Maruti Suzuki is set to launch the 2019 Baleno facelift in India in January 2019. Most Nexa dealers around the country are already accepting bookings for the updated model at a minimum booking amount of Rs 11,000. The Baleno was launched in India in 2015 and it’s going to be the first cosmetic update that the model receives since its introduction.
The facelifted Baleno has been pictured in spy shots and the overall design has not been tinkered with a lot. The front fascia features updates to the bumper and the grille pattern. The bumper has been completely redone and the fog lamp housing is now separate from the front air dam. Expect it to get a redesigned bumper at the rear as well, coupled with minor tweaks for the tail lamps.
On the features front, the facelift Baleno is expected to get some long overdue options present in the competition, like rain-sensing front wipers and cruise control. The headlamps could also become LED projector units instead of the bi-xenon projector set up on the current model. LED fog lamps might make an appearance on higher-spec variants as well. Add machine-finished alloy wheels and that would be the sum of changes we expect from the facelifted Baleno.
The current Baleno on sale is offered with a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.3-litre turbocharged diesel, that also do duty on other Maruti cars. While both engines can be had with a 5-speed manual transmission, petrol is also available with a CVT option. Maruti also sells the Baleno RS, a sportier version of the hatchback powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, in India. It is not clear if the Baleno RS will be part of the facelift or continue to sell in its current avatar.
The Baleno’s design seems to have aged gracefully as it still doesn’t look outdated. But the facelift will be a shot in its arm to rejuvenate it in a segment that consists of the likes of the Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo. It will also go up against the upcoming Tata 45X hatchback, which could be a promising newcomer given Tata’s recent new launches.
The current Baleno retails between Rs 5.47 lakh and Rs 8.52 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi). We expect prices of the new Baleno to go up slightly. Dealerships suggest prices of the updated Baleno will be officially announced on 27 January 2019.