The Maruti Baleno will be positioned in the premium hatchback segment composed of the Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz, VW Polo and the Fiat Punto Evo. Here's a look at how the new boy stacks up against rivals:
The Maruti Baleno is the longest and widest, at dimensions of 3,995 mm and 1,745 mm respectively. In terms of height, the Polo is the only car shorter than the Baleno, though when it comes to wheelbase, the i20 and the Jazz are comparatively longer than the Baleno. The Baleno's ground clearance is rated at 170 mm. For buyers looking for boot space, the Baleno has the second largest boot at 339 liters, whereas the Jazz still maintains its lead with 354 liters.
The Baleno is powered by the 1.3-liter DDiS diesel engine in the 75 PS/190 Nm tune. On paper, it produces the lowest amount of power and torque figures, but thanks to its lightweight platform (the top-end Baleno diesel weighs a mere 960 kg), it has a better power-weight ratio than the Elite i20, Polo TDI and the Punto Evo.
The i20 and the Jazz are the only cars in this segment to get a 6-speed manual gearbox, the rest rely on a 5-speed unit. Maruti have not disclosed the fuel efficiency figure of the Baleno, but reports estimate it to be higher than the Jazz's 27.3 km/l figure.
The Baleno for India may not get the 1.0-liter Boosterjet turbocharged engine, but the K-Series 1.2-liter petrol, in the same tune as that of the Maruti Swift, puts out a good number. Despite the 84.3 PS on offer, the Baleno has a higher power-weight ratio than the VW Polo GT TSI with its 105 PS engine!
Maruti will offer the Baleno petrol with a 5-speed manual and CVT gearbox, pitting it directly with the Honda Jazz, which is also available with a CVT. The GT TSI comes with a 7-speed DSG, but the i20 and Punto Evo are available solely with a manual gearbox.