Volkswagen Polo vs Maruti Suzuki Baleno

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Back in 2011, Volkswagen caused quite a stir-up in the market when they launched their most affordable car for India, the infamous Polo. 7 years down the line, the Polo has made quite a lot of enemies. The most recent competitor challenging its claim is the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. We all know the classic Baleno sedan which was a plain and humble family sedan. However, in its latest reincarnation, it has taken birth as a striking-looking hatchback which looks very eye-catchy. It also boasts of some generous kit on the inside which has been the Polo’s forte for a long time. In this article, we will be pitching both these cars head to head and comparing their intricate qualities. So let’s commence with our Polo vs Baleno hatchback face-off.

Polo vs Baleno: Price and Variants

Volkswagen Polo Price List:

Variant Price (Ex-Showroom)
Trendline 1.0 Petrol Rs.5.55 Lakhs
Comfortline 1.0 Petrol Rs.6.25 Lakhs
Highline Plus 1.0 Petrol Rs.7.43 Lakhs
GT TSI 1.2 Petrol Rs.9.39 Lakhs
Trendline 1.5 Diesel Rs.7.06 Lakhs
Comfortline 1.5 Diesel Rs.7.97 Lakhs
Highline Plus 1.5 Diesel Rs.8.96 Lakhs
GT TDI 1.5 Diesel Rs.9.39 Lakhs

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

Polo vs Baleno: Performance and Mileage

Engine Specifications Petrol:

Parameters  Volkswagen Polo Maruti Suzuki Baleno
Capacity 999cc/1197cc 1197cc
Power 72.98bhp@6200RPM/103.5bhp@5000RPM 83.1bhp@6000RPM
Torque 95Nm@3000-4300RPM/175Nm@1500-4100RPM 115Nm@4000RPM
Transmission 5-Speed Manual/ 7-Speed DSG Auto 5-Speed Manual/CVT Auto
Fuel Tank 45 Litres 37 Litres
Mileage 18.78 kmpl/ 17.21 kmpl 21.4 kmpl

Engine Specifications Diesel:

Parameters  Volkswagen Polo Maruti Suzuki Baleno
Capacity 1498cc 1248cc
Power 88.7bhp@4200RPM/108.5bhp@4000RPM 74bhp@4000PM
Torque 230Nm@1500-2500RPM/250Nm@1500-3000RPM 190Nm@2000RPM
Transmission 5-Speed Manual 5-Speed Manual
Fuel Tank 45 Litres 37 Litres
Mileage 20.14 kmpl/21.4 kmpl 27.39 kmpl
Volkswagen Polo 1.5 Diesel

Polo vs Baleno: Engine: Variations and Options

The Maruti Suzuki Baleno comes with two different engines, a 1.2-litre petrol, and a 1.3-litre diesel. The diesel engine is their signature DDiS 190 engine which is used in several other Maruti Suzuki cars as well. The Volkswagen Polo, on the other hand, comes with a total of 4 engine options. It gets a standard 1.0-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel. Apart from that, there are also two high-performance GT model engines. The Polo GT comes with a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel both of which pack a lot of punch. As for the gearbox variants, both cars come with a conventional 5-speed manual. The Baleno gets a CVT type automatic while the Polo comes with a top-notch DSG automatic.

Polo vs Baleno: Engine Performance

Following the industry’s trend of downsizing engines, the Volkswagen Polo lost both of its original 1.2 and 1.6 engines. It now comes with a much smaller 1.0-litre engine that prioritizes on fuel economy. The previous 1.2-litre Polo was already pretty lacklustre in terms of performance. With the downgrade to 1.0-litre , it’s become even more lacklustre. In comparison, the Baleno’s peppy 1.2-litre with its lighter kerb weight feels much more agile and punchy. The Polo GT, however, is in a totally different league of performance. The Baleno can’t even dream of coming close to the outright performance of the GT.

