Complete details of the Maruti Baleno premium hatchback have been released except for the prices, ahead of its launch on October 26. Here is how the stalwart’s most expensive hatchback stacks up against its well established rivals – Hyundai Elite i20, Hond Jazz, and VW Polo on paper.
Since all the vehicles in this segment are governed by the Indian sub-4 m compact car norm, there isn’t much of a difference in terms of length. The Baleno and Jazz decided to make the most of the limitation and hence they both measure 3,995 mm in length. The Elite i20 measures 3,985 mm while the Polo emerges as the shortest of the lot at 3,971 mm.
The Hyundai has the longest wheelbase at 2,570 mm, followed by the Honda at 2,530 mm, Maruti at 2,520 mm and VW at 2,469 mm.
Engine and Gearbox
Adhering to the sub-4 m norms, all the hatchbacks featured in this comparo derive their power from 1.2-litre petrol motors. The Polo gets two 1.2-litre motors – a turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder TSI unit which has a segment leading power of 105 PS and a naturally aspirated three-cylinder MPI mill which puts out a modest 75 PS (the least powerful petrol engine it this comparo). With 90 PS on tap, the Jazz emerges as the second most powerful hatchback in the segment. The Baleno and Elite i20 produce 84.3 PS and 83 PS respectively.
Not surprisingly, the Polo’s turbo petrol produces best-in-class torque of 175 Nm. The Baleno and Elite i20 are good for 115 Nm while the Polo MPI and Jazz offer identical 110 Nm.
Save for the Polo TSI which is available exclusively with a 7-speed DSG, rest of the cars come with standard 5-speed manual transmission. The Baleno and Honda can also be had with a CVT but the Elite i20 has no automatic option.
The Polo and Jazz offer the biggest engines of the segment, displacing 1.5-litre while the Baleno’s aging 1.3-litre diesel is the smallest in the class. The Elite i20’s diesel engine displaces 1.4-litres. The Polo’s motor is available in two states of tune – 105 (only in GT TDI) and 90 PS. Jazz is the second most powerful diesel car of the four with 100 PS. The Elite i20 and Polo are capable of 90 PS each whereas the newest kid on the block finds itself at the bottom of the power chart with a comparitively meager output of 75 PS.
When it comes to torque, Polo GT leads the game with an impressive 250 Nm, followed by regular Polo (230 Nm), Elite i20 (220 Nm), Honda Jazz (200 Nm) and Baleno (190 Nm).
The Honda and Hyundai feature 6-speed manual transmissions while the rest make do with 5-speed manual units. None of the diesel hatchbacks in the segment offer automatic option.
Among petrol hatchbacks, the Honda Jazz CVT emerges as the most fuel efficient of the lot at 19 kmpl (18.7 kmpl for manual). The Hyundai Elite i20 manages 18.6 kmpl while the Polo TSI and MPI deliver 17.21 kmpl and 16.47 kmpl respectively.
Coming to the diesels, the Jazz again is the winner at 27.3 kmpl. The Elite i20 is good for 22.54 kmpl while the 90 PS and 105 PS versions of the Polo return 20.14 kmpl and 19.91 kmpl respectively. The mileage figures of the Baleno will be out on the launch day.
Here is a brief features highlight of the top-end variants of these cars.
Maruti Baleno: Dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, electrically foldable and adjustable ORVMs, reverse parking sensor with camera, GPS Navigation, power windows, alloy wheels, fog lamps, projector headlights, keyless entry and go.
Honda Jazz: Dual airbags, ABS with EBD, automatic climate control, touchscreen infotainment system, electrically foldable and adjustable ORVMs, reverse parking sensor with camera, GPS navigation, power windows, Magic Seats, keyless entry and go, projector headlights, fog lights and alloy wheels.
Hyundai Elite i20: Dual airbags, ABS with EBD, touchscreen infotainment system with GPS navigation, reverse parking sensor, automatic climate control, keyless entry and go, electrically foldable and adjustable ORVMs, power windows, and fog lights, alloy wheels.
VW Polo: Dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP (GT TSI), power windows, automatic climate control, 2-DIN audio system, reverse parking sensor, electrically adjustable ORVMs, alloy wheels and fog lights.
At INR 5.33 lakhs, the VW Polo has the lowest starting price for the petrol variant. Finishing close second are the Hyundai Elite i20 and Honda Jazz with a starting price of INR 5.34 lakhs apiece.
The entry level prices of diesel variant of the Elite i20, Jazz and Polo are INR 6.45 lakhs, INR 6.53 lakhs and INR 6.68 lakhs respectively. Please not that all prices are ex-showroom, New Delhi. The prices of Maruti Baleno will be updated on October 26.