Here we list all three upcoming Maruti Suzuki Baleno rivals in 2019 as competition in the premium hatchback segment is all set to intensify
Toyota Premium Hatchback:
Suzuki and Toyota signed an official partnership in March 2018 with global and domestic importance as vehicle sharing and electric mobility solutions are the main part of the deal. Suzuki will be reportedly supplying 25,000 units of the Baleno premium hatchback to Toyota each year, along with destined numbers of Vitara Brezza. And in return, the Corolla sedan will be supplied to Maruti Suzuki.
The strategy akin to Renault-Nissan alliance is to increase the presence of both the companies in the segments where they do not have a presence currently. The premium hatchback is the first cross-badged vehicle off the partnership and it will be launched in the opening quarter of next FY.
Mechanically, it will remain similar to its donor but the exterior and interior changes will be made. Toyota will retail its version of the Baleno with cosmetic modifications in line with the global design language and it will meet the requirements framed for upcoming safety norms and BS6 emission regulations. It could get the 1.5-litre petrol SHVS debuted in the Ciaz, as the powertrain will be expanded to other vehicles within Maruti Suzuki’s range in the due course.
The 45X concept-based production model is the second vehicle to incorporate Impact Design 2.0 philosophy, following the five-seat Harrier SUV launching early next year. We can expect segment leading wheel sizes and a generous interior with a number of connectivity options. The premium hatchback will enter the domestic market towards the end of 2019 and it will have a conventional exterior compared to its conceptual version displayed at 2018 Auto Expo.
The production-spec 45X has been spotted running trails many times on Indian roads, and it showcases a balanced overall profile with sweeping styling elements. It could emerge as the sportier looking hatchback in the segment and rival Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo alongside Maruti Suzuki Baleno. The engine choices will be a 110 PS 1.2-litre Revotron petrol and a 110 PS 1.5-litre Revotorq diesel from Nexon.
The interior will take definitive inspiration from the stylish Nexon as the unique centre console will bear a large floating touchscreen, probably bigger than its SUV sibling. The top-of-the-line variants will come equipped with Harman eight-speaker audio system, electrically adjustable ORVMs, cruise control, steering mounted controls, USB and Aux connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionalities among others.
New Nissan Micra:
As part of the new aggressive strategy, Nissan is introducing its Kicks premium SUV early next year in India and the brand will maintain its upmarket status while Datsun will attribute to the budget customers in the below 10-lakh segments. In a bit to regain composure and get some traction, Nissan will likely launch the new generation Micra in the due course of 2019.
Unlike the existing Micra small hatchback sold locally, the global fifth-generation model is more premium in comparison and has increased dimensions to firmly rival the best-selling Maruti Suzuki Baleno. The India-spec 2019 Nissan Micra may sit on the affordable CMF A+ platform and it could have high local content for enabling aggressive pricing.
It could take power from a turbocharged petrol engine or a 1.5-litre unit from Duster producing 106 horsepower. Transmission duties could be performed by a five-speed manual and an automatic gearbox. The upcoming Micra adorns sharper headlamps, integrated LED DRLs, larger V-motion front grille, bolder bumper with horizontal fog lamps, blackened glass area, rear door handles at C pillar and new tail lamps.
The interior is expected to boast premium materials, flat-bottom steering wheel, digital MID, seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bose surrounds sound, dual-tone dashboard, circular AC vents with silver accents, etc.