The marketing department at Maruti must have thought - what’s in a name? Not much perhaps, and that’s why they have used the name ‘Baleno’ again, but this time, for a different car. Baleno is Suzuki’s answer to the Hyundai Elite i20 and the Honda Jazz. At first impression, the car appears to be as large as the other premium hatchbacks. However, its appearance, unlike others, looks more subdued, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The car began its journey as a concept named ‘iK2’ and bears close semblance to it. Let’s find out how the cars stack up in other areas.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno vs. Honda Jazz vs. Hyundai Elite i20 (Exterior and Styling)
While many prefer the Hyundai Elite i20 over others for its sheer style and appearance (see sales figure comparison), the Baleno should have its takers too. For sure, it’s a style that does not shout as loud as the competitors, but does not look boring either by any means. The front looks inspired from Swift and the side profile looks muscular. The bulges present at the side rear section, along with high set tail lamps and 16-inch alloys, make the car look sporty. The rear three quarters and sides of the car are perhaps most interesting to look at.
Jazz’s styling is rather unconventional and, unlike the other two, uses a cab-forward design, which makes it extremely spacious.
|Dimensions and Weights||Maruti Suzuki Baleno||Honda Jazz||Hyundai Elite i20|
|Length||3995 mm||3955 mm||3985 mm|
|Width||1745 mm||1694 mm||1734 mm|
|Height||1500 mm||1544 mm||1505 mm|
|Wheelbase||2520 mm||2530 mm||2570 mm|
|Kerb weight||865 kg / 890 kg||1155 kg / 1007 kg||1222 kg / 1066 kg|
It would not be wrong to say that Jazz bears the most futuristic face of the lot. Jazz is the tallest (1544 mm), Baleno is the widest (1745 mm) and Elite i20 has the longest wheelbase (2570 mm). Jazz offers 15 inch wheels unlike other two competetiors, and the rubber is also less wide (175 mm) in comparison to the other two competitiors which offer 195 mm wide tyres.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno vs. Honda Jazz vs. Hyundai Elite i20 (Interior and Features)
It’s nice that Maruti has kept the interiors style different from the ones seen on Swift and the even-bigger Ertiga. An all-black theme on the Jazz and Baleno looks more sporty and difficult to soil, unlike the Elite i20, which has beige elements. All cars now offer an AVN (Audi-Visual Navigation) system and an infotainment system with support for USB, Aux-in and Bluetooth. The multimedia unit present on the Baleno and Elite i20 feels slightly upmarket and better in comparison to the one on Jazz.
Baleno’s Apple CarPlay system is a first-in-class feature that lets you access iPhone via mirroring on the 7 inch infotainment screen. Jazz offers the most capacious boot (354 litres), followed by Baleno, which is quite cavernous too at 339 litres.
The Elite i20, however, offers only 285 litres of boot space despite its longer wheelbase. The Elite i20 offers rear AC vents on the Magna and other higher variants; this is missing on all the variants of Jazz as well as Baleno.
|Maruti Suzuki Baleno||Honda Jazz||Hyundai Elite i20|
|Boot space||339 litres||354 litres||285 litres|
Maruti Suzuki Baleno vs. Honda Jazz vs. Hyundai Elite i20 (Engine, Transmission and Mileage)
All cars offer equal capacity, 1.2-litre petrol motor, which develops power and torque figures that are very much comparable, and the difference is only marginal. The diesel motor of the Jazz, however, makes 100 PS of power, which is much more than the Baleno diesel, which makes only 75 PS. Despite the larger capacity diesel motor of the Jazz (1.5 litre), it offers a mileage, which is as impressive as the Baleno’s (27.3 kmpl). Baleno petrol offers an impressive figure of 21.4 kmpl. This is largely due to the low kerb weight of the car, which makes it more efficient.
|Engine and Gearbox||Maruti Suzuki Baleno||Honda Jazz||Hyundai Elite i20|
|Engine capacity||1.4 litre (D) / 1.2 litre (P)||1.4 litre (D) / 1.2 litre (P)||1.4 litre (D) / 1.2 litre (P)|
|Gearbox||5 MT / 5 MT and AT||6 MT / 5 MT and AT||6 MT / 5 MT|
|Power||75 PS / 84 PS||100 PS / 90 PS||90 PS / 83 PS|
|Torque||190 Nm / 115 Nm||200 Nm / 110 Nm||220 Nm / 115 Nm|
|Mileage (Kmpl)||27.39 / 21.4||27.3 / 18.2 and 19||22.54 / 18.6|
The Jazz and Baleno offer a CVT gearbox as an option with the petrol motors. The Elite i20 offers only manual gearbox with both engines. The diesel motor of the Elite i20 develops the highest amount of torque (220 Nm), but just like its petrol motor, is least efficient of the lot.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno vs. Honda Jazz vs. Hyundai Elite i20 (Safety)
Maruti has made a great move by offering ABS with EBD and two frontal airbags as standard on all variants, an example that we expect many to follow. The base variant also offers features like anti-theft security system, belt pre-tensioners and force limiters. Jazz offers ABS with EBD as standard across all the diesel variants. Two airbags are available only on the top variants of the cars. The lower variant of the Elite i20 - Sportz offers a driver-side airbag along with ABS, and on the top variant, you get ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and two airbags. The front discs and rear drum brakes come as standard on all cars and their variants. Other safety features that come as standard across all variants include child safety locks, seat belts for all passengers and central locking.
The cars in question here are as different as chalk and cheese. The Jazz is the most capacious hatch that you can buy at this price point, and its USP is the CVT transmission and paddle shifters that you get along with it. The Elite i20 is a perfect looker and one of the best equipped cars, marred only by its slightly low fuel efficiency and somewhat lower capacity boot space.
The question here is not so much what you get for the amount that you pay, but whether you are willing to sacrifice what’s better in other cars that are available at this price point. We feel Baleno, coupled with its standard safety features, exceptional fuel efficiency and long feature list, would make a great buy. What makes the Baleno even more attractive is its price tag which undercuts the competition by a huge margin.