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New Maruti Baleno facelift launch next year – To take on upcoming Tata 45X

The Maruti Baleno made its global sales debut in India in October 2015 and was introduced in Europe the following year. The hatchback is inching closer to the mid-point of its life cycle and it is about time we receive a facelift.

According to Car Dekho, the premium hatchback segment leader in India is due for a mid-life refresh by June 2019. The changes are expected to be mostly cosmetic.

Photo used for representation.

The Maruti Baleno is not exactly the best looking car in its segment but it’s stellar monthly average sales volume of 18,660 units (April to September 2018) clearly prove that Indian customers easily overlook that shortcoming. The facelifted hatchback is expected to have minor nip and tuck like new bumpers, slightly revised grille, new alloy wheel pattern, additional color options, etc.

The 2019 Maruti Baleno is also likely to offer more features. The current version itself is generously equipped with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, seat belt pre-tensioner, ISO-FIX child seat mounts, etc., as standard fitment. Items like seat belt reminder, top-speed alert, and rear parking sensors are likely to be offered across the variants in the Baleno facelift. The top-end variants are expected to offer upmarket LED headlights and foglights (features that are demanded by the European customers).

Tata 45X concept. File Photo.

The powertrain lineup which includes the familiar 1.2-liter petrol and 1.3-liter diesel engines would continue without much changes. The oil burner is paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox while the petrol unit can also be opted with a CVT automatic. The motors would be upgraded to BS-VI emission standards that come into effect in 2020.

The Maruti Baleno facelift is expected to have a marginal price hike but that shouldn’t be a hindrance to its impressive sales performance. Like the current version, the updated Baleno would continue to have Maruti’s Manesar plant as the global manufacturing base. Once launched, it will rival the Hyundai i20 and the upcoming Tata 45X premium hatchback.

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