Maruti is using a strengthened platform to get the next-generation Baleno a 5-Star Global NCAP score. However, the results are still not out!
The next version of the Maruti Baleno is one of the most-awaited cars of 2022. The hot-selling hatchback is all set to get a comprehensive facelift. This includes an optional 1.5-ltr K-series petrol engine from Brezza (with exactly the same specs!). Reportedly, the company is working especially hard to improve the build quality of the Baleno by using a strengthened platform. Maruti desperately wants the upcoming car to get a 5-Star Global NCAP score. If it succeeds, that will be a huge improvement over the zero-star score of the current model.
Since the current model achieved zero stars safety rating, there is skepticism about the upcoming facelift. Maruti will have to work hard to bring the upcoming facelift to market standards set by its competition. Priced at Rs 5.99 – Rs 9.45 lakh (ex-showroom), it will compete against the likes of Hyundai i20, Honda Jazz, and the Tata Altroz. The Tata Altroz received 5-stars in the Global NCAP crash test. In comparison, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno achieved zero stars safety rating. While it comes with two airbags, the Baleno offers poor safety performance in adult and child occupant protection.
To increase safety, the next-generation Maruti Baleno is said to come with a strengthened platform and up to 6 airbags. As per recent reports and leaks, the compact car will feature a larger and wider grille (extending into the headlamp assembly). The rear panel also gets a reprofiled rear bumper. Also, the spacious car is expected to get better quality of the material for interiors as well. Overall, the hatchback features a wider central air intake on the front and looks a lot sharper than the current curvy version.
The current version comes with an 83bhp 1.2-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine which comes with a 5-speed manual or CVT automatic gearboxes. In contrast, the 2022 Maruti Baleno Facelift will be powered by a 1.2-liter K-series engine. However, the top-end Alpha trim will sport a 1.5-litre K-Series petrol engine option (seen on Maruti Vitara Brezza) that produces 103bhp of power and 138Nm of torque. It will be paired with a five-speed manual transmission and a 4-speed torque-converter automatic transmission with Smart Hybrid technology.
The 2022 Maruti Baleno Facelift is also said to come with an all-new dashboard with a layered design and a 9-inch free-standing touchscreen. The new infotainment system will come with an on-board SIM for a suite of connected car features (real-time tracking, intrusion detection, tow away alert, find your car, geofencing, etc). Additional features will include cruise control, automated headlamps, automated wipers, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a new instrument cluster, a revised MID, new switchgear for the climate controls, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, and sleeker AC vents (positioned horizontally below the infotainment screen).