Moving to the Diesel variants, the Baleno is sufficiently equipped to handle city driving duties. On the highways, it’s only so-so. The Volkswagen Polo’s 1.5 diesel feels like a much more wholesome package in comparison. It packs more bhp than the Baleno but what really counts is the 40Nm torque advantage. Again the Polo GT Diesel shines even more with its 108bhp and stonking 250 Nm of torque. The acceleration simply plants a smile on your face once you get into the sweet spot.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno DDiS 190

Polo vs Baleno: Gearbox Comparison

Both the Baleno and the Polo come with a 5-speed manual transmission. The automatic mechanisms are however vastly different on both. The Polo gets Volkswagen’s sublime DSG gearbox while the Baleno comes with a more conventional CVT. Be it manual or automatic, the Polo’s gearbox is just supreme. The Baleno actually has a very decent manual mated to a lightweight clutch. However, the Volkswagen Polo is equipped with practically the best gearbox in the segment. German engineering is very difficult to match and it is very apparent in this case. As for the automatics, the Polo’s 7-Speed DSG is practically good enough to rival D-segment sedans. It is superior to the Baleno’s CVT by a really huge margin.

Polo vs Baleno: Dimensions

Measurements Volkswagen Polo Maruti Suzuki Baleno
Length 3971 mm 3995 mm
Width 1682 mm 1745 mm
Height 1469 mm 1510 mm
Wheelbase 2469 mm 2520 mm
Tyre Size 175/70 R14, 185/60 R15 195/55 R16 185/65 R15, 195/55 R16
Ground Clearance 165 mm 170 mm
Boot Space 280 Litres 339 Litres
Weight 1015 to 1273 kg 865 to 985 Kg

In the dimensions round, this is going to be another case of one car dominating the other completely. Here, in this comparison, the Baleno is the dominant vehicle. In terms of outright space it is significantly ahead of the Polo with significantly more length, width and height. As for tyre size, both offer 185 and 195 section rubber as options. The base variants of the Polo sadly get thinner 175 section while the Baleno gets 185mm as the smallest size. The Polo is better on the wheelbase front where it is lesser than the Baleno by 50mm giving it more manoeuvrability. The Baleno wins in every other aspect with more ground clearance, a bigger boot and kerb weight. Even the heaviest Baleno is a good 50kg lighter than the lightest Polo.

Size Comparison – Polo vs Baleno (Top-Bottom)

Polo vs Baleno: Features and Looks

Volkswagen Polo Equipment and Appearance:

The Volkswagen Polo was launched way back in 2011 but got a very recent facelift earlier this year. It boasts of the following equipment in its top trim:

The Polo boasts of some top quality interiors

The Polo has been in the market for quite a while now. 7 years ago it was indeed a revelation as it was a true German quality product which was affordably priced to suit a large audience. The current Polo retains most of the aesthetics as the original. The silhouette and the exterior detailing is almost entirely the same. Despite being 7 years old, the Polo still looks quite elegant on the road. The rock solid German build is still quite appreciable even after lacking the outright funky appeal of a lot of its competitors. Volkswagen has given the Polo a very thorough overall from the inside to keep pace with the competition. The interiors are absolutely top-notch balancing the right amount of sophistication with modern equipment. The interior quality is so good you will have a really hard time believing you’re sitting in a B-segment hatchback.

The Polo’s exteriors are also equally well-built and look elegant as well

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Equipment and Appearance:

The brand new Baleno was launched on October 2015. It packs the following features in its top trim:

Also Read: Top Modified Maruti Balenos of India

The Maruti Suzuki Baleno gets very fresh feature-laden interiors

The Baleno returns from its grave in a brand new reincarnation. The new Baleno is a hatchback unlike the original and quite a good looking one too! It boasts of some really contemporary styling with inspiration from the previous generation Swift in certain areas. Maruti has worked quite smartly with the design and has imparted the Baleno with some neat detailing. The Baleno oozes character when viewed from any angle. Cabin materials are of good quality and are all in all there is really nothing to complain about here. The interior layout is inspired by the Ciaz and looks quite good. It’s nothing out of the box but fits well with the other cars of today. Quality of materials used is also up to the mark.

The new Baleno looks quite stunning from the outside

Also Read: Safest Hatchbacks in India under 10 Lakhs

Polo vs Baleno: Conclusion

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