Dimensions – Fiat Punto EVO is longest of the lot, measuring at 3,989 mm. Hyundai Elite i20 follows very closely with a difference of 4 mm. Third longest is 2014 Volkswagen Polo and last stands Maruti Swift at 3,850 mm.
Though shortest in length, Maruti Swift is widest in comparison, at 1,695 mm. Next comes Punto EVO, VW Polo and Elite i20 (1,734 mm) respectively. Swift is also the tallest (1,530 mm) and Punto EVO is again just behind the best seller. Hyundai Elite i20 is third tallest and Polo facelift is shortest at 1,469 mm.
Considering wheelbase, Hyundai Elite i20 surpasses competition with 2,570 mm (45 mm longer than older i20). Punto EVO drives behind, followed by Volkswagen Polo and Maruti Swift (2,430 mm).
Ground clearance of Punto EVO 1.2 FIRE petrol is 195 mm, rest of variants (1.4 PDA petrol and 1.3 MultiJet diesel) measure 185 mm. Maruti Swift and Hyundai Elite i20 stand at 170 mm and 169 mm respectively, and the German reads 165 mm only.
Swift facelift will launch by November 2014, slight change in dimensions can be expected; rest of rivals in the post are already up to date.
Boot volume of Hyundai Elite i20 is highest at 295 litres. Punto EVO and 2014 Polo have identical values of 280 litres, followed by Maruti Swift at 210 litres.
Engine (Petrol) – Fiat Punto EVO comes with two petrol engines – 1.2 FIRE and 1.4 PDA. Volkswagen Polo also has two options in petrol, both are from same 1.2 litre engine. 1.2 MPI is lower power version and 1.2 GT TSI (yet to be launched, slated for last week of August 2014). Maruti Swift and Hyundai Elite i20 have only one petrol tune each, Suzuki’s K12 engine and 1.2 Kappa respectively.
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI will be available with 7 speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) automatic only. Hyundai i20 with 1.4 Gamma engine was offered in first ten with 4 speed automatic transmission, but new Elite i20 will not get this engine or auto box. Same 5 speed manual gearbox with 1.2 Kappa motor as seen in earlier model will be doing duty in Hyundai Elite i20. Rest of hatchbacks will be seen with 5 speed manual stick.
Performance (Petrol) – Yet to launch Polo GT TSI is hottest performer in the list with 105 PS max. power @ 5000 rpm. Second powerful hatch is Punto EVO 1.4 PDA model pushing out 89.5 PS @ 6000 rpm.
Then comes Maruti Swift K12 petrol, producing 87 PS @ 6200 rpm, followed by Hyundai Elite i20 1.2 Kappa variant with max. power of 84 PS @ 6000 rpm. Decent performance is given by 2014 VW Polo 1.2 MPI model with tune of 75 PS @ 5400 rpm and last is Fiat Punto EVO 1.2 FIRE trim giving out 68.22 PS @ 6000 rpm. Torque output ranking is similar to above order.
Engine (diesel) – Volkswagen Polo facelift gets new 1.5 litre TDI engine which will be offered in two tunes. Regular model was launched last month and GT TDI variant will be launched at end of this month. Fiat Punto EVO also has one engine in two trims, the 1.3 litre MultiJet. Hyundai Elite i20 gets same 1.4 litre U2 CRDi that powered first generation i20 and Maruti Swift uses 1.3 litre D13A DDiS diesel engine. Except Hyundai Elite i20 sporting 6 speed manual gearbox, rest of premium hatchbacks in this race equip 5 speed manual transmission only; no automatic variants here.
Performance (diesel) – Volkswagen Polo GT is obvious winner of performance session, with 1.5 litre GT TDI producing 105 PS max. power @ 4400 rpm. Regular variant Polo diesel churns out 90 PS @ 4200 rpm, which is close to Punto EVO Sports variant producing 92.72 PS @ 4000 rpm and Hyundai Elite i20 generating 90 PS @ 4000 rpm. Lower end Punto EVO pushes out 76 PS @ 4000 rpm and Maruti Swift diesel sends 75 PS @ 4000 rpm. Again, torque production grading is similar to max. power ranking above.