December 22, 2005

Why a Baleno ?

A good question. Why the Baleno of all the cars available in the market ?

Well, I am by heart a staunch believer in the credo that if something can
be done with one hand, never use two. Translated to car speak, if a small
car fulfills your requirements, why go for a big car. I am not one of those
that go out on frequent road trips, have lots of stuff that they carry around,
thereby requiring a boot and thus need a sedan.
Also, I have been using a small car (the M800) for 20 long years since 1985.
I have done many Madras-Kerala trips on that car and never faced any problems.
And also believe in "Smaller the city, smaller your car".

So, the Baleno was not on my radar when I was scouting for a new car. Having
been a Suzuki user for 2 decades and having the best of experience with their
car, I did not need to look at any other manufacturer for my next car. I would
have again gone for an M800 or an Alto, but was quite eager to try out the
tall boy variety of cars which not only gave you a height advantage on the road
(like SUVs), but also made getting in and out of a car a lot easier. So, the WagonR
made sense and also identified the color as "midnight black".

But then, happened to test drive the Baleno (just for fun) and was hooked. The a/c
was awesome, seating just perfect and the power set my pulse racing. Lo and behold,
I had fallen flat on my face for a Baleno.

Now that I had the Baleno in my sights, I looked around for other comparable cars
in the same C-segment. The choices I had was the Ikon 1.6, Accent, Indigo, Corsa
and the new Honda City. The first four were straightaway rejected due to their
parentage ie. being American, Korean and Indian. As a rule I do not buy American
products if another option is available (stems from my disagreement with their
foreign policy) and as far as cars are concerned, American cars are pathetic when
fuel economy is concerned, which is a big factor for me. Korean cars are better
compared to American cars, but still have had issues like "car catching fire" and
again fuel economy not exactly near what I expect. And Indian cars - well, there
are serious quality issues and one thing I want for sure in my car is reliability.
Corsa though coming from the German Opel stable, is again a subsidiary of GM.

That left only the new Honda City in the race, which had kind of different (new?)
looks and rumours of having exceptional fuel economy - one newspaper indicated
highway mileage of 25kmpl which would mean around 18kmpl in the city, which
if it was true is exceptional. However, enquiries with their dealer indicated that
they were not in the mood to give any discount at all and I had to decide whether
it was worth paying 1.5 lacs more in the hope that I will get 1.5 times the mileage
of a Baleno.

So, a little practical thinking made me go for the Baleno. And that is it, a big story
told sweet and short.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another info - check


in yahoo groups - very useful uk based grp page on Baleno cars.
0 98430 43962

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Sagnik Chakraborty said...

Awesome choice :)
We bought a 2006 Baleno VXI in 2009. It was a significant upgrade from our 118NE (which has now been restored completely :)). It's a dream to drive, and after doing an Ahmedabad-Goa-Ahmedabad trip (~2500 km)in 3 days, everyone in the family agrees... especially the backseat drivers :)
Somehow, I like this car more than the SX4 or any of the other C segment sedans. SX4 doesn't give that feeling of mild luxury... it's too mainstream and feels like an overgrown hatchback. Maruti, I think, lost the ability to make cars with character. Take the Dzire for example. It's selling because people don't really have any alternatives in that segment from a reliable manufacturer. In terms of the design, the Esteem was much better.
Understated elegance is what best describes the Baleno... though many beg to differ.
Wish you many more happy miles with the beauty. We'll definitely be in touch on Team Bhp :)

9:51 PM  

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