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    Thread: Baleno Alpha P 1.2L MT : Buying Experience and Initial Driving Impressions

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      Baleno Alpha P 1.2L MT : Buying Experience and Initial Driving Impressions

      Prelude: Previously I owned a Ford Figo 2012 Diesel Titanium which was a gem in its class. Drove it for 85000 kms, we had a good amount of sweet and sour moments with her! Its ownership experiences are documented in below thread.

      **Now Sold** - 2012 First Generation Ford Figo Titanium Diesel: Ownership Experiences - 7.5 Years, 85000 Kms


      Why new car? : Figo was ageing well, traveled 85k kms in 7.5 years without any major fuss. However honorable Supreme Court's decision to ban 10+ old Diesel cars in Dehi/NCR cut short our plans to keep her for 3-4 years more. Resale value had already nosedived and as the days were passing, value was going down south.

      One idea was to keep Figo until she completes 10 years and in parallel buy new car as well but it was concluded that we don't need 2 cars, that would have been simply an overhead. Also few of its parts would have been due for replacement, it was still running with factory fitted clutch, means sooner or later, clutch overhaul expense was on the cards, tyres were also seeking attention. Further I suspected that one or more of injectors were doing a little foul play, engine clutter was a bit unsettled during cold start and sometimes I felt jerks. Internet was flooded with Figo injectors issues at ~ 70000+ kms, which didn't help either.

      Hence the decision to buy a new car!


      New Car Selection and Booking Experiences

      As soon as I decided to buying a new car, my attention was drawn towards the New Ertiga, it was in January 2019. We test drove it and booked a white ZXI+ Ertiga P with waiting period of 4 months, just for time being as family members were impressed with the space and value it offered. We were in no rush yet to buy a new car .

      However in back of mind, I was not really convinced that we needed a MPV, also I was worried that fun to drive factor will be gone for good. It was in May first week that Maruti Sales Representative informed that our Ertiga is dispatched and will be available for delivery in coming 3-4 days. Hence started serious thoughts about which car to buy, I told Sales Representative to allot our Ertiga to someone else and we will buy in next lot. He was more than happy to do the same!

      Petrol or Diesel car: Well, no prize to guess, it must be a Petrol car. With Supreme Court ban, people in Delhi/NCR don't have much options. Also my current traveling need doesn't justify a Diesel car, though I would have loved to own a Diesel car!

      Cars which were considered before zeroing in on Baleno:

      1). Ford EcoSport: I had testdriven italready and everyone liked it. High ground clearance, good road presence, kool features with an excellent Petrol engine etc, however it lacked in backseat space and comfort. In fact its rear bench was as good as Figo and didn't feel like an upgrade for our needs. A thin spread of Ford service centers in Himachal was also a factor as we often travel to Himachal.

      2). Hyundai Creta: Well, felt that it was over priced but no doubt it has best of features and good space.

      3). Hyundai i20: I think its time Hyundai comes up with a smashing new i20, it has been quite a time since it has been upgraded.

      4). XUV300: Awesome package, loaded with features! However less boot space was a cause of concern, it didn't fit our requirements.

      5). Ertiga: We had to let it go, primarily because owning a MPV as daily city ride would not have been a great thing. Also fun to drive factor was almost missing in it.

      6). We didn't consider any other brand's cars.

      1.2L P Baleno Alpha MT: I called a nearby Nexa showroom for a test drive and customer care promised to send the test drive with its Relationship Manager in the evening same day. And as promised, he came with a hot Red Alpha model of the same in the evening.

      As they say, love in first sight - we were impressed with its features, premium look and feel (subjective) at the offered price, back seat space and 339 liters of boot space. Personally I liked things such as soft gear and pedals, dead pedal, light steering (in lower speeds only), infotainment system, 195/ 55 R 16 tyre size, decent driving dynamics, black interiors, UV tinted window glass, tilt and telescoping steering etc.

