Baleno vs i20: Clash of The Premium Hatchback Titans
Car Face-Offs
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Baleno vs i20 Comparison: Clash of the Premium Hatchback Titans


Hatchback cars in India are immensely popular. Their popularity can be attributed primarily to their practicality, simplicity and value for money. But of late, feature-laden and powerful premium hatchbacks are getting a lot of slack in the market. One of the oldest contenders in this segment is Korean-marquee, Hyundai’s i20. In its latest generation, it is christened as the Elite i20 and comes with a boast-worthy equipment list and a modern European-inspired design. In an attempt to give its chief rival a fitting response, Maruti Suzuki resurrected their classic Baleno and gave it a brand-new life. This time it took birth as a contemporary premium hatchback and was all set to lock horns with the successful performing Elite i20. In this article, we’ll pitch both these highly sought-after cars against each other and find out which one reigns superior. So let’s commence with our Baleno vs i20 premium hatchback face-off.

Baleno vs i20: Price Comparison

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Price List:

Variant Price (Ex-Showroom)
Sigma 1.2 Petrol Rs.5.38 Lakhs
Delta 1.2 Petrol Rs.6.00 Lakhs
Zeta 1.2 Petrol Rs.6.68 Lakhs
Delta 1.2 Petrol Automatic Rs.7.12 Lakhs
Alpha 1.2 Petrol Rs.7.38 Lakhs
Zeta 1.2 Petrol Automatic Rs.7.73 Lakhs
Alpha 1.2 Petrol Automatic Rs.8.43 Lakhs
Sigma 1.3 Diesel Rs.6.51 Lakhs
Delta 1.3 Diesel Rs.7.17 Lakhs
Zeta 1.3 Diesel Rs.7.78 Lakhs
Alpha 1.3 Diesel Rs.8.50 Lakhs

Hyundai Elite i20 Price List:

Variant Price(Ex-Showroom)
Era 1.2 Petrol Rs.5.41 Lakhs
Magna Executive 1.2 Petrol Rs.6.00 Lakhs
Sportz 1.2 Petrol Rs.6.65 Lakhs
Magna Executive 1.2 Petrol Automatic Rs.7.05 Lakhs
Asta 1.2 Petrol Rs.7.17 Lakhs
Asta 1.2 Petrol Dual Tone Rs.7.42 Lakhs
Asta 1.2 Petrol Option Rs.7.96 Lakhs
Asta 1.2 Petrol CVT Rs.8.22 Lakhs
Era 1.4 Diesel Rs.6.79 Lakhs
Magna Executive 1.4 Diesel Rs.7.37 Lakhs
Sportz 1.4 Diesel Rs.7.89 Lakhs
Asta 1.4 Diesel Rs.8.42 Lakhs
Asta 1.4 Diesel Dual Tone Rs.8.67 Lakhs
Asta 1.4 Diesel Option Rs.9.21 Lakhs

Baleno vs i20: Performance and Mileage

Engine Specifications (Petrol):

Parameters  Maruti Suzuki Baleno Hyundai Elite i20
Capacity 1197cc 1197cc
Power [email protected] [email protected]
Torque [email protected] [email protected]
Transmission 5-Speed Manual/CVT Auto 5-Speed Manual/ CVT
Fuel Tank 37 Litres 45 Litre
Mileage 21.4 Km/l 18.6 Km/l

Engine Specifications (Diesel):

Parameters  Maruti Suzuki Baleno  Hyundai Elite i20
Capacity 1248cc 1396cc
Power [email protected] [email protected]
Torque [email protected] [email protected]
Transmission 5-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual
Fuel Tank 37 Litres 45 Litre
Mileage 27.39 kmpl 22.54 Km/l
Baleno vs i20 - Baleno Engine -
Maruti Suzuki Baleno DDiS 190

Baleno vs i20: Engine Variations and Options

Both cars come with one primary engine variant each for petrol and diesel models respectively. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno gets a 1.2-litre petrol engine and their diesel models get the signature 1.3-litre DDiS 190 powerplant. The Hyundai Elite i20 also comes with a 1.2-litre petrol which measures up to an exact 1197cc as the Baleno. The diesel model, however, comes with a 1.4-litre engine which is bigger than the Baleno’s. Both cars get a 5-speed manual transmission mated to the petrol variants along with an automatic option as well. If the coincidences weren’t already enough, both cars use the same CVT mechanism on their automatic variants. Diesel variants are devoid of an automatic on both but the i20 gets a 6-speed manual, unlike the Baleno’s 5-speed.

Baleno vs i20: Engine Performance

On the petrol variants, both the i20 and Baleno are very evenly matched putting out almost identical power and torque figures. However, the Baleno is a good 200 kilos lighter than the Elite i20 across every variant. So, in terms of outright pep and punch, the Baleno is far ahead of the Elite i20 be it the city or the highway. But even here, the i20 takes the cake in terms of refinement. While the Baleno isn’t very bad in that department, it’s certainly not as good as the i20. As for the diesel variants, the roles are reversed. Here the i20’s 1.4-litre mill with its higher output emerges dominant by a good margin.

