The Nissan Micra and the Renault Pulse, the Skoda Rapid and the Volkswagen Vento, or the Renault Kwid and the Datsun Redi-GO, these are products of partnerships or alliances between two automakers. While some are simply based on the same platforms but look different, like the Kwid and Redi-GO, others like the Micra and Pulse are essentially the same products that come with some minor cosmetic changes and a different badging. Product and technology sharing between automakers is not a new concept for the Nepalese market. So when Maruti Suzuki and Toyota announced their partnership, we were expecting something similar to happen. The first model to come out of this partnership is the Toyota Glanza, a rebadged Maruti Suzuki Baleno.
Let us not ignore the obvious; the is, in fact, the Baleno with the badging. Baleno is a good-looking car, in fact, its design and styling one of its key USPs, but we wished Toyota has made some extra effort in creating a bit more distinction between the two cars, more than just slapping on a new twin-chrome slat grille. In fact, it still features the same chrome underline that extends into the headlamps. The Glanza also gets the same headlamp design with LED projector lights as standard, and this one being the entry-level G variant, it comes with guide lights instead of LED daytime running lamps, offered with the top-end V trim. Even the bumper looks the same with its wide black central airdam and black housings for the round foglamps.
The profile of the car is no different either, featuring the same body-coloured ORVMs with integrated turn indicator lights, and blacked-out pillars. The Glanza also comes with the same 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels, which in our opinion Toyota could have avoided and gone for a new design to create some amount of differentiation. Similarly, the rear section too is identical to the Baleno featuring the same rounded LED taillamps, which also comes with guide lights in the top-end model. There is also the same chrome strip on the tailgate connecting the two taillamps, and the rear bumper with reflectors.
We wish the cabin was a slightly different story but that's not the case here. Get out of a Baleno and step inside a Glanza and you'll literally notice no difference in your surroundings. In fact, the car even gets the same dual-tone black and blue fabric upholstery. Toyota, new seat covers aren't much to ask for, are they? Well, moving on to the dashboard, of course, you get the same layout featuring large air-con vents with silver bezels, glossy black frame for the infotainment system, and below you have all the controls for the air-con system, plus the steering wheel gets control for music and telephony.