Maruti Suzuki launched the Baleno back in October 2015 to take a stab at the premium hatchback segment that was being dominated by the Hyundai Elite i20 till now. The Baleno promised to be a value for money proposition with features like ABS and dual-airbags as standard. A few months have passed since the Baleno'slaunch and it seem like the hatchback has been received rather well in its segment.Hyundai quickly made changes to make dual airbags as standard across the Elite i20 and i20 Active range but it seems the move hasn't paid off.
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Maruti Suzuki sold 10,572 units of the Baleno in December 2015, which is 193 units more than Hyundai, which sold 10,379 units of the Elite i20 in the same month.
The Baleno comes with two engine options: the 75PS/190Nm 1.3-litre turbo diesel engine and the 84PS/115Nm 1.2-litre petrol engine. The Baleno claims better mileage figures of 27.39kmpl and 21.4kmpl respectively as compared to the Hyundai Elite i20 that gives 22.54kmpl from the 1.4-litre turbo diesel unit and 18.6kmpl from the 1.2-litre petrol unit. The Maruti Baleno though is less powerful compared to the Hyundai Elite i20 and the Honda Jazz.
These developments are cited to make matters more intense as the upcoming Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is all set to challenge the Hyundai Creta in the compact SUV segment as well. We know that the Vitara Brezza will be showcased at the Auto Expo 2016 next month. It is expected to be launched in India by March 2016.
You can read our comparison between the Hyundai Elite i20, Maruti Baleno and Honda Jazz here