A rivalry that can easily be stated as ‘clash of the titans’; both Baleno and Swift sit in the hottest selling premium-hatchback segment battleground. Whether you drive off the exit gate of Nexa or Arena, either car offers excellent engine options, brilliant design, great driving dynamics and a bucket load of features. Baleno completely changed the way we looked at Maruti hatchbacks with a more classy and elegant design. And since Swift is already a young favorite, its new avatar builds its reputation further as a funky and tasteful small car that is fun to drive and can be customized to suit personal tastes.
As you can already notice from the looks of it, Baleno has a longer wheelbase meaning more legroom for all four passengers. Also, it sits higher on the ground by 7mm which might look tiny but equates to a big difference. Rough roads are dealt with ease and you have lesser chances of it scrapping its underbelly. Baleno also has wider wheels giving it better stability and grip under braking making it a bit safer as well. It also has a bigger boot letting you carry more luggage. On the other side, Swift has the higher roofline making it much easier to get in and out of. And its shorter wheelbase means sharper handling through quick directional corners increasing its driving finesse. Tire profile is also 10mm higher on the Swift making its ride quality a bit smoother than the Baleno.
|Length||3995 mm||3840 mm|
|Width||1745 mm||1735 mm|
|Height||1500 mm||1530 mm|
|Wheelbase||2520 mm||2450 mm|
|Ground Clearance||170 mm||163 mm|
|Kerb Weight||890 kg / 985 kg(diesel)||880 kg / 985 kg(diesel)|
Considering both cars are identical siblings, offered engine options are similar. A 1.2l petrol and 1.3l diesel do duty on both cars with similar outputs. Where they differ is transmissions, the manuals are the same 5-speeds but Baleno gets a CVT in petrol, while Swift gets AMT units for both petrol and diesel. So if you want a diesel automatic then Swift is your option surely. However, for people looking for automatic petrol, pick the Baleno CVT with your eyes shut. It is way smoother with barely perceptible ratio changes and good fuel efficiency figures. For buyers looking for an automatic diesel option, Swift AGS is probably the best bet in the segment. It drives very well and is the most refined AMT gearbox for everyday use, and when you are careful the accelerator pedal, will return a realistic figure upwards of 24kmpl for sure. Manual versions are completely individual choices as all are decent to drive and behave mostly similar. For even committed drivers pick the Baleno RS for more excitement.
|Fuel Efficiency(ARAI)||21.4 km/litre||27.39 km/litre||17.5 km/litre||28.4 km/litre|
|Engine||1197 cc||1248 cc||1197 cc||1248 cc|
|Gearbox||5-speed manual/ CVT automatic||5-speed manual||5-speed manual/5-speed AMT automatic||5-speed manual/5-speed AMT automatic|
Cabin and features
Since both these cars are sisters in true blood, the feature list is mostly the same as well. Automatic climate control, touch-screen infotainment, reverse camera, driver seat height adjustment and more are the most needed essentials which both cars have to offer. Apart from that Baleno has a few more like tilt and telescopic adjustment on the steering wheel, a driver armrest, gear shift indicator and even the gear knob is wrapped in classy leather. Whichever car you pick, most likely is that you’ll get most creature comforts available. Ohh the Swift does have a 6-speaker system against Baleno’s 4-speaker system, which performs excellently.
Value for money
Baleno is charged at a slight premium over the Swift due to a few additional features it has. But if you look carefully, all the additions on the Baleno make it better value for money than the Swift. Baleno has more space, a bigger boot, and some extra features. Also, Baleno feels like the more grown-up car standing next to the new Swift, a bit bolder. But don’t forget Swift offers much more customization possibilities online than the Baleno, means you can pick and choose from a lot of customizations either exterior or interior. So all in all, Swift for the young at heart, Baleno for the bold mind, take your pick!