Launched in 2015, the Maruti Baleno has been the most successful B2-segment hatchback to have ever gone on sale in the country. Its popularity can be gauged by the fact that it’s not uncommon for this car to sell more units in a month than all the rivals put together. That said, the car is surely getting a bit long in the tooth now. While it has already received a mid-life facelift, another cosmetic upgrade is said to be in the pipeline to help the car extend its innings. This has been necessitated due to the influx of fresher rivals like the third-gen Hyundai i20 and Tata Altroz. Recently, a purportedly leaked image of the 2021 Maruti Baleno facelift surfaced internet but before you go all praise for the new front-end, let us clarify for once and for all that this is FAKE!
In the image you see above, the 2021 Maruti Baleno has been visualised with an entirely new front fascia that features sleek LED headlamps and a lot of gloss black plastic trim. There’s also a new bumper and LED fog lamps. TO the untrained eye, this is sure to look like a proper upgrade for the B2-segment hatchback but a closer look would clearly reveal that the picture you see above has been morphed skilfully. Most of the new front-end has come from the last-gen Honda City. The grille and the headlights are a straight rip off, while even the bumper is based on the typical Honda styling theme. It’s quite clear that the car you see in the image above has nothing to do with the upcoming facelift and is merely a figment of someone’s imagination.
Regardless of the age, Maruti Suzuki doesn’t seem to be in a mood to give up on the Baleno. The facelift, which will, of course, look nothing like the car you see above, will be launched later this year. We expect it to have minor cosmetic changes, additional features and even slightly enhanced fuel efficiency. Later on, the carmaker will even roll out a crossover version, which will be something like what we saw with the Hyundai Elite i20 and i20 Active. It will have a more rugged styling package along with increased ground clearance to add a touch of toughness to the premium-looking hatchback. Safely expect it to come with all-around body cladding and a lot of exposed black plastic. Even a set of roof rails should be a part of the package.
Currently, the Maruti Baleno is being offered with two petrol engine options – 1.2-litre VVT and 1.2-litre Dualjet Dual VVT. The former outputs a maximum power of 82hp and a peak torque of 113Nm, while the latter puts out 90hp and 113Nm. The less powerful motor is available with a 5-speed manual transmission as well as a CVT, while the more powerful unit is available exclusively with the 5-speed manual unit. Prices of the Baleno range between Rs 5.98 lakh and Rs 9.30 lakh, ex-showroom.
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