      Hence it was decided to buy top model 1.2L Alpha Baleno MT and accordingly booking was done for a Silver color car in the same Nexa showroom. Now at this time, Maruti Suzuki had launched BS VI model as well but dealers had BS IV cars as well in the stock which is around 14000 cheaper than BS VI model. Initially as we opted for a Silver BS IV car, however as per stockyard PDI demanded by me, when I was given the VIN by the dealership, it was found to be Feb 2019 model.

      This changed my mind and I asked them to allot a BS VI car and they had a white car available in the stockyard. Accordingly we went for PDI in dealer's stockyard which had hundreds if not thousands of cars parked in open, in a neat and disciplined manner! As per VIN, car was manufactured in May 2019. It had April 2019 Apollo tyres, a brand new battery and 52 kms on the odometer.

      Apparently, there were no scratches, bumpers were evenly aligned and penal gaps were consistent. Engine start was smooth, interior was clean and spotless. Engine bay had a bit of dust but that in normal when parked in open. All in all, PDI was successful, I made the necessary payments, completed the paperwork required at the time and ordered the accessories. Eventually we took the delivery on the promised day and time. Things went as planned and as promised by the dealership. I would like to appreciate our Sales Relationship manager and the dealership for the nice buying experience.

      I have driven the car approx. 100 kms, initial driving experience is coming in the next post.
      2012 Ford Figo 1.4 Titanium, 2006 Bajaj Pulsar 150
      ____________________________________________

      I was lonely driving here tonight so I hugged the road.

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      yksharma - Congrats on the new purchase. It must be a huge change from a ford to a Maruti and a Diesel to Petrol. Looking forward to reading more about the Baleno.
      2012 Cruze Eco 1.4Turbo ... Commuter Car

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      Few clicks:

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      2012 Ford Figo 1.4 Titanium, 2006 Bajaj Pulsar 150
      ____________________________________________

      I was lonely driving here tonight so I hugged the road.

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      Congratulations on your new buy. I am sure that you will start loving this car for the value it provides. Hope the car provides you a safe and thousands of miles of happy driving experience.

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      Congratulations on the Car, really looks great A very practical and efficient car, there is a reason it sells so well. Wishing you many a mile of happy worry free driving.
      "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."
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      Dai!!!

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      Quote Originally Posted by yksharma View Post
      Why new car?
      You started with the right question, Why is the most important question, once answered, all other Ws and H can be answered quickly.

      Quote Originally Posted by yksharma View Post
      New Car Selection and Booking Experiences
      It is rare to find someone who does not fall into "upgrade" pit. How did you avoid it?

      Quote Originally Posted by yksharma View Post
      1.2L P Baleno Alpha MT:
      Congratulations , wish you happy ownership, lots of safe miles and cheerful smiles.

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      Presenting below the initial driving experience based on approximately 100 kms of driving the car. I will also compare the Baleno's characteristics vis-a-vis my earlier 2012 Figo D wherever applicable.

