It took Maruti various models and several years to overcome its common man’s carmaker’s image, until it decided to segregate its premium range under the Nexa network. With a large proportion of hatchbacks in its portfolio, Maruti essentially catered to the price-conscious customer base until it rolled out Baleno to defy Hyundai Elite i20’s reign in the premium segment.
Taking the Baleno brand further, Maruti has added a sportier version of the hatchback, the Baleno RS with a more powerful engine and cosmetic touch ups for the performance enthusiasts. We got behind the driver’s seat to test its capabilities and performance at the Budh International Circuit in Greater Noida and here is what we think about the car.
Since it is a performance oriented car we will begin with its performance. The company has introduced its 1.0-litre Boosterjet petrol engine on the Baleno RS. Interestingly, it is the first turbo petrol engine from the company for the Indian market that has been tuned to put out 101bhp of maximum power and 150Nm of peak torque. The power figures might not impress you but we found it the best in terms of power to weight ratio in its segment.
Additionally, our test gave us a round top speed of 165kmph which is relatively less than its arch rival Volkswagen Polo GT TSI that also outnumbers it in 0 to 100kmph mark. The five-speed manual transmission is butter smooth, thanks to its agile nature. Read – Maruti Baleno RS Vs Maruti Baleno – How Different Are They From Each Other
Attributed to fast speed, this hot hatch gets a tweaked suspension set up that makes it very stable opposed to the standard model that is a bit bouncy. Another department in which Baleno RS stands out is the braking department with disc brakes in front and rear and ABS for additional dint.
Design & Interior Review
The Baleno RS stays true to the regular model in terms of proportions and shape, albeit Maruti has made some changes to reinforce the sporty flair. In the front, the headlamps receive black treatment, chrome grille and lip spoiler on the bumper. With minimal changes, the side profile remains largely same save for the black-finished alloy wheels and side skirts on the lower body for a sportier look. Read – Maruti Baleno RS – 5 Interesting Things To Know
The rear end too gets some new elements including the new dual-tone bumper and RS badge. It is identical to the regular model in terms of interior layout with similar all-black dashboard, steering unit and other features.
Should you buy it? Yes! In fact a big yes from us. We found the car highly impressive and recommend it to performance enthusiasts who are looking for a spacious hatchback under Rs 10 lakh with exciting driving capabilities and hassle free maintenance.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS
If you thought that the Baleno isn't exciting to drive, you should probably check out its RS version. With a more powerful engine, best-in-class power-to-weight ratio and some cool new features, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS can be a great product for people looking for a performance-oriented hatchback at a competitive price.