Maruti Suzuki India Limited, leading automakers in India have successfully launched a faster and sportier variant of the Baleno hatchback. This new Baleno RS competes head on with the likes of VW Polo GT TSI and Fiat Punto Abarth, with Baleno having a distinct price advantage over its rivals. Here is a brief comparison between the Maruti Baleno RS and its closest rival, the VW Polo GT TSI.
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Price – Both Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS and VW Polo GT TSI compete equally on price factor with not much of difference between the two. Baleno RS, which is sold through NEXA outlets is priced between INR 8.69 lakhs while Polo GT is marginally more expensive, available at a price of INR 9.16 lakh. All prices are ex-showroom, New Delhi.
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Engine Specifications – Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is offered with a turbocharged 1.0 liter three cylinder petrol engine capable of 101 hp power at 5,500 rpm and 150 Nm torque at 1,700 to 4,500 rpm mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. VW Polo GT TSI on the other hand gets an edge over Baleno RS with a larger 1.2 liter engine offering 104 hp power at 5,000 rpm and 175 Nm torque at 1,500 to 4,100 rpm mated to a 7 speed DSG automatic gearbox resulting in faster gearshifts. Power to weight ratio on the Baleno RS is at 107.3 hp per tonne and at 94.67 hp on the Polo GT TSI.
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Features – Both Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS and VW Polo GT abound in infotainment and safety features. Baleno RS has more up to date features with 7” touchscreen infotainment, voice command, reverse camera and parking sensors while in terms of safety the Baleno gets automatic climate control, keyless entry, 2 airbags and ABS offered as standard. VW Polo on the other hand receives a 7” touchscreen multimedia AVN system with Bluetooth connectivity and steering mounted controls. It gets power steering and remote central lock with rear parking sensor, rear windshield wiper and electric adjustment for ORVMs. Safety features include dual airbags, ABS as standard along with EBD, ESP, hill drive assist and hill hold function.
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Dimensions – Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS measures 3,995mm in length, 1,745mm in width and 1,510mm in height. Ground clearance stands at 170mm. VW Polo stands 3,971mm in length, 1,682mm in width and 1,496mm in height with ground clearance at 165mm. There is however a significant difference in weight with the Baleno RS weighing 950 kgs as against a total weight of 1109 kgs of the VW Polo.
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Mileage – The new Maruti Baleno RS claims not only to be just a sporty hatchback, but also one which is easy on your pocket. Maruti claims that the new Baleno RS hot hatch delivers fuel efficiency of 21.2 kmpl. On the other hand, the VW Polo GT TSI delivers a mileage of 17.21 kmpl.
Of the two, it is the Maruti Baleno RS which is the more practical. It comes with more space, has more features, is priced more affordably, and is also fun to drive when you want it to. What works for VW Polo GT TSI is that it is more refined, performs much better, the gearbox is a gem, and feels more sturdy.