Baleno vs Swift Comparison

Maruti-Suzuki Baleno vs Swift Comparison

Verdict: Baleno is better than Swift

Pricing & Features: At these introductory prices, The Baleno, in spite of being a car from a segment above the Swift, has been priced similar to it. Take the example of the Swift ZDi & the Baleno Zeta Diesel, the price difference is just 2000 Rs. but the Baleno has three extra features that are easily worth 10,000 Rs. making it 8000 Rs. cheaper than the Swift! That makes the Baleno far better value-for-money than the Swift.

Space & Comfort: This is where the Baleno beats the Swift hollow. It is a far more spacious and comfortable car than the Swift. Especially, in the rear of the cabin where there is generous amount of knee-room, head-room and shoulder space for three full grown adults with space left over for carrying a fourth passenger on rare occasions. The Swift on the other hand has barely enough room for two. Knee-room is particularly in short supply, and it gets really uncomfortable on the back seat of the Swift after a couple of hours. Even a third passenger is a squeeze in the swift and sitting in the middle is no less than a punishment. But that’s not all; Baleno’s boot-space is also far more generous at 339 litres compared to Swift’s sorely limited capacity of 205 litres.

Fuel Efficiency: The petrol Balenos (both manual & automatic) have an ARAI certified mileage of 21.4 kmpl, which is 1 kmpl more than the Swift. In our back to back tests, the manual geared Baleno was barely half a kmpl more efficient than the Swift, which in turn was half a kmpl more efficient than the automatic geared Baleno. The diesel powered Baleno has ARAI certified mileage of 27.39 kmpl, which is 2.19 kmpl more than the Swift’s mileage of 25.2 kmpl. In our real world tests, the Baleno was consistently more efficient than the Swift, but the difference was less than 1 kmpl.

Performance & Drivability:
Petrol: Both cars are powered by the same K12 engine, which is one of the best naturally aspirated small capacity engines in the market, free-revving & blissfully refined. However, what makes a big difference is the almost 100 kg difference in their kerb weights. The Baleno feels more sprightly and drivable around town and performs marginally better than the Swift throughout the rev-range. However, the lack of a turbo petrol engine is a telling omission given cheaper hatchbacks like Tata Bolt already have it and given that Suzuki already has a 1 litre turbo-charged engine available elsewhere in the world. The Baleno is also available with a CVT automatic gearbox, which makes it perfect for city commutes, although it does get a bit bothersome on the highways due to a pronounced rubber band effect.

Power (PS@rpm): Baleno – 84.3@6000, Swift – 84.3@6000
Torque (Nm@rpm): Baleno - 115@4000, Swift – 115@4000
Kerb Weight (kg): Baleno – 875, Swift – 955
Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Baleno – 96, Swift – 88
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Baleno – 131, Swift – 120

Diesel: Surprisingly, Suzuki has opted to use the 75PS version of Fiat’s Multijet in the Baleno instead of the 90PS version that it uses in the Ciaz, Ertiga & S-cross. Swift also uses the same 1250 cc Multijet engine that makes the two cars very similar in terms of overall performance. However, Baleno’s 100 kg lighter kerb weight gives it a noticeable advantage over the Swift, when it comes to drivability around town. However if you observe keenly, you will notice that the Swift has slightly better noise insulation than the Baleno as the Baleno seems to have skimped on sound deadening material in its quest of achieving a low kerb weight.

Power (PS@rpm): Baleno – 75@4000, Swift – 75@4000
Torque (Nm@rpm): Baleno - 190@2000, Swift – 190@2000
Kerb Weight (kg): Baleno – 975, Swift – 1050
Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Baleno – 77, Swift – 71
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Baleno – 109, Swift – 181

Ride Quality & Handling: Baleno has a much more grown up setup than the Swift in terms of dynamics. It has a slightly softer springs which coupled to the long wheelbase has resulted in a pliant and more comfortable ride quality than the Swift. Even the stability over a series of undulations is much better in the Baleno. However, it has lost the pointy nature and the agile, enthusiastic, fun character of the Swift. Baleno’s steering is in fact better configured than the Swift with a certain tightness off-centre and more well weighted than the Swift’s. But the Swift’s short wheelbase and a wider tract to wheelbase ratio makes it more chuck-able around corners, with the stiffer suspension giving it better feedback from the surface underneath.

Reliability and After Sales Service: Both cars are backed by Maruti’s legendary service network and like every other Maruti that has been launched in our great country over the past 30 odd years, both these cars are bound o be utterly reliable as well. Both cars are also bound to hold excellent value over the next five to seven years as well.

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