Maruti-Suzuki Baleno vs Hyundai Elite i20 Comparison

Elite i20 vs Baleno Comparison

Verdict – Drivability wise the Baleno petrol is better than Elite i20 petrol, however in the diesel version the Elite i20 scores over the Baleno. Overall, Baleno is better than Elite i20.

Engine: The engine line-up of the Baleno consists of two engines – 1.2L VVT petrol and 1.3L DDiS diesel. The petrol engine delivers a maximum power of 82.8bhp with a peak torque of 115Nm while the latter churns out 73.9bhp with a max torque of 190Nm. These engines are mated to five speed manual gearbox which comes as standard across all the models. A CVT automatic gearbox is also offered along with the Delta petrol package. The Elite i20 is also on the same level as the Baleno when it comes on paper, offering two engine options just like the Baleno. This one too gets a 1.2-litre petrol mill churning out 82bhp and 115Nm. It comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission but doesn’t get an automatic gearbox option. The diesel counterpart of the i20 makes 90PS of power and 220Nm of torque from a 1.4-litre unit. Unlike the Baleno the Elite i20 doesn’t get an automatic gearbox but a six speed manual gearbox is available on one of the diesel models. Although both of them deliver the same maximum torque at 4000rpm the Baleno feels torquier. Leaving the smooth engine aside (sourced from Fiat) the Baleno is almost 200 kilos lighter than its nemesis even with its larger build, making it quicker.

Petrol:-Kerb Weight: Baleno-890kgs, Elite i20-1060kgs
Power to Weight ratio: Baleno-96, Elite i20-78
Torque to Weight ratio: Baleno-132, Elite i20-108

Diesel:-Kerb Weight: Baleno-985kgs, Elite i20-1170kgs
Power to Weight ratio: Baleno-77, Elite i20-77
Torque to Weight ratio: Baleno-195, Elite i20-188

Looks and Exteriors
Maruti Suzuki has recently introduced its so called ‘Liquid Flow’ design in the Baleno which makes it look rounder and chunkier than the contemporary Maruti cars. This new design gives the car an impression of more space and size. In terms of design the Baleno does not look very appealing and in fact looks like a blown up Swift. But many Swift buyers are sure to love this design and might even want to upgrade to a ‘larger Swift’. The all new Baleno is 3995mm in length, 1745mm in width and 1740mm in height. It has a large wheelbase of 2520 mm. At the same time, the Hyundai Elite i20 measures 3,985mm, 1,734mm and 1,505mm in length, width and height, respectively. It comes with a large wheelbase of 2,570mm. Designed on Hyundai’s Fluidic V2.0 design theme, the Elite i20 is much better looking than its rival. The broad shoulders along with its lower ground clearance of the i20 gives it a sportier feel. Here the i20 has an edge over the Baleno.

Interior Space and Comfort

Owing to its round and large exteriors the Baleno is quite generous when it comes to interior space. A good headroom along with a good knee room coupled with the lower window line gives the car a nice airy feel from the inside. All these points make it a good family car. Sadly it has no rear AC vents though. This might have been taken into consideration to improve the knee room for fifth passenger who is sitting in between. The i20 on the other hand has smartly stationed its rear AC vents in such a way that the fifth passenger does not receive any interference to its leg movement. The i20 also offers a decent amount of interior space but the rear might seem a bit cramped due to its rising window line. Boot space wise the Baleno reigns supreme with an impressive capacity of 340L as compared to Elite i20’s 285L which is quite mediocre as compared to that of the Maruti hunk.

Hyundai cars are known to come fully decked with a host of electronic gadgets which always gives it an upper hand in a features comparison test. The new generation Elite i20 has been re worked on the inside to offer better features, better colours along with a better finish.
The Baleno gets a smartly designed internal cluster all clad in black (something which is uncommon in the Indian market). The top end models of the Baleno get projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights that is absent in the i20. In fact it is not present in any of the cars of this segment. Thus the Baleno is better in terms of amount and quality of the accessories offered. Dual airbags and ABS comes as standard across all variants of the Baleno. Whereas the i20 offers driver side airbags in 2 variants, dual airbags in 2 variants and ABS across four variants of the total six variants. So in terms of safety also, the Baleno is better equipped. Features of both Baleno Alpha 1.3 and Elite i20 Asta 1.4 CRDi (O) are compared.

