Baleno vs KUV100 Comparison

Maruti-Suzuki Baleno vs Mahindra KUV100 Comparison
Overall, diesel Baleno’s Total Cost of Ownership is not only 60,000 Rs. less than the diesel KUV100, but it is also more spacious, well built, more reliable, has better dynamics and better performance, making it our pick of this test. Interestingly, the automatic geared Baleno petrol works out to be 50,000 Rs. cheaper than a manual geared KUV100 petrol in terms of the Total Cost of Ownership. If you are keen on a petrol powered vehicle, the Baleno CVT is hands down our pick of the test.

Baleno vs KUV100 Comparison Video:

Pricing & Features: Mahindra KUV100’s top-most variant, the ‘K8’ Diesel retails for 6.84 Lakh, Ex-showroom, Delhi. For just 3000 Rs. less, buyers are enticed by the option of buying the Baleno diesel’s ‘Delta’ variant, costing 6.81 Lakh, Ex-showroom, Delhi. (KUV100 ‘K8’ petrol costs 5.99 Lakh & Baleno ‘Delta’ petrol costs 5.71 Lakh). Both cars have almost similar feature content with a couple of unique features in both cars, but the point to be noted here is that even the top-end KUV100 has only as much features as the lower-mid variant of the Baleno.

Common Features: ABS, Airbags-2, AC, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking, Keyless Entry, Stereo: FM, USB, Aux, Bluetooth + 4 Speakers, Steering Wheel Switches, Parking Sensors, Electrically Adjustable & Folding Mirrors, Rear Wash-Wipe-Defog
Extra Features in Baleno (Delta): Automatic Climate Control, Auto-up Anti-pinch Window, Electrically Folding ORVMs
Extra Features in KUV100 (K8): Fog Lamps, Alloys, Driver’s Seat Height Adjust, 2 Tweeters, LED DRLs

Performance & Drivability:
Petrol: Although both cars seem very similar on the spec sheet, there is a world of difference when it comes to their on-road characteristics. On one hand there’s the Baleno, with a remarkably refined and free revving engine, while on the other hand there’s Mahindra’s very first petrol engine that feels rough and a bit reluctant to rev in comparison. The Baleno being roughly 200 kg lighter than the KUV100 delivers far superior performance, be it in the city or on the highway. While the KUV100 has decent drivability in city but feels too underpowered as the road opens up.

Power (PS@rpm): Baleno – 84.3@6000, KUV100 – 82@5500
Torque (Nm@rpm): Baleno - 114@4000, KUV100 - 115@3500
Kerb Weight (kg): Baleno 875, KUV100 – 1075*
Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Baleno – 96, KUV100 – 76
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Baleno – 131, KUV100 – 107

Diesel: KUV100 has better drivability than the Baleno at city speeds. Turbo-lag is well contained in the KUV100, while it is quite noticeable in the Baleno. If only Maruti would stop giving its cars insanely tall gearing to achieve those mind boggling ARAI mileage numbers. However as the road opens up, the Baleno leaves the KUV100 biting dust. Mid-range performance of the Baleno is far stronger than the KUV100 and Baleno’s Fiat sourced unit has a much wider rev-range reducing the need for frequent gearshifts. Although Mahindra has used copious amounts of sound deadening material, the harshness of its engine still filters through to the cabin, especially at higher revs.

Power (PS@rpm): Baleno – 75@4000, KUV100 – 77@3750
Torque (Nm@rpm): Baleno - 190@2000, KUV100 – 190@1750-2250
Kerb Weight (kg): Baleno – 975, KUV100 – 1175*
Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Baleno – 77, KUV100 – 66
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Baleno – 195, KUV100 – 162

Fuel Efficiency:
Petrol: In our back-to-back tests, the Baleno was almost 3 kmpl more efficient than the KUV100. Even the automatic geared Baleno CVT was over 2 kmpl more efficient than the manual KUV100.

ARAI Mileage (kmpl): Baleno (manual) – 21.4, KUV100 (manual) – 18.15, Baleno (automatic) – 21.4
Fuel Cost for 75,000 km (Lakh): Baleno (manual) – 3.45, KUV100 (manual) – 4.10, Baleno (automatic) – 3.45

Diesel: In our back-to back tests, the KUV100 was consistently 2 kmpl less fuel efficient than the Baleno.

ARAI Mileage (kmpl): Baleno – 27.4 (manual), KUV100 (manual) – 25.32
Fuel Cost for 75,000 km (Lakh): Baleno – 2.05 (manual), KUV100 (manual) – 2.20

Space & Comfort: KUV100 has a unique 3 + 3 seating configuration. But in terms of cabin space it is still no match for the Baleno. Baleno’s seats are far more comfortable and have better knee-room than the KUV100. Baleno’s 339 litre boot is far bigger and more useful than the KUV100’s boot space of 243 litres
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Length (mm): Baleno - 3995, KUV100 - 3675
Width (mm): Baleno – 1745, KUV100 - 1715
Height (mm): Baleno – 1500, KUV100 - 1655

Ride Quality & Handling:
KUV100 is simply no match for the dynamic abilities of the Baleno. Baleno does feel a tad bit stiff while tackling bumps at low speeds compared to the KUV100. But the KUV100 rolls like a yacht around the corners, while the Baleno grips surprisingly well and remains neutral even during hard cornering. Baleno’s high speed stability and confidence under panic braking is in a different league altogether compared to the KUV100. Surprisingly, it’s the Baleno which has higher ground clearance as well as bigger tyre size than the KUV100, and thus has slightly better rough road credentials tan the so called micro SUV!

Ground Clearance (mm): Baleno – 180, KUV100 – 170
Tyre Size: Baleno - 185/65R15 (Sigma & Delta), 195/55R16 (Zeta & Alpha), KUV100 – 185/65R14

Reliability and After Sales Service: Mahindra is no match to Maruti’s legendary service support. First and foremost, the reliability of Mahindra products themselves is nowhere close to that of Suzuki’s. Secondly, the KUV100 has all new engines powering it, and thus is bound to have teething troubles, going by Mahindra’s track record so far. It would be prudent to adopt a wait and watch policy for first six months before putting your money down for the KUV100, not that we recommend it anyways.

Resale after 5 to 7 years est. (Lakh):
Baleno (Diesel manual) – 4.10, KUV100 (Diesel manual) – 3.75
Baleno (Petrol manual) – 3.30, KUV100 (Petrol manual) – 3.10, Baleno (petrol automatic) – 3.70

Total Cost of Ownership (in Lakh): (Vehicle Price + Fuel Cost – Resale Value)
Baleno (diesel manual) – 4.76, KUV100 (diesel manual) – 5.29
Baleno (petrol manual) – 5.86, KUV100 (petrol manual) – 6.99, Baleno (petrol automatic) – 6.51

Verdict: Diesel Baleno’s Total Cost of Ownership is not only 60,000 Rs. less than the diesel KUV100, but also is more spacious, well built, more reliable, has better dynamics and better performance, making it our pick of this test. Interestingly, the automatic geared Baleno petrol works out to be 50,000 Rs. cheaper than a manual geared KUV100 petrol, in terms of the Total Cost of Ownership. If you are keen on a petrol powered vehicle, the Baleno CVT is hands down our pick of the test.

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