Based on the Maruti Baleno on sale in India, a new variant has been launched called Baleno Cross
The hatchbacks with rough road package and gimmicky suffixes to the nameplate didn’t really work in India as the customers were willing to pay extra for proper crossover SUVs. There are still some hatchback-based instant crossovers in our market but they mostly spend their time on the sidelines.
These species of spruced up hatchbacks may have better luck in some international markets. Suzuki thinks a slightly more rugged version of the Baleno hatchback would be well received in South American markets. The Suzuki Baleno Cross has been introduced in Colombia and from the looks of it, it doesn’t even have what we call as the rough road package.
The Baleno Cross receives a sportier and more expressive front bumper which is seen on the India-spec facelift, special dual-tone alloy wheels, side rub strips and roof carrier. There are no black lower body cladding, raised ground clearance or faux skid plates. It looks more like a dealer-level accessorized version than a new standalone variant in its own right.
Interior is also identical to that of the regular Baleno save for updated colour theme for the fabric. The colour of the upholstery is matched with the exterior paint. There are no other changes whatsoever.
Suzuki Baleno Cross Engine
Suzuki Baleno Cross for the Colombian market is powered by the K14B 1.4-liter petrol engine which is tuned to produce 95 hp and 130 Nm of torque. The motor can be specified either with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic gearbox. The Colombian Baleno Cross comes equipped with standard dual front airbags, ISOFIX mount and ABS with EBD. The higher end variant offers 6 airbags and LED DRLs.
Maruti Suzuk India Ltd., is the sole manufacturer of the Baleno hatchback for the entire world. The Colombia-spec model is shipped from here and is converted into a cross of the local market by adding a few accessories. The Cross variant is not likely to be introduced in India.
The Maruti Baleno for India received a facelift recently with subtle revisions. The hatchback competes with Hyundai i20, Tata Altroz, Honda Jazz and VW Polo. The Baleno has been dominating its segment since its inception and has clocked sales of over 7.2 lakh units. The hatchback is so popular in the India that one unit is sold every 3 minutes!
Its primary rival, the i20, is set to receive a vastly improved replacement in the coming weeks. The battle between the titans is set to get fiercer.