The Maruti Baleno Cross SUV was recently spotted testing in Haryana, and going by the looks, it seems like it’ll sit between Brezza and Grand Vitara in Maruti’s lineup of SUVs. The midsize SUV segment has seen a lot of activity over the years and has become a hotly contested category for automakers. While Hyundai and Kia have dominated the market in the last few years, Maruti and Toyota have vastly stepped up this year with the release of the Grand Vitara and Urban Cruiser HyRyder. After freshly launching the Grand Vitara, Maruti seems to be gearing up for an early 2023 release of a crossover SUV based on Baleno.
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Maruti Baleno Cross SUV: What to expect?
While the silhouette of the Baleno Cross SUV looks similar to the hatchback, it will come with different bodywork, which may even share some similarities with the Grand Vitara. At the front, the large rectangular grille will feature a split headlamp setup, with LED DRLs and low-set headlamps. The grille will also sport chrome inserts. It goes without saying that the Baleno Cross SUV will have a higher ground clearance than the hatchback. The front bumper will be redesigned as well.
Moving to the side profile, it seems that Maruti has decided to square off the wheel arches and equip the SUV with alloy wheels and greater body cladding. At the rear, the Baleno Cross SUV gets a bigger spoiler compared to the hatchback and will come with a more sloping windshield. The tail lamp design also seems inspired by the Grand Vitara.
Under the hood, the Baleno Cross SUV is expected to come with a 1.2-litre K12C Dual Jet petrol engine that produces a maximum power of 88hp and 11Nm peak torque. This engine will be mated to a five-speed manual or automatic gearbox. Some reports suggest that we could see a 1.0-litre BoosterJet turbo petrol engine. The Baleno Cross SUV will also come with a mild-hybrid configuration, with the strong-hybrid setup reserved for the Grand Vitara.
Other features include a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, climate control, leather seats, cruise control, and a Head-Up Display.
The Baleno Cross SUV is expected to debut at AutoExpo in January 2023. With the Toyota-Suzuki partnership coming together in Grand Vitara and HyRyder, we could also see Toyota releasing a Glanza-like SUV crossover later next year. The Baleno Cross could be priced Rs 1-2 lakh higher than the Baleno hatchback. More details are expected in the coming months.