The premium hatchback segment has got hotter with the unveiling of the Tata Altroz. The Altroz takes on the Maruti Baleno and Hyundai Elite i20. It is expected to launch in Jan 2020. We make a comparison of the Altroz with the Baleno and Elite i20. Read on.
Looks though being a personal preference, we like the looks of Altroz the most. Altroz looks extremely fresh and edgy and hence is something that many people like about it. Having said that, Baleno also looks subtle with its curvy design. Elite i20 also looks quiet good.
In terms of dimensions, Baleno is the longest at 3995mm and i20 is the shortest at 3985mm. Altroz is the widest at 1755mm. Wheelbase of the i20 is longest at 2570mm. Altroz gets the largest boot with capacity of 345 litres. Baleno is the lightest car in the segment with weight of 985kgs and i20 is the heaviest with weight of 1093kgs. Baleno being built on HEARTECT Platform is much lighter. Altroz is also underpinned by a new light weight platform named Alfa that has helped in its weight reduction.
In terms of rear seat space, Baleno wins the game by offering best in class legroom and headroom. Altroz too offers sufficient space for the rear passengers however, headroom can be a problem for tall riders. Rear seat space is not the best in i20 and is much less compared to the two. Also, Altroz gets almost non intruding floor hump which makes it comfortable for 3 passengers at the rear.
Ride Quality & Comfort
In terms of ride quality, Altroz bags the first place in the segment like all other vehicles from Tata. It also offers very good handling. Baleno being the lightest gets a stiffer suspension setup compared to the two. Elite i20 also gets good ride quality but Tata has done the job best here.
In terms of comfort, seats in all three offer good cushioning and are comfortable for long drives.
All the three cars in the segment are well loaded with features. Features like keyless push button start, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay connectivity, Automatic Headlamps, Automatic Climate Control, rear washer and wiper, rear parking camera, cruise control are standard. Altroz gets additional features like Rain sensing wipers, rear fog lamps and cornering headlamps.
Sound quality from the 8 speakers mated to a Harman music system in Altroz is the best in the segment. It gives the best audio quality among the three.
Safety features like ABS+EBD and Dual front airbags are standard. Altroz also gets Cornering Stability Control. In terms of safety features, i20 gets 6 airbags which Altroz and Baleno lack. Built of Altroz and i20 is extremely good and offer good confidence and sense of safety while being in. Built of Baleno is decent.
Baleno, Altroz and i20 all get 1.2l Petrol motor that churns our 83PS in in i20 and Baleno, and 86PS in Altroz. Baleno and i20 get 4 cylinder units while Altroz gets a 3 cylinder motor. Torque from all three motors is same at 114Nm.
Due to its light weight, Baleno's petrol motor feels the most responsive followed by Altroz. Altroz and i20 lack the kick in the pants feel. All the motors are mated to a 5 speed Manual Transmission. Baleno and i20 also get a CVT. Altroz and Baleno get BSVI compliant motors while i20 gets a BSIV compliant.
Altroz gets a 1.5l diesel motor which we have seen already on Nexon however it's a detuned motor. Baleno gets a 1.3l motor from Fiat and i20 gets a 1.4l motor.
Diesel engine of i20 is the most responsive and refined. Following it is the Baleno. Turbo lag is quiet evident in all three motors however, as the turbo kicks in, performance is quite good. Only the Altroz gets a BSVI compliant diesel engine.
Baleno turns out be the most fuel efficient car in the segment thanks to its low weight.
The Tata Altroz seems to be the most fresh and stylish hatch in the segment with decent juice from the motor. It also gets the best built.
The Maruti Baleno is the most efficient car in the segment and is also the most reliable for long term thanks to a Maruti badge.
The Hyundai i20 offers the best in class safety features and a very good built. It also gets the best diesel motor of the three.