TWIN-TEST: i20 vs BALENO
Country's top-selling premium hatchbacks fight it out for segment supremacy
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 Gone is the Alfa Romeo-ish, clean boot lid that has been replaced by a typically Korean angry look.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