Maruti Suzuki has refreshed its premium hatchback, the Baleno, as a part of its mid-life update and the new car, with refreshed looks starts at just Rs 4,000 more than the current car. The Baleno now gets a little more aggression in its design to take on its competitors, several of which have undergone changes in the last 12 months. Let us find out how it fares against the competition.
The i20 had introduced us Indians to the concept of a premium hatchback and was the undisputed king of the segment until the Baleno came along. The i20 still has quite a bit of a loyal fan base thanks to its ever-evocative design and its low-slung stance. Plus, it feels better built and heavy and hence is perceived to be safer. The Baleno, on the other hand, has the Maruti legacy of service and the unparalleled economy of the 1.3-litre diesel along with the reliability of the 1.2-litre petrol.
2. Honda Jazz
The Honda Jazz takes the crown among the most spacious premium hatchbacks in the market undisputedly. Apart from the space, both in the cabin as well as for luggage, the tall-boy is quite a handler too. In terms of engines, the 1.2-litre i-Vtec and the 1.5-litre i-Dtec churn out more horsepower than the corresponding engines of the Baleno but because the Maruti is much lighter, it feels agile and offers better fuel economy as well.
The Polo has been competing in the premium hatchback segment for a long time and was the first one to get in the hot-hatch game with the GT twins. It certainly has some powerful engine options along with the everyday ones, but the design and the interior now feel quite dated when compared to the Baleno. Plus, the Baleno has LED DRLs and fares much better in the aftersales department including the cost of ownership.