparing the job card which you need to explicitly tell them to remove.

The Elephant of the Room - Build Quality
If we talk of the Baleno and we do not talk of the build quality, then that conversation is not complete. I personally think that the build quality is not just about whether the outer body flexes with the thumb or not. I feel it is about the way in which the car has been put up in totality.

Baleno has been put up decently, but the materials used is where the cost has been cut. The plastics are cheap, the parts are shared, the outer sheet metal is paper thin, but the overall fit and finish of these materials is not bad.
I mean would you believe it if I tell you that my Maruti DOES NOT RATTLE even after being driven for 50k kms! But this is a fact, it does not rattle and runs super silently chugging along the traffic and potholes and everything I throw at it. I take a 5km stretch of road via New Zealand Hostel in Aarey Forest in Mumbai where there is no road. I have to do this to save 30 minutes in my commute over the road with good tarmac. Have been doing this everyday for the past 1 year and yet my car does not rattle.

In an effort to make the vehicle lighter, they have cut down the weight from one of the most obvious parts of a car - the sheet metal. The sheet metal quality is definitely not India friendly. You can get a dent from anything, and I literally mean anything. My car has a dent when a Polo nicked the right rear door with its ORVM. The Polo ORVM did not show any crack or scratch, but Baleno got a dent. You need to be a cautious driver when you drive in traffic because it does not matter who hits whom, the loser will always be the Baleno owner.


Final Verdict
The car-owner relationship is a very give and take one. You take care of it and it takes care of you. It is when this balance is not maintained that the ownership either remains sweet or turns sour. With a Maruti, simple timely services are all that you need to maintain a sweet relationship with your vehicle.

Baleno is a Jack, it can do everything others can do. Yet while others remain masters in one department and weak in some others, Baleno tries to be balanced on almost all fronts.

For me, owning the Baleno has been an amazing experience filled with lots of memories that we made together. Many more to come!!
Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some-ltd.jpg

Last edited by puneetakhouri : 9th July 2019 at 13:26.
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Old 10th July 2019, 09:37   #5
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Long-Term Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10th July 2019, 11:02   #6
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

Thanks for sharing the detailed review, Puneet.

You have pointed out some valid points that, I believe, are consistent with the other Nexa offerings as well, especially the Ignis. I'll be comparing a couple of these points that I strongly resonate with:

1. The strong clutch bite. No matter how slowly you release the clutch, the car will jerk a little; at worse, it stalls. I thought only I was facing this problem, but it looks like it is consistent with the 1.2-liter mill. Tried getting it fixed twice at the A.S.S, but to no avail.

2. The under-thigh support at the rear is pathetic. As you said, that makes the legroom look healthy. And, I am comparing this to the previous-gen Wagon R.

Good to hear that the rattles have not crept in yet despite you frequently driving off the tarmac. Wishing you many more happy miles!
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Old 10th July 2019, 13:23   #7
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

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Originally Posted by satrikon_454 View Post
Thanks for sharing the detailed review, Puneet.

You have pointed out some valid points that, I believe, are consistent with the other Nexa offerings as well, especially the Ignis. I'll be comparing a couple of these points that I strongly resonate with:

1. The strong clutch bite. No matter how slowly you release the clutch, the car will jerk a little; at worse, it stalls. I thought only I was facing this problem, but it looks like it is consistent with the 1.2-liter mill. Tried getting it fixed twice at the A.S.S, but to no avail.

2. The under-thigh support at the rear is pathetic. As you said, that makes the legroom look healthy. And, I am comparing this to the previous-gen Wagon R.

Good to hear that the rattles have not crept in yet despite you frequently driving off the tarmac. Wishing you many more happy miles!
Thanks Satrikon! Even I am surprised my car does not rattle in spite of the abuse it has to take. Also I think a lot depends on the driving style as well, some people just roll over the bad sections, while I always slow down and maybe that helped me.

