Sep 11, 2017
Baleno has dual front airbags, ABS+EBD standard across range. Elite i20 offers dual airbags as standard, but ABS is available only on top three trims, two lower trims miss out on ABS.
Elite i20 with Automatic Transmission is available only in one trim which lacks ABS.
Both the cars fared well scoring 4 stars out of 5 in Euro NCAP test rating. Test results for sold in India models aren't available as yet.
Reverse parking sensors, rear defogger and rear wash & wipe is available on trims of Baleno except base one. Elite i20 has reverse parking sensors and camera only on top two variants, rear defogger on top three while rear wash and wipe on to trim. Baleno has rear parking camera on top trim.
ISOFIX is standard on Baleno, Elite i20 misses out on it. Elite i20 top end variant has 6 airbags; 6 airbags are not available in Baleno, not even as an option. Baleno offer’s Bi-xenon projector headlights on top trim, while Elite i20 offers Projector set up and cornering lights on top end variant.
Engine options in Baleno include a 1.2 litre 4-cylinder petrol generating 84 PS power and 115 Nm torque and a 1.3 litre 4-cylinder diesel putting out 75 PS power and 190 Nm of torque. Petrol engine can be paired with a CVT Automatic transmission or 5 speed manual Transmission.
Elite i20 has three engine options: 1.2 litre 4-cylinder petrol rated at power output of 83 PS and 114 Nm torque, 1.4 litre 4-cylinder petrol unit putting out 100 PS power and 132 Nm torque and a 1.4 litre 4-cylinder diesel engine developing 90 PS power and 219 Nm torque.
The 1.4 litre petrol unit powered Elite i20 can only be coupled with a 4-speed torque converter automatic transmission. Though smooth, the 4-speed AT, more gears would be welcome. In comparison, the CVT offered in Baleno does a better job. The delay in response here isn't a deal breaker, no wonder helped by a responsive engine and light weight of Baleno.
In battle of 1.2 litre units, Baleno's engine has an edge when it comes to efficiency, performance, refinement and smoothness. Elite i20 has a very refined idle, does the job in urban jungle, but on open roads with a fully loaded car, it feels out of home. Baleno's 1.2 litre engine is a typical Japanese motor, loves to rev and open road performance is much better.
Coming to diesel, its diametric opposite of petrol. Hyundai's 1.4 litre unit is refined for a diesel, offers fantastic performance and does the duty of long distance touring effortlessly. Baleno’s 1.3 litre diesel isn’t as refined, but loves to revv (for a diesel), is more efficient and offers strong mid-range. Just that Hyundai's unit outshines its rival here and is more effortless be it urban or highway driving. Baleno has an edge in handling while Hyundai has a come a long way in this regard and continues to improve.
Baleno has a huge cabin and front seats are one of the best in business. Rear seat has huge legroom, but the under-thigh support could do with improvement. Elite i20 has better rear seat offering good under-thigh support. Cabin is large too, but not as roomy as Baleno.
Boot space battle belongs to Baleno that boasts of a larger boot at 339 litres while elite i20 has 285 litres of boot space.
Headroom is where both the cars have a crunch of space, more so the Elite i20. Those migrating from tall boys like Wagon R/i10 will feel the lack of headroom. Elite i20 has adjustable rear headrests only on top end variant, but Baleno offers adjustable rear headrests on all trims except base one.
Ride Quality is better in Baleno, Elite i20 has more vertical movements and doesn't feel settled down on uneven tarmac.
Both the cars have long feature list, but the features are spread better among variants in case of Baleno. The higher trims of Elite i20 though put it back in the game.
Elite i20 proves why Hyundai is ranked second only to premium brands when it comes to interiors. The instrument cluster is simple yet beautifully executed, plastics and material quality feels good, switches work with a nice touch. Owners feel "Money Well spent".
Baleno follows a different trend tilting towards modern theme. The simple design of its rivals is replaced by curvy and unique design. While switchgear is good, what we dislike in Baleno are the power window switches that are shared with rest of its siblings.
Baleno's MID is a huge improvement over what we have come to expect out of Maruti. The power and torque pie charts are nice touch.
Both cars have spot on ergonomics and it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position. Front visibility is better in Baleno, but rear visibility isn’t’ that impressive in either of them. Thankfully, parking sensors and camera are available.
Baleno's cabin feel airier while rear seat in Elite is skewed towards claustrophobic.
Baleno shares its front-end styling cues with Swift, but Elite i20 stands out. Clearly, Elite i20 is one of the better-looking Hyundai we have seen in a while. Proportionate, well defined and confident lines make the Hyundai stand out against curvier designs. Projector lights on Hyundai make it look even better. Likely to age very gracefully.
Baleno, again, adopts a different approach and its overall design has European flair. Viewed from side, Baleno's C-pillar and design around it is impressive. It boasts of its own charm here.
Elite i20's rear end is one of the best amongst premium hatchback. Those smashing tail lights won’t feel out of place even a couple of segments above. Baleno's rear end is good, but Elite i20 just edges it out.
DRLs add to the modern touches and make both the cars here look well ahead of its segment. We couldn't have expected such high design inputs even half a decade ago. Baleno has 7 color options, while Elite i20 has 5, but it has two dual tone color options also.
Hyundai’s 16" diamond cut alloy wheels are simply outstanding, raising the aesthetics bar here. It uplifts the car’s ambience and clearly looks premium.
Ingress and Egress scorecard is more or less equal for both. Elite i20 has a wide boot opening, so placing any uneven shaped object is easier despite having smaller boot than Baleno.
We feel that Baleno's fuel tank is a bit small at 37 liters, Elite i20's is larger and more practical at 45 liters. When it comes to fuel efficiency, Baleno trumps Elite i20 as Baleno 1.2 has ARAI certified 21.4 kmpl for both manual and automatic transmissions while the diesel Baleno stands at staggering 27.39 kmpl. Elite i20 1.2 has ARAI certified 18.6 kmpl and diesel gets 20 kmpl.
60:40 rear seat split is standard in all trims of Baleno except base, whereas in Elite i20, its available only on top end trim.
Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Navigation are available in both the cars. Pretty evenly matched feature list once we climb towards top end variants.
Baleno's pricing starts at Rs. 5.67 for petrol and tops out at Rs. 9.29 for top end automatic while on diesel front, the range is from Rs. 7.24 lakh extending upto Rs. 9.49 lakh. Elite i20 petrol range starts at Rs. 5.78 lakh going upto Rs. 9.96 lakh for Automatic variant with diesel range starting at Rs. 7.48 lakh reaching upto Rs. 10.12 lakh. All prices are almost accurate (on-road, Delhi).
Ground Clearance for both the cars stand at 170 mm, but this is from earlier method of measurement. Recent changes in ARAI norms means the ground clearance may change. Turning radius for Baleno is 4.9 meters.; less than Elite i20's 5.2 meters.