      1). Baleno Alpha is loaded with some nice features at the price range the car is offered, such as best in class infotainment system, auto AC, puddle lamps, tilt and telescoping steering, UV cut tinted glasses preventing sun-heat entering in the cabin, DRLs, excellent white LED headlamps, illuminated foot-wells & glove box, auto dimming IRVM, auto folding ORVMs, driver seat height adjustment, cabin lights for front and rear seat passengers, armrest for driver ( good for tall drivers, may not be that useful for short drivers), auto head lamps, dead pedal conveniently placed (very comforting during those long highway drives), reverse camera & parking sensors. Many of these features are present in lower variants as well which makes it value for money proposition .
      2). Gear shifting is quite smooth and precise, ease to drive in city traffic, while Figo had a notchy gearbox.
      3). Acceleration in Baleno P is very linear, so much that I had started to doubt that car will even cross 70 kmph! On the other hand, Figo was very quick to respond and it was fun to do so.
      4). Steering is soft at lower speed which is nice, however at higher speeds it has no match to Figo's. Figo is class apart in its segment, I could throw Figo into corners and curves at high speeds.
      5). Speaker quality in Baleno is just average, Figo had best in class speakers.
      6). Brake bite in Baleno is soft, I need to drive more to understand it better. In Figo, brakes were punchy and whenever brakes were slammed, it de-accelerated quickly.
      7). Its ease of driving in city traffic with Baleno, one can chug along in 2nd and 3rd gears gear easily. In Figo D, frequent downshifting was required.
      8). Baleno is very silent at lower speeds, quite peaceful for passengers. However engine noise and other noises start filtering into the cabin at higher speeds but its manageable. Figo off late had become very noisy due to loss of noise insulation in due course, diesel clatter, aging suspension and tyres.
      9). Back seat space is fantastic in its class, though it lacks under thigh support for tall passengers. However front seats offer good thigh support.
      10). Rear power windows and bottle holders to rear seat passengers - it is a convenient upgrade when compared to Figo.
      11). Baleno has light panels, doors and a light body, Figo felt solid and that thud sound of closing the doors is simply missing in Baleno! I feel that Baleno is prone to dent, Figo never got a dent due to minor hits here and there.
      12). AC is equally good in both.
      13). 1.5L engine would have done proper justice to Baleno, I feel 1.2L will lack punch when driven spiritedly.
      14). Love the dead panel, however I am getting used do it. Often I am finding my foot touching dead pedal while using clutch pedal.

      That's it for now, I will keeping updating the thread for benefit of readers. Happy motoring to all!!
      Last edited by yksharma; 17th Jun 2019 at 12:34.
      2012 Ford Figo 1.4 Titanium, 2006 Bajaj Pulsar 150
      ____________________________________________

      I was lonely driving here tonight so I hugged the road.

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      Congrats on your new car, may your journey with it be full of happiness. I really loved your honest review, very few people point out shortcomings in their new car.

      btw, does it have SHVS system, Ertiga's SHVS system is a boon and gives much needed boost when accelerating hard.
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      Quote Originally Posted by krish View Post
      Congrats on the new purchase. It must be a huge change from a ford to a Maruti and a Diesel to Petrol. Looking forward to reading more about the Baleno.
      Thank you . Yeah, its a sea change indeed. I am loving the soft and feature loaded Baleno, at the same time, Figo's handling dynamics still remain a benchmark for cars under 10 lakhs.

      Quote Originally Posted by back2u4u View Post
      Congratulations on your new buy. I am sure that you will start loving this car for the value it provides. Hope the car provides you a safe and thousands of miles of happy driving experience.
      Quote Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
      Congratulations on the Car, really looks great A very practical and efficient car, there is a reason it sells so well. Wishing you many a mile of happy worry free driving.
      Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
      Congratulations , wish you happy ownership, lots of safe miles and cheerful smiles.
      Quote Originally Posted by coolash View Post
      Congrats on your new car, may your journey with it be full of happiness. I really loved your honest review, very few people point out shortcomings in their new car.
      Thank you all!

      Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
      It is rare to find someone who does not fall into "upgrade" pit. How did you avoid it?
      Yeah, its not easy. Actually if it was not for Diesel ban on 10+ years old cars, I would have spent good amount on Figo and kept it for 3 more years before selling it.

      Quote Originally Posted by coolash View Post
      btw, does it have SHVS system, Ertiga's SHVS system is a boon and gives much needed boost when accelerating hard.
      SHVS is in Delta and Zeta Baleno variants only (producing 89 bhp), not in Alpha variant (83 bhp). Perhaps it was done to keep prices of Alpha variant under check while people Delta and Zeta Hybrid still buy hybrid Delta and Zeta!
      2012 Ford Figo 1.4 Titanium, 2006 Bajaj Pulsar 150
      ____________________________________________

      I was lonely driving here tonight so I hugged the road.

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      Congratulations yksharma, wish you many happy miles ahead.

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