You made a good comparison with a Wagon R. I forgot to add that in my post but if anybody has ever sat on the rear seats of the Wagon R, they would know how the Baleno's seats are. Definitely not premium!
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Old 10th July 2019, 14:46   #8
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

That is a well written experience Puneet, Its heartening to know that your steed is serving you well and you are loving it .
I am in the same age zone myself and almost took the plunge to buy the Dicor in 2010. Dicor has always been the dream car of our generation.
Although I bought the XUV 500 for its practicality in 2015 however that itch was always there whenever I used to see a Dicor or a Storme.
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Old 10th July 2019, 21:51   #9
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

Very well written review.

Baleno is a a very spacious car, there is no two thought about it. The engine too is a gem. It is a beautiful looking car with right proportions.

The only complain I have is that the rear door grab handle hits you on the head when it pass through a large bump or a pothole. I feel it is very dangerous. Is this issue common? Not sure whether suspension is an issue. Its a 2018 model.
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Old 11th July 2019, 09:18   #10
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

Loved the review Puneet. It was detailed, comprehensive and very well articulated (and must have taken you a while to compile I'm sure!).
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Old 11th July 2019, 09:42   #11
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

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Originally Posted by puneetakhouri View Post
Now its my turn

What I like:[list][*]Excellent city commuter, decent highway performance. Can cruise at 3-digit speeds all day long (early 3 digits).[*]Feature loaded. The Delta model has all the must haves that you would require from a vehicle.
.....
Congrats on the new purchase. The Baleno is a good all rounder and one of the nicer cars in the segment. Gets good features, warranty, hassle-free servicing and a total fuss-free ownership.

I know many people who are absolutely happy with the car. Keep it up and wishing you many more kms with the Baleno.
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Old 11th July 2019, 10:29   #12
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

Nice review, Puneet! I have owned the Baleno for almost 2 years and I love the car. The free-revving engine and slick gearbox are a pleasure!

It took me a bit of time to start liking the car, what with the hate, the "Tin-can" tag all over the internet and on the forums. However, I understand everything on the internet is exaggerated and so is this!

My car has clocked about 22k and is absolutely rattle free in spite of the roads that I drive on, in Bangalore.

There are some small niggles, like brake noise from the rear drums (especially in the mornings when the mechanicals haven't heated up), noisy suspension etc. But no show stoppers and the car is a pleasure to drive. The steering is well weighted up to 120 kmph and gets dramatically light and nervous after that.

Wishing you many more miles and do keep the thread updated with more pictures.
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Old 11th July 2019, 11:04   #13
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

Excellent ownership report. The point that wives like the vanity mirror more than the seat belt is a life reality everyone would agree. I do not have a Baleno but can tell you one thing regarding the parts sharing and that is although you may feel being generalized by not being offered exclusive trim or parts in a nexa channel premium offering but you will understand the benefit of this once the car ages.

If you keep the car for long which is more than 5-7 years you will see following benefits of having shared parts
1. Easier availability all the time with dealers no matter how rarely replaced a part may be
2. Cheaper, since production is mass across all cars using them
3. If you are in a remote place where Baleno isn't a regularly sold car but one of the other cars with which baleno has a parts sharing is, then you are saved as otherwise remote service center would need to order and get the parts for you or politely ask you to compromise and use stop gap arrangements until you reach a city.
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Old 11th July 2019, 23:29   #14
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

A very detailed write-up there, mate. I'm particularly impressed with your honest and straightforward opinion about intricate aspects of the car.