Common Features - Automatic Climate Control, Integrated stereo with Bluetooth, USB and AUX support, Steering Mounted Controls, ABS, Dual Airbags, Rear Defogger, Fog Lamps, Cruise Control, Seat Belt Warning,Parking Assist etc.

Extra features in Baleno - Electric Brake Force Distribution system (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Split Rear Seat (60:40 split), Projector headlamps, Apple CarPlay, LED DRLs, Tilt and Telescopic Steering, Voice Command

Extra Features in Elite i20 - Rear AC vents, Cooled Glove box, Dual Tone Interiors

Performance and Handling
Petrol – The Elite i20 is no match for the Baleno when it comes to drivability and performance. Hyundai has always been struggling with the problem of stability at high speeds and though they have been improving it with each and every model, it’s not quite up to the mark. Whereas the Baleno is rev-happy owing to its Fiat sourced engine and its feather light weight(The Baleno is nearly 200 kilos lighter than the Elite i20 and 100 kilos lighter than the Swift) and it leaves the Elite i20 biting the dust. Due to its sturdy build, there is no problem of body roll, inspiring enough confidence in the driver to touch three digit speeds. The CVT variant of the Baleno is a bit disappointing. Though it zips through the city traffic with ease, on highways it’s more of a struggle to execute quick overtakes. Therefore the manual petrol Baleno is more fun to drive than the CVT version.
Diesel – Both of them being diesel driven, the Baleno and the i20 comes to life only after the engine clocks 2000rpm. Maruti has surprisingly installed a smaller 75bhp engine in the Baleno as compared to the larger 90PS engine of the Elite i20, probably to achieve a class leading mileage of 27.39kmpl. Even with its smaller engine which it has borrowed from the Swift, the Baleno feels quite torquey thanks to its super low kerb weight. The Elite i20 offers a variant with a six speed gearbox which adds to the refinement and flexibility of the engine. Both the cars are pretty good when it comes to manoeuvring through city traffic. But the absence of the sixth gear is clearly felt in the Baleno when it comes to highways.  Also the steering of the Elite i20 feels quite light at really high speeds make it a little scary and wobbly. In spite of all this the Elite i20 diesel is still better than the Baleno diesel.

Fuel Efficiency
Maruti has launched another fuel efficient car in the Baleno. The petrol driven Baleno delivers an impressive 21.4kmpl as compared to the 18.7kmpl of the Hyundai Elite i20. The diesel variant of the i20 travels around 22.54 kilometres by burning a litre of fuel while the most fuel efficient diesel model of the Baleno gives a whopping 27.39 kilometres to a litre! The Baleno pips even the Honda Jazz which in fact was the most fuel efficient car in the premium hatch back segment, thus becoming the new leader in terms of fuel efficiency.

The base variant of the Baleno comes for 4.99 Lakh rupees which is 35,000 rupees cheaper than the Elite i20 base model. The top end variants of both the models come for 8.11 lakh and 8.28 lakh respectively. In spite of Baleno being the cheaper one out of the two, it offers more features as compared to the Elite i20. Hence Baleno can be considered as a more practical choice due to its strategic pricing.

After Sales Service
Not a worry for Maruti buyers at all as one can find a Maruti spare parts shop in every nook and corner of the country. The reason being, Maruti has been in India ever since the iconic 800 was launched in the eighties thus resulting in a large loyal customer base which has in turn boosted their sales and after sales service to rank one. Hyundai comes close behind Maruti in terms of after sales and reliability and they too have left a mark in the Indian automotive market. A person who is ONLY concerned with ‘Kya hoga gaadi lene ke baad??’, can blindly go in for any of the two!

As far as driving freaks are concerned, the Baleno petrol beats the Elite i20 petrol fair and square. Stakes are turned when the diesel models are compared and this time the Baleno bears the brunt. Leaving aside drivability and handling, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno is a better choice among the two, mainly because of its low cost, excellent features at a really affordable price, best in class mileage (diesel), better interior space, lower cost of ownership, etc. Considering these factors, the premium hatch back segment could get a new leader in the Baleno.

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