Buying a car for the first time, but confused about which are the best cars for first-time buyers in India, and which option to choose? Let’s look at the Hyundai i20 and the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, and find out which will be the best for you.
In this first-time car buyers’ guide, we will share
- What a first-time buyer should look for in a car
- Hyundai i20 vs Maruti Suzuki Baleno – an in-depth guide to their automatic variants, features, cost, and driveability
- How to pick the right car for you
What a First-time Car Buyer Looks for in a Car
This is what a first-time buyer should look for in a car:
- Safety – What safety features does the car have? What is its safety rating?
- Affordability – The car should be well within budget and affordable.
- Fuel efficiency – The car should have good fuel efficiency, thereby reducing its running cost.
- Ease of driving – The car should be easy to drive, with features that help in driving and offer convenience for new drivers.
For a first-time car buyer, safety, affordability, and fuel efficiency often rank highest on the priority list. A user-friendly interface with convenient features that ease the driving experience, such as automatic transmission and steering-mounted controls, is also preferred in top cars for first-time buyers.
Ground clearance can be vital, especially in regions with rough terrains or frequent speed bumps. Additionally, buyers usually opt for features that offer a blend of modern technology and comfort without overwhelming the novice driver.
Why Hyundai i20 and Maruti Suzuki Baleno are Popular
Both Hyundai i20 and Maruti Suzuki Baleno have carved their niche in the hatchback segment, primarily due to their impressive blend of style, functionality, and affordability.
The Hyundai i20 boasts a premium feel, strong brand trust, and a plethora of features, making it an aspirational yet attainable choice for new buyers.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno, on the other hand, comes from the house of Maruti, a brand synonymous with reliability and value for money in India. Baleno stands out for its impressive mileage, vast service network, and resale value.
Both cars have managed to strike a balance between urban chic and practical utility, making them ideal affordable cars for first-time car buyers in India.
Hyundai i20 and Maruti Suzuki Baleno Automatic Variants Shortlist in Rs 8-10 Lakh Range
For Hyundai i20, we have:
|Variant||Price (INR) as on 1 September 2023|
For Maruti Suzuki Baleno, we have:
|Variant||Price (INR) as on 1 September 2023|
Hyundai i20 Sportz IVT
At ₹911,000, the Sportz IVT provides a combination of safety and convenience. It offers ABS, crash warning, and a commendable ground clearance of 190mm. The CVT transmission can be ideal for new drivers, minimizing the stress of gear shifts. Plus, the fuel efficiency of 19.65 kmpl is impressive. If you’re a family-conscious buyer, you can check out how the i20 and Baleno compare.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Delta AMT
Priced at ₹800,000, it is the most affordable in the list. While it lacks knee/curtain airbags, it makes up for it with an excellent highway mileage of 22.94 kmpl and features like power steering, rear parking sensors, and an AMT transmission. We also have our comparison of the base variants of the Baleno, i20 and Tata Altroz for tech-savvy gadget lovers.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta AMT
A step up from the Delta AMT, the Zeta variant (₹893,000) introduces knee/curtain airbags and push-button start, adding an extra layer of safety and convenience respectively. Its fuel efficiency remains at a praiseworthy 22.94 kmpl.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Alpha AMT
The Alpha AMT, priced at ₹988,000, takes it a notch higher with added features. It retains all the attributes of the Zeta AMT, with the inclusion of hill hold assist, making it suitable for hill driving beginners. If you’re a safety-conscious buyer, you can read our comparison of the Baleno with Tata Altroz.
Our Pick for the Best Variant Among Hyundai i20 and Maruti Suzuki Baleno for First-time Car Buyers
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta AMT emerges as the best variant for a first-time car buyer. It presents a middle ground in terms of price and features. At ₹893,000, it provides crucial safety features like ABS, crash warning, and knee/curtain airbags.
The fuel efficiency is remarkable at 22.94 kmpl. Its AMT transmission, steering-mounted controls, power steering, and rear parking sensors simplify the driving experience for novices.
Additionally, the inclusion of push-button start and power windows enhances the convenience, making the entire driving experience smooth and hassle-free. In short, it is the right car on our list for a first-time buyer.
The Top 3 Choices
- Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta AMT
- Hyundai i20 Sportz IVT
- Maruti Suzuki Baleno Delta AMT
|Attribute||Baleno Zeta AMT||i20 Sportz IVT||Baleno Delta AMT|
|Ground clearance (mm)||170||190||170|
|Highway Mileage (kmpl)||22.94||19.65||22.94|
|Lane keeping assist||No||Yes||No|
|Overall Mileage (kmpl)||22.94||19.65||22.94|
|Push Button Start||Yes||Yes||No|
|Rear Parking Sensors||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Transmission – Auto Type||AMT||CVT||AMT|
How to Pick the Right Car for You
- For a first-time buyer, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta AMT stands out with its impressive mileage, safety features, and reasonable pricing.
- The Hyundai i20 Sportz IVT, with its higher ground clearance and CVT transmission, comes a close second.
- The Baleno Delta AMT, being the most budget-friendly option with key features, is a valuable third choice.
If you’re interested in reading more such face-to-face comparisons of popular car variants, head over to our Buying Advice section.