The Baleno’s diesel packs enough zest to get the job done in the City but lacks the outright overtaking power on the highways. The i20, on the other hand, has sufficient levels of torque to breezily perform overtaking manoeuvres on the highways. You won’t even have to downshift in most cases. Turbo lag is also very nicely controlled and is much less apparent than what the Baleno displays.  A special mention has to be made to the absolutely superior levels of NVH and refinement on the diesel i20. It’s so smooth and silent you’ll have a very hard time concluding that you are sitting in a diesel-powered car. The Baleno with its significant lack of firewall and noise insulation is simply miles away in that department.

Baleno vs i20 - Hyundai Engine -
Hyundai Elite i20 1.4 CRDi

 Baleno vs i20: Gearbox Comparison

Both cars come with identical gearbox variations, manual and automatic for the petrol and only manual for the diesel. The Baleno has a very easy to use gearbox unit for both the petrol and diesel variants. Clutch effort is quite light and the gears have sure-slotted shifts which barely ever feel jerky. The i20’s clutch isn’t as light as the Baleno but isn’t unacceptably heavy either. The gears also shift with a similar response. In the diesel variants, the i20’s 6-speed unit performs much better which also has a major contribution towards the refinement.

Moving to the automatic versions, both cars use a similar CVT mechanism. As expected both cars are prone to the dreadful rubber band effect and lack the overtaking punch. Although in the city, both cars are really convenient to use. Again the Elite i20’s automatic gets an upper hand as it comes with a 6-slot manual mode as well. It works much better whenever you wish to make any overtaking manoeuvres. In fact, if you get used to the i20’s CVT, you will realize that it’s actually adequate enough despite the lack of power.

Also Read: Swift vs i20 Comparison

Baleno vs i20: Equipment and Looks

Baleno vs i20: Maruti Suzuki Baleno Features List

The latest generation Maruti Suzuki Baleno was launched on October 2015. In its top trim, the Baleno packs the following features:

  • Chrome Coated Door Handles
  • Body coloured front bumper and indicator-integrated ORVMs
  • Minimal Front Grille with Chrome Accents
  • Integrated Rear Spoiler
  • Projector Headlamps with DRL Strips
  • Rear Combination LED Lamps
  • Metal Accents on Door Handles and Parking Brake Lever
  • Illuminated Glove Box, Luggage Room and Front Footwell
  • Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Multi-Information Speedometer Display with Colour TFT
  • SmartPlay 7-inch Touchscreen Infotainment System with Navigation
  • Smartphone Remote Control with Voice Navigation
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Integration
  • Remote Keyless Entry with Push Button Start/Stop
  • Front and Rear Accessory Socket
  • Reverse Parking Sensors with Camera
  • Follow Me Home/ Lead to Vehicle Headlamps
  • Safety Net Comprising of ABS, EBD, Dual Airbags, Suzuki TECT Construction, ISOFIX Child Seat Anchors and Auto-Dimming IRVMs
Baleno vs i20- Baleno
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Dashboard Console

Baleno vs i20: Maruti Suzuki Baleno Aesthetics Overview

We all know the classic 2000’s Baleno which wasn’t exactly the best looking car in the market. However, this resurrected Baleno looks nothing like the old one. For starters, the new Baleno is a hatchback and quite a gorgeous one too! The front of the car has a very contemporary design reminiscent of the previous generation Swift. Maruti has played a very smart game with the design and it is visible in certain areas like the chrome strip on the front grille which cohesively flows into the headlamp cluster.

From the sides, the Baleno has a lot of curves and creases going on with very prominent flared wheel arches. The best-looking section of the Baleno has to be the rear. Its designed in a very unique manner with bulge-out LED tail lamps and a nicely positioned chrome strip in the centre. The interiors aren’t anything out of the ordinary but fit with the current times. Cabin materials are of good quality and are all in all there is really nothing to complain about here.

Baleno vs i20- Baleno Front Quarter
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Front Quarter Profile

Baleno vs i20: Hyundai Elite i20 Features List

The Elite i20 was launched in September 2013 and received a comprehensive facelift earlier this year. In its top trim, it boasts of the following features:

  • Projectors Headlamps with LED DRL and Positioning Lamps
  • Dual Tone Rear Bumper
  • Chrome Door Handles
  • ORVM Integrated Turn Signals
  • Chrome Accents on Door Handles
  • Gunmetal/ Diamond-Cut Finish Alloy Wheels
  • Dual Tone Interior Finish with Neon Upholstery Accents
  • Leather Wrapped Gear Knob and Steering Wheel
  • Steering Integrated Audio Controls
  • Armrest Integrated Storage Compartment
  • Sunglass Holder Pocket
  • Blue Ambient Lights
  • Cooled Glovebox
  • Passenger Side Vanity Mirror
  • Centre Lamp with Dimming Effect
  • Electrically Adjustable Mirrors
  • 7-inch Touchscreen Navigation System Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Integration
  • Arkamys Audio
  • Keyless Entry with Push Button Start/Stop
  • Headlamp Escort Function
  • Cooled Glovebox
  • Steering-Wheel Integrated Audio and Bluetooth Controls
  • Reverse Parking Sensors with Camera
  • Safety Net Comprising of 6 Airbags, ABS and EBD, Impact and Speed Sensing Door Locks, Clutch Lock and ISOFIX seats.
Baleno vs i20-i20
Hyundai Elite i20 Dashboard Console

