Apart from Toyota rebadging, expect minor cosmetic tweaks to exterior and interior.
It will be available in Toyota showrooms in a few months’ time and won’t be called the Baleno.
Both the cars will share powertrains.
Expect the Toyota’s version of the Baleno to get a different set of features.
In 2017, Toyota and Suzuki announced an alliance to develop EV technology. Then, in 2018, they announced sharing of certain models in the Indian automotive space. And now, it has been confirmed that the Maruti Suzuki Baleno will be the first shared product. In fact, the rebadged hatchback is set to arrive at Toyota dealerships in a few months' time. Sources close to the carmaker tell us that Toyota has already internally decided the name for the premium hatchback, hinting that the launch could be in the first half of 2019, perhaps as early as April.
The Baleno-based hatchback will not be Toyota’s first attempt in this space as the carmaker already sells the Etios Liva hatchback in India. The Etios Liva is available with petrol and diesel engines, but only gets a manual transmission. However, Toyota’s version of the Baleno will come with the same drivetrain as the Maruti’s which also includes a CVT paired with the petrol engine.
Rendering: Toyota Baleno (for representation purpose only)
The rebranded Baleno will get more than just a Toyota badge. We expect it to include a new grille with different bumper design and some minor changes in the interior styling as well. While we do not yet know what the finished product will look like, Toyota is said to keep the changes to a minimum to keep costs in check. The rebranded Baleno will be sold through Toyota’s dealership network only.
Sold through Maruti's Nexa chain of dealerships, the new Baleno facelift is priced between Rs 5.46 lakh and Rs 8.77 lakh. It competes with the likes of the Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo. Toyota’s current hatchback, the Etios Liva, is priced from Rs 5.35 lakh to Rs 7.57 lakh (all prices ex-showroom Delhi). We expect Toyota’s version of the Baleno to have a higher starting price and perhaps more safety features on offer.