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Maruti, to reach a larger audience, has released the new Baleno RS. With a significant bump in power with the Boosterjet, that features direct injection and a turbocharger. It makes 102hp and 150Nm. The new car also shows off a sportier exterior.
So how does it compare with the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI?
The key feature of the Baleno RS is its turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine which makes a healthy 102hp and 150Nm of torque. These numbers may seem ordinary, but the Baleno RS, for its size, weighs a mere 950kg. Maruti is offering the Baleno RS with only a five-speed manual gearbox.
The Polo GT TSI has a bigger 1.2-litre engine. This additional capacity gives it 3hp and 25nm more than the standard car. But here, the Polo's 1,109kg kerb weight makes it 159kg heavier than the Baleno. So, power to weight figures are not as good as the Maruti. Unlike the Baleno, the Polo GT is not available with a manual transmission but gets a high-tech seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox which offers lightning-fast gearshifts.
The Baleno is more up-to-date on features. It gets Maruti’s 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with voice command, reverse camera with parking sensors, automatic climate control, keyless entry-and-go and bi-xenon projector headlamps. The Baleno also comes with two airbags and ABS as standard and all-round disc brakes.
The Polo GT lacks a touchscreen infotainment system, keyless-entry-and-go, and reverse camera. It gets parking sensors, climate control system, static cornering lamps and a cooled glove box though. It has ESP and hill-hold and cruise controls, which the Baleno lacks. The Polo also has dual airbags and ABS as standard but misses out on all-round disc brakes.
The Baleno hits just under the four-metre mark at 3,995mm and is quite wide for a small car measuring 1,745mm. It is not too tall though at 1,510mm, its ground clearance is a decent 170mm. The Polo is 3,971mm long, 1,682mm wide and 1,469mm tall, and ground clearance stands at 165mm.
At ₹9.11 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) the Polo GT TSI is more expensive than the Baleno RS, which is priced at ₹8.69 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).