Baleno vs i20: Hyundai Elite i20 Aesthetics Overview

With its facelift, the Elite i20 is quite a stunning looking car as well. The LED DRLs and the projector headlamps give it a generous amount of flair. The KIA inspired front grille works effectively and is flanked by a network of character lines around the bumper. From the sides, the Elite i20 has definitive sharp creases with blacked-out pads on the bottom of the door. Just like the Baleno, the i20 also looks the best from the rear. A majority of this is courtesy the BMW X1 inspired LED wraparound tail lamps. The i20 also gets a dual tone paint scheme variant with a blacked out top section which makes the car look even better. Jump into the cabin and you are treated to typical top-quality Hyundai interiors. It’s highly plush and elegant and does make you feel quite special when you step in.

Baleno vs i20- i20 Front Quarter
Hyundai Elite i20 Front Quarter Profile

Baleno vs i20: Dimensions

Measurements Maruti Suzuki Baleno Hyundai Elite i20
Length 3995 mm 3985 mm
Width 1745 mm 1734 mm
Height 1510 mm 1505 mm
Wheelbase 2520 mm 2570 mm
Tyre Size 185/65 R15, 195/55 R16 195/55 R16
Ground Clearance 170 mm 170 mm
Boot Space 339 Litres 400 Litres
Weight 865 to 985 Kg 1066-1213 Kg

In the dimensions round of our Baleno vs i20 comparison, the battle is pretty close. However, the Baleno emerges dominant overall. In terms of length, width and height, the Baleno is just marginally ahead than the i20 by a few millimetres. This translates to slightly higher interior room available for occupants in the Baleno. The i20 is significantly ahead on wheelbase compared to the Baleno which gives it better straight-line stability.

But this same attribute also gives it a larger turning radius which isn’t exactly an advantage for small cars. Hence this quality can’t exactly be classified as an advantage for the i20. After these aspects, the i20 wins in tyre size with the fatter 195 section rubber. Ground clearance is a draw since they are both precisely equal. The i20 again wins with the boot space with quite a big advantage. Lastly, the Baleno wins by a huge margin in terms of kerb weight being at least 200 kilos lighter than the i20 across trims.

Baleno vs i20- Size Comparison
Size Comparison

Baleno vs i20: Conclusion

  • Dimensions: The Dimensions round goes to the Baleno. It’s marginally taller, longer and wider than the i20 but primarily wins because of its lighter weight. The i20 only beats it in Tyre Size and Boot Space.
  • Performance: When it comes to the petrol variants, the Baleno wins with its lesser weight and sufficiently potent engine. However, its 1.3 diesel is no match for the torque-laden 1.4-litre unit on the i20. The i20 also gets an upper hand with its super refined performance in both variants and a much better gearbox unit. This round goes to the Elite i20.
  • Fuel Efficiency and Range: You can’t contest with a Maruti in terms of fuel efficiency and the case is no different here. However, the i20 with its larger fuel tank has a higher range than the Baleno in the petrol variants. The Baleno just marginally edges it out in the diesel variant. So by a very close margin, the Baleno wins this round.
  • Features and Equipment: This round was quite close. Both cars look really good in person making it quite difficult to pinpoint a winner. Moving to the interiors, the i20 has a clear upper hand. While the Baleno isn’t bad by any means, the i20 is just better. It also packs in more equipment and safety features as well. Another round to the i20.
  • Price: The Baleno is more affordable than the Elite i20 by a mere Rs.3000 in the base trim. This difference increases to Rs.70000 in the top trims. While usually, we would give this round to the Baleno, we also need to factor here that the i20 provides a lot more equipment and safety features for the price. This round is a draw.
  • Final Verdict: Just like the engine specifications of both the cars, this battle also extremely close. Out of 5 aspects, the Baleno wins in terms of Dimensions and marginally in terms of fuel efficiency and range. The i20 wins by a great margin in Equipment and Performance round. Although the Baleno did triumph in terms of fuel range, it was only by a difference of 8-10 kilometers which isn’t really a lot. In two primary categories, performance and equipment, the i20 has a dominant upper hand. Going by the rounds, the Baleno turns out to be the victor. But in reality, the i20 is a much better package with a very marginally higher price. Even there it is justified considering the overall quality, equipment and safety. So in a surprising turn of events, the winner of our Baleno vs i20 battle is the Hyundai Elite i20.

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