Used Maruti Suzuki Baleno – forget bling, own the real thing

If you want performance and functionality more than the aesthetics, Maruti Baleno is the superb used car buy.

The European looking Baleno was the first launch from Maruti Suzuki India ltd in the period of 5 years, which oversaw only minor face-lifting. The car was positioned as the Indian giant’s answer to the global players like Ford with its desi- Ikon and Hyundai with its localized Accent. Noteworthy was the growing maturity of the Indian markets and its customer who no more wanted a car just for transportation but to traditional three boxes.

Back in those days and still Maruti is still the largest manufacturer of cars in the Indian context. The offering made by Maruti in the form of Maruti 1000 was the very 1st of its kind to be proposed to the public, in times of the great Padmini’s and Ambassadors. Then followed Esteem and the Baleno. While Esteem was dubbed as a basic sedan, Baleno was positioned as up-market brand in Maruti’s line-up and targeted towards upper-middle class of the society. Unfortunately though the Baleno has not been on the top of the charts as many pundits would like us to believe, it can be attributed to it s somber looks coupled with steep pricing strategy that was adopted. The price tag of almost Rs 7, 00,000, the Baleno was never meant for mass impact. Some of the marketers at the automakers opined that they got it all wrong with the pricing strategy, whereas some other food the styling the main culprit as according to them it was not tuned to Indian taste.

The new Baleno costed a bomb in its initial days with the astronomical figure of Rs 6, 70,000 which left the masses perplexed. Gradually prices have come down over the years and the cost of spares have come down to as low as half. A used Maruti Baleno price is almost around Rs 5, 00,000 which is competing directly with the likes of the Honda City, Hyundai Accent, Ford Ikon, Maruti Esteem and, Mitsubishi Lancer The particularly expensive affair in Baleno used to be its body work. However corrective measure were undertaken by Maruti by rectifying the servicing costs. Considering a used Maruti Baleno, the condenser is a major component that has to be looked  into as its validity lasts for 50,000 km and the replacement is fairly costly at around Rs 13,000. The ground clearance of Maruti Baleno is particularly low, which require an under-body check-up. The suspension is famed for holding its fort for almost 70,000 km although some repairs maybe periodically needed. Other most likely replacements include regular parts like brake pads, tyres, fuel pump and the clutch.  Each service of Baleno costs approximately Rs 3,500 and must be done at an interval of 5,000 km.

The reputation of Maruti for its reliability personified is taken to all together different level by the Baleno with its bullet-proof 1.6-litre, 94bhp unit engine. The Baleno scores well on the mileage side considering the sheer size of its engine and the weight that it has to carry around. It gives an overall mileage of 11 kpl, which by any standards is decent. The gearbox is nicely spaced to let the driver enjoy the five-speed for all the 94 bhp worth under the hood. Both on the highway and in during rush hour, drivability of the Baleno is good. The Baleno scores more than average on account of its suspensions, with the assembly’s lasting for more than 70,000 km without being overhauled or a need to be repaired. The suspension doesn’t get unsettled or rattled and works decently well taking all kinds of surfaces it is thrown at.

The used Maruti Suzuki Baleno is one amongst the best put-together Maruti’s breed in today’s market. The quality of its build up is simply brilliant with a styling that is no non sense. It is devoid of any rattles and squeaks that ordinary 50,000km cars will have. The Baleno can also boast of a well performing and a reliable chassis.

The interiors of the second hand Maruti Baleno are not something to talk about, as it is plain ordinary to say the least. The quality level of the plastic that has been used for the interior aesthetics of the car doesn’t match to the expectation of a Rs 7, 00,000 cars and so are the equipment levels. Baleno has the age old sliding controls which is such a turn-off. The seating arrangement of the Baleno is spacious to fit in comfortably the five people it is meant for. Also the boot is large enough for family holiday luggage to be accommodated comfortably.

The Maruti Baleno is a very useable car to drive with tractable power.

Special mention must be made of the air-con, due to its sheer efficiency. The driver’s seat is effectively positioned to give a holistic view of the car’s corners. In macros, the Baleno is a hassle-free automobile to own with reasonable maintaining and running cost. The Maruti Baleno is ideal choice for people who are looking for that extra pace and don’t mind shelling a few grand more on their fuel bill each month. It’s a very well assembled Maruti, albeit not a stylish one to appeal to the masses but a reliable car very much capable with its solid build and engine quality. Interiors though are not as fancy as one would like but are functional to say the least. The ideal place to pick up a used Maruti Suzuki Baleno is the Maruti-true value shops around the city, as they are checked inside out and have a warranty tag attached to them too.

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