TWIN-TEST: i20 vs BALENO

Country's top-sell­ing pre­mium hatch­backs fight it out for seg­ment supremacy

Evo India - - CONTENTS -

YOU PICK UP A COPY OF EVO In­dia to read about wheels that fre­quent a petrol­head's wet dreams. Af­ter all, it's about the emo­tional con­nect that rushes through the wheels and the cylin­ders in your brain, mak­ing you one with the car. But there's much more to driv­ing than drift­ing and hand­brake turns, espe­cially in our country where there's very lit­tle scope for hooli­gan­ism. And that re­flects well in the mar­ket sce­nario as well. Take a good look at SIAM's sales num­bers from Fe­bru­ary 2018 and you'll no­tice that all the text­book driver's cars un­der the `10 lakh mark, in­clud­ing the likes of Figo S, Punto Abarth and Polo GT sib­lings, have sold in two or three digit num­bers! While the likes of more ma­ture and com­fort­able cars, like the Elite i20 and Baleno have ac­counted for 30,000 ex­am­ples be­tween the two of them. To make mat­ters even worse for en­thu­si­ast's cars, the Elite i20 has been given a sub­tle makeover while the Baleno sol­diers on with strong num­bers, month af­ter month. What makes the con­tex­tual duo of Roger Fed­erer and Rafael Nadal click with the au­di­ence and which one de­serves a Grand Slam fin­ish? It's time to serve.

Love at first sight?

The re­freshed Elite i20 re­sem­bles its pre­de­ces­sor and most of the work has gone into make its der­riere look bet­ter. Gone is the Alfa Romeo-ish, clean boot lid that has been re­placed by a typ­i­cally Korean an­gry look. There are sub­tle changes to the front as well with a mesh grille and a re­vised bumper. The Baleno on the other hand has a de­sign that is loved by most, thanks to its clean, sweep­ing lines. How­ever, it is due for an up­date so ex­pect it to come back stronger into this fight when that hap­pens.

Any­way, looks are sub­jec­tive and we would leave it to you to de­cide who wins this round.

Loaded to the brim?

Yes. Both the cars set seg­ment bench­marks when they were launched. The Elite i20 has al­ways been among the bet­ter fin­ished cars, knock­ing on the doors of its Eu­ro­pean ad­ver­saries. The dual tone dash still looks fresh and there aren't many new things on the in­side as well, ex­cept for the re­designed AC vents and an all-new 7-inch touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment dis­play that made its de­but with the Creta. You also get a rear seat arm rest, a first in its class fea­ture that scores the Elite i20 some brownie points. It loses some for the

Pho­tog­ra­phy: Ro­hit G Mane

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