Maruti Suzuki Baleno, a popular premium hatchback in the Indian market received an upgrade earlier this year. The upgrade incorporates both mechanical and visual improvements, making it a sportier-looking, premium hatchback with additional features. We have reviewed the Baleno AGS in a variety of ways, starting with a first-drive review and continuing with a four-person review. Now that we had the opportunity to have the Baleno AGS for 7 days, we drove to Jaipur and back in it with myself and 4 other passengers. Additionally, this review will go into every facet of the 2022 Baleno that I experienced while driving it for a week.
The new generation 4-cylinder, 1.2-liter, naturally aspirated petrol engine that powers the 2022 Maruti Suzuki Baleno comes standard with Dual Jet and Dual VVT technology. With 89 bhp of power and 113 Nm of maximum torque, the engine is one of the most potent NA petrol engines in the premium hatchback market. Both a 5-speed manual and 5-speed automatic transmission are standard on the Baleno.
The variant I had was the top-spec Alpha AGS variant, which, as its name implies, has an automatic gear shift. For the 2022 model, Maruti has elected to forgo the CVT available in the previous generation Baleno in favour of an automatic transmission. The AGS (AMT) does its duties and effortlessly moves the gears under city driving circumstances. The early upshifts made by the AGS when overtaking or maneuvering around curves on highways are a little disappointing. On the other hand, early upshifts support retaining good fuel economy in city traffic as well as on highways.
Despite the fact that each thing has strengths and flaws of its own, the Baleno 2022 has the benefit of having a lot of power that is immediately available on the tap. Since this is not an enthusiast vehicle, some people could find the early upshift to be off-putting. However, the gearbox offers a manual override option that allows you to hold the gear and shift as needed. When in automatic drive, the gearshift happens at roughly 1,9002,000 RPM when you drive softly; however, if you depress the throttle, it will hold the gear for approximately 2,4002,500 RPM. At low rpm, the engine is incredibly smooth and quick enough for daily driving.
I took it on the small hilly areas of Jaipur and the AGS performed well, the addition of hill-hold assist helps in holding the position and prevent rolling back. With the load of five people, it has not disappointed me at all. While coming back with a full load and luggage, the Baleno managed to give a mileage of 17.3 kmpl which dropped down to 17 kmpl after Gurugram's rush hour traffic.
The 2022 Baleno's ride quality has been significantly enhanced. Small potholes and rumble strips can be readily navigated at highway speeds thanks to the newly calibrated suspension. While the suspension does a good job of absorbing the larger speed bumps and bumps. The passengers in the back seat were comfortable in the entire trip, and the suspension made the ride more comfortable for both myself and them.
The extra weight in the steering is immediately felt and it has been tweaked to provide improved response. The brakes are significantly larger than before and effectively perform their functions. The nose dive is smaller than the previous generation Baleno, which gives you assurance in panic braking situations. All of these adjustments together make for a more mature driving experience on the road.
Five of us were happy the entire trip to Jaipur thanks to the Baleno's interior. The roominess of the cabin made it simple to accommodate five people, and the seats, especially the front ones, are really comfortable. The front seats' extra padding and shoulder support make them feel cocoon-like. The back seats are also well-cushioned throughout. The cabin's NVH (Noise, Vibrations, and Harshness) levels are well controlled. The 318 litre boot helped store two medium-sized suitcases, a duffle bag, and a few small shopping bags without any hindrance.
We five people were comfortable inside the 2022 Baleno thanks to the top-spec variant's UV glasses, which keep the sun heat minimal inside the cabin making AC more effective and cooling the cabin a simple task in peak summers. While driving I had no trouble using the 9-inch SmartPlay Pro+ infotainment system, and I was able to navigate a variety of items, including navigation and audio, thanks to wired Apple CarPlay integration. The head-up display also assisted me in retaining my focus on the road while monitoring the vehicle's speed and RPM; the HUD also shows the AC controls.
The LED headlights have decent through and are fairly effective in illuminating the road in front of you at night.
The Baleno was easier to maneuver and park in Jaipur's constrained parking spaces because of the 360-degree camera. We didn't have to compete for charging ports because the Baleno has a Type A and Type-C port on the back and a 12-volt charging port and a USB port up front. The design of the entire cabin as well as how each component is connected to the others has been greatly improved.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno is a well-designed premium hatchback that is perfect for families. With all the modifications Maruti has made to the 2022 Baleno, it now drives better, is more polished, has more features, and has many other improvements. The engine is decent and provides good fuel economy. Starting at Rs 6.49 lakh (ex-showroom), with a maximum price of Rs 9.71 lakh (ex-showroom), it is a good option if someone is looking for a feature-laden premium hatch. It would have been fantastic if Maruti had brought the Baleno RS back with a modernised look. The 2022 Maruti Suzuki Baleno will, nevertheless, be greatly appreciated by regular city drivers and families.
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The 2022 Maruti Suzuki Baleno facelift gets a host of updates inside its cabin compared to the outgoing model. 2022 Maruti Suzuki Baleno will come with a host of safety features like 6 airbags, ESP and Hill Hold Assist, ABS with EBD, parking sensors and a high-speed alert system.
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