Do consider posting some nice pictures as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by puneetakhouri View Post
But the body roll has drastically increased and so is the nose dive. Also because the seats lack side bolstering, driving across turns would throw the driver out of the seat, but the car holds its line well.
Surprisingly, I find Baleno's front seats to be very comfortable and supportive. Apart from Jazz, I don't think any other car in the segment has such good (front) seats. And I'm almost as tall as you, so why this difference in opinion?
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Old 12th July 2019, 12:59   #15
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Default Re: Maruti Baleno 50,000 km ownership report - Jack of all trades, master of some

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Originally Posted by ShivrajG View Post
That is a well written experience Puneet, Its heartening to know that your steed is serving you well and you are loving it .
I am in the same age zone myself and almost took the plunge to buy the Dicor in 2010. Dicor has always been the dream car of our generation.
Although I bought the XUV 500 for its practicality in 2015 however that itch was always there whenever I used to see a Dicor or a Storme.
Thanks Shivraj. Yeah the Baleno has been serving me very well. I think when deciding between a Safari and some other car, it's always the heart that points to the Safari while the head to the other car that makes more sense. Looking at the sales of Safari for all these years, seems head is winning over the heart by a huge margin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCar View Post
Very well written review.

The only complain I have is that the rear door grab handle hits you on the head when it pass through a large bump or a pothole. I feel it is very dangerous. Is this issue common? Not sure whether suspension is an issue. Its a 2018 model.
Thanks DrCar. I think it is not the suspension but the placement of the rear door grab handle. But I have seen quite a few other cars with a similar placement. Maybe, you can tell the driver to go slow over the breakers or bumps so that the rear passengers do no jump too much

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Congrats on the new purchase. The Baleno is a good all rounder and one of the nicer cars in the segment. Gets good features, warranty, hassle-free servicing and a total fuss-free ownership.

I know many people who are absolutely happy with the car. Keep it up and wishing you many more kms with the Baleno.
Thanks BlackWasp. Yeah the ownership is totally fuss free. Owning the Baleno is kind of boring because of its reliability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Added_flavor View Post
Nice review, Puneet! I have owned the Baleno for almost 2 years and I love the car. The free-revving engine and slick gearbox are a pleasure!

There are some small niggles, like brake noise from the rear drums (especially in the mornings when the mechanicals haven't heated up), noisy suspension etc. But no show stoppers and the car is a pleasure to drive. The steering is well weighted up to 120 kmph and gets dramatically light and nervous after that.

Wishing you many more miles and do keep the thread updated with more pictures.
Thanks ! I also used to have a brake grinding noise earlier but it has disappeared suddenly. I hold the same opinion about the steering that it gets very light above 120kmph. But I do not think overall that Baleno is a car that should be taken beyond 120kmph at all. It is easier said than done, but the drive post that anyways is not confidence inspiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
Excellent ownership report. The point that wives like the vanity mirror more than the seat belt is a life reality everyone would agree. I do not have a Baleno but can tell you one thing regarding the parts sharing and that is although you may feel being generalized by not being offered exclusive trim or parts in a nexa channel premium offering but you will understand the benefit of this once the car ages.
Thanks Sai. While I do understand the benefits of part sharing and have even benefited from it when my rear bumper clip broke and it cost me just 190/- in MASS to get it replaced! I still feel that it does not do justice to the "premium" tag that Maruti is giving these cars. Maybe, all the Nexa cars could have shared parts amongst themselves rather than with a Celerio. When I sit in any of my colleagues Hyundai, it feels so premium. Even the Polo feels class and I miss that on my premium Baleno.

Quote:
Originally Posted by self_driven View Post
A very detailed write-up there, mate. I'm particularly impressed with your honest and straightforward opinion about intricate aspects of the car.

Do consider posting some nice pictures as well.

Surprisingly, I find Baleno's front seats to be very comfortable and supportive. Apart from Jazz, I don't think any other car in the segment has such good (front) seats. And I'm almost as tall as you, so why this difference in opinion?
Thanks! Will post pictures on the thread soon. While I do find the seats very comfortable and even with 14 hours of continuous drive I never suffered any backache or any other stuff, I find the side bolstering a bit less to my taste. Especially after the suspension change when the body roll has increased, I kind of slip out of the seat when taking a sharp turn at speeds. Maybe it is the speed, maybe it is my seat covers but something is not spot on. I took a self-drive XUV to Goa and on Chorla ghats, even with that body roll, I felt supported on my seats and that is something I am missing here.
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