The Hyundai i20 facelift has been one of the key rival to the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, but with the recent update, it received at the Auto Expo 2018, has the car become better offering? We put down everything on paper to find out just that.
Hyundai recently launched the i20 facelift in India at the Auto Expo 2018. Updated with better styling and improved features, the 2018 Hyundai i20 facelift has been priced at ₹ 5.34 lakh for the base petrol variant, going up to ₹ 9.15 lakh for the top-of-the-line diesel trim. While the updates aren’t exceptionally big, but the 2018 i20 is now better equipped to face the segment leader, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, which despite not receiving any update since its launch, has been doing some strong numbers. So, is the 2018 Hyundai i20 now better than the Maruti Suzuki Baleno?
The Hyundai i20 facelift comes with considerable updates, the biggest one being the new face and the new passion orange and black two-tone colour scheme. Upfront the car comes with Hyundai’s signature cascading grille with glossy black treatment, restyled headlamp cluster with LED daytime running lights, redesigned front bumper and new arrowhead-shaped fog lamps with black bezels. The i20 also gets new sportier alloy wheels, restyled ORVMs with integrated turn signal lights. The rear end also comes with some minor updates, namely the new taillamps, high mounted brake lights and revised rear bumper with a black appliqué and reflectors that mirror the shape of the fog lamps.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno, on the other hand, gets a smaller black grille with chrome borders for the lower section, sweptback projector headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, a central air dam and round fog lamps. From the sides, the Baleno comes with multi-spoke alloy wheels, ORVMs with integrated turn signal lights, and chrome door handle. The rear comes with a pair of sweptback LED taillamps, a chrome slat under the rear windshield, high mounted brake lights and a muscular bumper.
In terms of dimension, the Hyundai i20 remains unchanged, which the Baleno is still longer, wider and taller than the former. Having said that, the i20 comes with a longer wheelbase, which essentially translated to marginally better legroom, inside the cabin. On the other hand, the Baleno gets a larger 339-litre boot space.
|Dimensions||Hyundai i20||Maruti Suzuki Baleno|
|Length||3,985 mm||3,995 mm|
|Width||1,734 mm||1,745 mm|
|Height||1,505 mm||1,510 mm|
|Wheelbase||2,570 mm||2,520 mm|
|Ground Clearance||170 mm||170 mm|
|Boot Space||295 litre||339 litre|
Interior and Features
The cabin if the Hyundai i20 facelift remains largely unchanged apart from some minor tweaks and a new larger touchscreen infotainment system. It now comes loaded with inbuilt navigation, Apple Carplay and Android Auto like earlier but with a nicer and more responsive screen. The instrument cluster has also been revised a little. The interior gets the same beige and black treatment and optional satin red and tangerine orange pack along with leather-wrapped steering and gear knob and a digital clock. Other features include a climate control, rear central armrest with cup holders and front central armrest with storage area, steering wheel with audio & Bluetooth controls, rear AC vent, USB charger and electrically operable ORVMs. The i20 facelift also gets a push-button start and keyless entry. As for safety features, the i20 gets dual airbags, with ABS and EBD and child seat mounts as standard, but top-end model gets 6 airbags (side + curtain), reverse parking camera and sensors, automatic headlamps, dead pedal.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno comes with an equally well-equipped cabin and gets an all-black treatment. The equipment list is also pretty premium with a SmartPlay infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay, navigation, voice command. The Baleno also gets an automatic climate control and steering mounted controls for Bluetooth, music and telephony. You do not get rear AC vents in the Baleno, but the car does get keyless entry and push start button among others. On the safety front, the Baleno get dual front airbags as standard across the model trim along with ABS with EBD and ISOFIX child seat mounts. Optional features include rear parking sensor and camera, auto headlamps, rear defogger and anti-pinch feature for driver side window.
Engine and Transmission
Under the hood, the Hyundai i20 facelift will continue with the same 82 bhp 1.2-litre Kappa Dual VTVT petrol engine that makes 115 Nm peak torque the 89 bhp 1.4-litre U2 CRDI diesel engine, which develops 220 Nm torque. The former gets a 5-speed manual and the latter is paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Currently, the 99 bhp 1.4-litre dual VTVT petrol engine mated to the 4-speed automatic torque converter is not available, but it’s said that Hyundai will introduce it later this year.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno is powered by a 1.2-litre K-series petrol engine producing 83 bhp and 115 Nm of peak torque and the 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine developing 74 bhp and 190 Nm of peak torque. The transmission options offered with the Baleno includes both a 5-speed manual and a CVT unit for the petrol model.
Price and Verdict
Available at a starting price of ₹ 5.35 lakh, the base model of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno is almost a ₹ 1000 more expensive the newly launched Hyundai i20 facelift. However, the top-end model of the Baleno, priced at ₹ 8.50 lakh is cheaper by about ₹ 65,000 than the i20 facelift, which tops out at ₹ 9.15 lakh. Having said, on paper the Hyundai i20 surely looks worth the premium compared to the Baleno and right now, with the facelift, it’s also the better looking one out of the new premium hatchbacks in India. And this is despite the fact that you do not get an automatic i20 at the moment. However, we need to pit them against each other in real-world conditions to get any conclusive answer to the question that which one is actually a better buy.