Maruti Suzuki has just launched the new facelift version of its popular Baleno premium hatchback. The car now sports a refreshed design along with tweaked interiors. However, many people face a similar dilemma while buying the premium hatchback from Maruti. This is because of the Swift, which is slightly cheaper than the Baleno and is a pretty value for money product. Though the difference between the base variants of both cars now stands at almost Rs. 1 lakh, the mid and top variants are priced more or less the same.
Therefore, we have a solution to save you from the pain of deciding which is better than the other. Read the breakdown below which will help you decide the car you want based on your requirements.
Want an automatic diesel hatchback – Swift
There is no doubt over the fact that an automatic transmission makes it very convenient for any person to drive a car. They act as a boon in stop and go traffic conditions, which are in plenty most of the days. Both the Swift and the Baleno come with an automatic gearbox, though they are of different types (AMT for former and CVT for latter).
However, if you want a diesel hatchback which comes with an automatic transmission too, the Swift is your only option among the two. The diesel engine is a Fiat sourced 1.3 litre unit that churns out 74 Bhp of power along with 190 Nm of torque and is mated to a 5 speed transmission. It is also the most fuel efficient diesel car of India, with an ARAI certified mileage of 28.4 km/l.
Spacious hatchback with premium interiors – Baleno
It goes without saying that the Baleno is the better equipped and more spacious car among the two. It is positioned a segment above than the Swift and rivals the likes of Hyundai i20 Elite and the Honda Jazz. Unlike the Swift which is often ridiculed for its lesser than rivals interior space, the Baleno can easily seat 5 adults in full comfort. It also has a 339 litres of boot space, which is impressive to say the least.
The rear bench easily accommodates three passengers without felling short on either led or shoulder room. The car is also quite feature rich and comes with a touchscreen infotainment along with automatic climate control among other features. Therefore, if interior space and features is what you are looking after, the Baleno is a better choice.
Light on budget but want a fun car – Swift
One formula that Maruti Suzuki has perfected over the years with the Swift is how to make a fun to drive car in a budget. The first generation Swift launched back in 2005 was known for its driver friendly nature and the same DNA has been carried over by the company into the third generation Swift. It is powered by a 1.2 litre petrol engine that churns out 82 Bhp of power along with 113 Nm of torque.
The engine comes mated to either a manual transmission of an AMT unit. The Swift’s light weight further makes it quick off the mark and the peppy power delivery enhances the overall experience. It is a pretty good handler too, with the steering providing ample of feedback to satisfy an enthusiast during regular traffic drives. If you don’t want to spend much but still want a car that can talk to you when you want, the Swift is the perfect car for you.
Outright power – Baleno (RS)
It is said that there is no replacement for displacement. If that’s the type of person you are, which is actually quite a good thing, the Baleno RS is the solution for you. While it may not exactly be displacing more than the other cars (lesser in fact), the engine doles out a solid 101 Bhp of power along with 150 Nm of torque. The just launched Baleno RS facelift gets powered by the same old 1 liter BoosterJet turbocharged petrol engine that powered the older Baleno RS.
Apart from the boost in power, the Baleno RS also gets custom interiors with the RS badge itched to many places. Only if the company could have provided a better steering (low on feel) and a firmer suspension setup, it would have been a car to reckon with. However, in its current state of tune also the Baleno RS is a good option to maintain the family-fun balance.
Focus on fuel efficiency – Swift
Mileage is something that is the main factor for many while buying a car. If you come in the category of people who want more kilometers per litre, the Swift is the better choice for you. If you do not have any bias towards petrol engines, the diesel powered Swift is the most fuel efficient car on sale right now.
The 1.3 litre diesel engine gets an ARAI certified fuel efficiency rating of 28.4 km/l, which is mind blowing to say the least. The petrol variant, on the other hand offers a more modest mileage of 22 km/l. The diesel variant does not feel under powered because of the low weight of the car along with a linear power delivery.
Want a better family car – Baleno
Coming onto the last category of the list, if you plan to buy a car for family usage and the car will be the only one you own, the Baleno is definitely the best choice among the two here. Though this would mean some extra bucks off your pocket, the Baleno makes up for that pretty nicely. It offers good amount of space on the inside, has a large boot space, gets top notch features and is even an attractive car to look at. Also, it is quite easy to drive with the automatic transmission further helping the case.