While Hyundai and Kia currently dominate compact SUV space, Maruti’s new SUVs can emerge as formidable rivals
As consumer preferences shift in favour of SUVs, Maruti is looking to tap this space in an aggressive manner. The company recently launched Grand Vitara that has received good response with thousands of bookings. The product onslaught is not over, as Maruti is working on a new crossover based on Baleno. Spied on road tests, featuring a distinctive sloping roofline, Maruti’s new SUV could be the spiritual successor to S-Cross.
Maruti Baleno SUV Cross will work as an affordable option, as compared to Grand Vitara. It will be slotted above Brezza, while being more accessible than Vitara from a cost perspective. In doing so, Baleno SUV Cross may pull customers from both sub-4-meter and compact SUV segments. With Suzuki-Toyota partnership, Baleno SUV Cross could also have a twin in the form of Glanza Cross.
Baleno SUV Cross spied off road
As far as the core silhouette is concerned, it closely matches that of Maruti Baleno. However, styling bits seem to be borrowed from Grand Vitara. Some of the key features of Baleno SUV Cross include trapezoidal grille with chrome highlights, top-mounted LED DRLs and low-set headlamps.
Baleno SUV Cross looks familiar to Futuro-e concept that was showcased at 2020 Auto Expo. But as evident in images, the SUV has a relatively toned-down appearance. Latest spy shots from Exploring Wheels show the upcoming Baleno Cross taking on bad roads as it goes off road.
Even though it has a compact profile, the SUV Cross seems to have adequate height and width. This will ensure ample headroom and shoulder room for rear passengers. Side profile is distinguishable with its sporty alloy wheels, squared-off wheel arches and dark body cladding. At rear, key highlights include a raked windshield, chunky bumper and boot-lid integrated spoiler.
On the inside, Maruti Baleno SUV Cross will have features like head-up display, large floating touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, leather seats and leather wrapped steering wheel. Connectivity features are likely to be available as well.
Baleno SUV Cross performance
As compared to Grand Vitara that has both mild hybrid and strong hybrid powertrain options, Baleno SUV Cross is likely to get only mild-hybrid setup. However, performance can still be better, as Maruti is expected to equip this crossover with a 1.0-litre BoosterJet turbo petrol motor. Users can expect more responsive driving dynamics with this new motor in comparison to the 1.5-litre NA petrol motor in use with Brezza. Baleno SUV Cross will have both manual and automatic transmission options.
Baleno SUV Cross and its Toyota sibling will be utilizing Suzuki’s latest Heartect platform. Being lightweight and strong, it will boost both performance and safety. Some of the key safety features will be 6-airbags, reverse parking sensors and camera, electronic stability program (ESP), hill hold assist, hill descent control, tyre pressure monitoring system, engine immobilizer and day and night adjustable IRVM.