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 premium hatchbacks Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai i20, 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
- Maruti Suzuki Dzire vs Hyundai i20 – an in-depth guide to their automatic variants, features, cost, and driveability
- How to pick the right car for you
Are these affordable cars in the premium hatchback segment for first-time car buyers? We find out.
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 first-time car buyers, the selection process is typically dominated by attributes like safety, affordability, ease of use, and fuel efficiency. They often prefer a vehicle that’s compact enough for easy maneuverability, yet spacious inside for comfort.
Advanced safety features, an efficient fuel economy, and user-friendly tech gadgets are significant pluses in top cars for first-time buyers. Moreover, automatic variants appeal for their straightforward driving experience, especially in traffic-congested cities.
Why Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai i20 are Popular
Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai i20 have carved a niche for themselves in the Indian hatchback segment.
Baleno, with its blend of contemporary design, spacious interiors, and reliable performance, has won many hearts. Its brand, Maruti Suzuki, is synonymous with trust and low maintenance in India.
On the other hand, Hyundai i20 stands out for its premium feel, feature-rich interiors, and robust safety features.
Both cars offer multiple automatic variants, catering to the growing demand among urban dwellers and first-time buyers. Their competitive pricing, combined with their brand reputation, makes them compelling choices for those venturing into their first car purchase.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai i20 Automatic Variants Shortlist in Rs 8-10 Lakh Range
For Hyundai i20, we have:
|Variant||Price (INR) as on 7 August 2023|
For Maruti Suzuki Baleno, we have:
|Variant||Price (INR) as on 7 August 2023|
Hyundai i20 Sportz IVT
Priced at INR 911,000, the i20 Sportz IVT brings together a combination of safety and convenience. The CVT transmission ensures a smooth drive, ideal for city conditions. Features like lane-keeping assist, power steering, push-button start, and a rear parking camera cater to the ease-of-use for novice drivers. We also have our comparison of the i20 with Baleno for senior citizen car buyers.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Delta AMT
At INR 800,000, the Baleno Delta AMT is the most affordable among the shortlist. It provides basic safety features, an impressive highway mileage of 22.94 kmpl, and an AMT transmission, making it user-friendly for those new to driving. We also have our guide to the best Baleno variants for first-time car buyers.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta AMT
Slightly pricier at INR 893,000, the Zeta AMT variant offers added benefits. Not only does it have the features present in the Delta variant, but it also comes with knee/curtain airbags, an Arkamys audio system, and steering-mounted controls for enhanced convenience. If you’re budget-conscious, you can check out how the Baleno compares with Toyota Glanza and Tata Altroz.
Our Pick for the Best Automatic Variant among Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai i20 for First-time car buyers
Considering the balance between price, features, and safety, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta AMT stands out as the best choice. While slightly more expensive than the Delta AMT variant, the additional features it offers such as the knee/curtain airbags and Arkamys audio system justify the price jump.
Moreover, Maruti’s widespread service network and the trust associated with the brand in India make it a reassuring choice for first-time buyers. Its fuel efficiency and user-friendly AMT gearbox further make it ideal for city drives. In short, it is the right car from our list for a first-time car buyer looking for automatic variants.
The 3 Automatic Variants Ranked
- Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta AMT
- Maruti Suzuki Baleno Delta AMT
- Hyundai i20 Sportz IVT
|Attribute||Baleno Zeta AMT||Baleno Delta AMT||Hyundai i20 Sportz IVT|
|Ground clearance (mm)||170||170||190|
|Overall Mileage (kmpl)||22.94||22.94||19.65|
|Push Button Start||Yes||No||Yes|
|Rear Parking Sensors||Yes||Yes||Yes|
How to Pick the Right Car for You
- For a balanced blend of safety, convenience, and value, the Baleno Zeta AMT is our top recommendation, especially for those willing to spend a bit more for added features.
- The Baleno Delta AMT, being the most affordable, offers essential features and excellent fuel efficiency.
- The i20 Sportz IVT offers advanced features and a higher ground clearance but comes at a premium price.
In summary, each of these three variants caters to the unique needs of first-time car buyers, ensuring safety, efficiency, and convenience.
If you’re interested in reading more such face-to-face comparisons of popular car variants, head over to our Buying Advice section.