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Maruti Suzuki Baleno vs Kia Sonet 2024 for First-time Car Buyers: Their Variants Priced Rs 8-10 Lakh Compared

Maruti Suzuki Baleno vs Kia Sonet 2024

Buying a car for the first time, but confused about which are the best, or top cars for first-time buyers in India, and which option to choose? Let’s look at the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Kia Sonet 2024, and find out which of their variants 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 Baleno vs Kia Sonet 2024 – an in-depth guide to their variants, features, cost, and driveability
  • How to pick the right car for you

So, are these affordable cars for first-time buyers in India? And which variant of these models is the right car for a first-time car buyer? Let’s 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

First-time car buyers often prioritize affordability, fuel efficiency, safety features, and ease of driving when choosing a vehicle. They seek a car that offers good value for money, with low maintenance costs and high resale value. Additionally, first-time buyers appreciate user-friendly features, comfortable interiors, and a reliable brand reputation.

Why Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Kia Sonet 2024 are popular

Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Kia Sonet 2024 are popular choices among first-time car buyers due to their attractive pricing, feature-rich variants, and brand trust. 

Maruti Suzuki, known for its affordable and reliable cars, offers the Baleno with a spacious interior, fuel-efficient engines, and a wide range of safety features. The Baleno’s low maintenance costs and high resale value make it an appealing option for first-time buyers.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno vs Kia Sonet 2024 for First-time Car Buyers: Their Variants Priced Rs 8-10 Lakh Compared
Maruti Suzuki Baleno

Kia Sonet, a relatively new entrant in the market, has quickly gained popularity among first-time buyers with its bold design, advanced technology features, and competitive pricing. The Sonet offers a range of engine options, including petrol and diesel, catering to different preferences. Its feature-packed variants, such as the HTK Plus and HTX, provide a premium feel at an affordable price point.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno vs Kia Sonet 2024 for First-time Car Buyers: Their Variants Priced Rs 8-10 Lakh Compared
Kia Sonet

Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Kia Sonet 2024 variants shortlist in Rs 8-10 lakh range

For Kia Sonet 2024, we have:

Variant Price (INR) as on 21 March 2024
HTK ₹8,79,000
HTE Diesel ₹9,79,000
HTK Plus ₹9,90,000

For Maruti Suzuki Baleno, we have:

Variant Price (INR) as on 21 March 2024
Delta AMT ₹8,00,000
Zeta AMT ₹8,93,000
Alpha AMT ₹ 9,88,000

Kia Sonet HTK

The Sonet HTK is a well-equipped variant at an attractive price point. It offers essential features like rear parking sensors, power steering, and a decent infotainment system, making it a good choice for first-time buyers. If you are a performance enthusiast, you can read our guide to the best Sonet 2024 variants for you.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno vs Kia Sonet 2024 for First-time Car Buyers: Their Variants Priced Rs 8-10 Lakh Compared
Kia Sonet

Kia Sonet HTE Diesel

For those preferring a diesel engine, the Sonet HTE Diesel offers a powerful and fuel-efficient option. With features like power windows, power steering, and dual airbags, it provides a good balance of performance and safety.

Kia Sonet HTK Plus

The HTK Plus variant adds more features to the HTK, such as projector fog lamps, a rearview camera, and a touchscreen infotainment system. These additions enhance convenience and safety, making it a compelling choice for first-time buyers.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Delta AMT

The Baleno Delta AMT offers the convenience of an automatic transmission at an affordable price. With features like power windows, power steering, and a basic infotainment system, it provides a comfortable driving experience for first-time buyers. If you’re style conscious, you can check out our comparison of the Baleno with Hyundai Exter.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta AMT

The Zeta AMT variant adds premium features like push-button start, automatic climate control, and a touchscreen infotainment system. These features, along with the convenience of an AMT, make it an attractive option for first-time buyers seeking a feature-rich car. If you’re looking for a family car, you can read our comparison of the Baleno with Nissan Magnite.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno vs Kia Sonet 2024 for First-time Car Buyers: Their Variants Priced Rs 8-10 Lakh Compared
Maruti Suzuki Baleno airbags

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Alpha AMT

As the top-spec variant, the Baleno Alpha AMT offers additional features like a rear parking camera, LED headlamps, and a premium sound system. First-time buyers looking for a fully-loaded car with advanced features will find the Alpha AMT an appealing choice.

Our Pick for the Best variant among Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Kia Sonet 2024 for First-time car buyers

After carefully analyzing the features and pricing of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Kia Sonet variants, we recommend the Kia Sonet HTK Plus as the best choice for first-time car buyers.

The Kia Sonet HTK Plus offers an excellent balance of features, performance, and value for money. At a competitive price point of ₹ 9,90,000, it provides a host of features that cater to the needs and preferences of first-time buyers.

The HTK Plus variant comes equipped with essential safety features like dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, and rear parking sensors, ensuring a secure driving experience. The touchscreen infotainment system, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, offers seamless smartphone integration and entertainment options.

Furthermore, the Sonet HTK Plus boasts a comfortable and spacious interior, with premium fabric upholstery and manual air conditioning. The power windows, power steering, and tilt-adjustable steering wheel enhance convenience and ease of driving.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno vs Kia Sonet 2024 for First-time Car Buyers: Their Variants Priced Rs 8-10 Lakh Compared
Kia Sonet

Under the hood, the Sonet HTK Plus is powered by a 1.2-liter petrol engine, offering a peppy performance and decent fuel efficiency. The 5-speed manual transmission provides a engaging driving experience, suitable for first-time buyers.

Overall, the Kia Sonet HTK Plus presents a compelling package that ticks all the boxes for first-time car buyers, with its feature-rich offering, attractive pricing, and reliable performance.

The Top 3 choices

  1. Kia Sonet HTK Plus
  2. Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta AMT
  3. Kia Sonet HTK
Variant Kia Sonet HTK Plus Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta AMT Kia Sonet HTK
Push Button Start No Yes No
Rear Parking Sensors Yes Yes Yes
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes
ABS Yes Yes Yes
Power Windows (Front) Yes Yes Yes
Rear Parking Camera Yes Yes No
Fog Lights Yes No No
Touchscreen 8-inch LCD 7-inch LCD 8-inch LCD
Alloy Wheels No Yes No

How to Pick the Right Car for You

  • The Kia Sonet HTK Plus stands out with its extensive feature list, including a touchscreen infotainment system, rear parking camera, and fog lights, all at a competitive price. 
  • The Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta AMT offers the convenience of an automatic transmission and premium features like push-button start and alloy wheels. 
  • The Kia Sonet HTK, although slightly less equipped, provides essential features like rear parking sensors and a touchscreen infotainment system at a more affordable price point.

The Kia Sonet HTK Plus, Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta AMT, and Kia Sonet HTK are all well-suited for first-time car buyers, each offering a unique combination of features and value. These variants provide a mix of comfort, convenience, safety, and technology features that cater to the needs and aspirations of first-time buyers in the competitive compact SUV and premium hatchback segments.

If you’re interested in reading more such face-to-face comparisons of popular car variants, head over to our Buying Advice section.