The Indian market is finally ready for the hot and powerful hatchbacks which once use to be an untouched segment of cars in India. Recently the segment has been joined by the countrys largest car maker with their first ever turbo charged offering, Baleno RS. Similar to other offerings in the segment, Baleno RS is also a petrol car which will attract the performance oriented buyers. There have never been many options for buyers in this segment and the list rarely had any diesel offering which is as powerful as the petrol hatchbacks but there is a diesel car which has all the power under its belt to challenge these petrol cars and that car is Ford Figo.
Ford Figo is currently the most powerful car which you can buy at the price of normal hatchback which is good enough to fight against the expensive powerful petrol hatchbacks. So will Baleno RS be affected by the low pricing and powerful performance of Figo or does it have its own territory. Well that is the question which will be answered by this article as we bring both together to see if they are completely different or they can overlap each other.
Dimension and Styling
Look at both cars and it is easy to tell that they belong to the different segments. The Baleno RS is the bigger car of two which also looks quite sporty as well. Surely the Figo has a futuristic face with sharp and detailed styling but it loses out to the aggressive appearance of Baleno RS which has aerodynamic bumper extensions, sporty black colored alloy wheels and nicely finished paint schemes. In terms of body dimension as well, the Baleno leads the competition with a length and width of 3995mm and 1745mm which makes it 109mm longer and 50mm wider than the Figo which also has a shorter wheelbase of 2491mm while the Baleno RS has a longer wheelbase of 2520mm.
The Baleno RS only comes with 16-inch wheels with wide profile tyres while Figo runs on smaller 14-inch wheels with skinnier tyres. However, the Figo has an advantage of having a high ground clearance of 174mm in comparison to Baleno RS which has lower ground clearance of 170mm.
Interiors and Features
Both cars come with all black color interiors which add sporty look to them. The extra length and width of Baleno RS clearly results in more airy cabin while Figo also comes with well packed interiors but falls short of the bigger dimensions of Baleno RS. The Baleno offers more leg and knee room for all passengers in comparison to Figo. Since the Baleno RS only comes in one fully loaded variant so we will compare it with the fully loaded variant of Figo. Both cars share features such as keyless entry, all power windows, electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMS, adjustable steering wheel and infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and steering mounted controls, auto climate control, front fog lamps, rear de-fogger, wiper, alloy wheels, ABS with EBD dual front airbags.
From here on, the Baleno RS clearly races ahead in competition with its additional list of features which includes projector headlamps with LED DRLs, bigger 16-inch alloy wheels, smart play infotainment system with navigation system, front centre armrest, push button start, rear parking camera with parking sensors and all around disc brakes. The only and one big advantage that Figo has over Baleno RS are its additional 4 airbags which makes it one of the safest hatchbacks available in India.
Engine and Transmission
This is the biggest department which matters in this comparison. Both cars are powered by very powerful engines with the Baleno RS using the petrol engine and Figo with its diesel engine. The Baleno RS has debuted with a brand new 1.0L, 3-cylinder, directly injected, DOHC petrol engine which churns out a peak power and torque output of 102bhp@5500rpm and 150Nmwhich is available straight from 1700rpm. This Boosterjet engine has been detuned for our market keeping our road traffic conditions in the mind. The car feels quite excited from the beginning but it becomes more interesting once it crosses 2000rpm and from there on its fun to drive all the way to 6000rpm. The 5-speed manual gearbox helps you to squeeze every bit out of this engine .The light weight of this car makes it a fun to drive car having very high power to weight ratio.
The Figo diesel comes powered by a bigger 1.5L 4-cylinder diesel engine which is capable of churning out a peak power of 99bhp@3600rpm with a torque output of 215Nm available at 1750rpm. This engine is also available with a 5-speed gearbox delivering power in a linear way throughout its power band. It is very unlike diesel engine with no turbo lag at all and giving you a very powerful mid-range. Despite the powerful performance, the engine comes with an ARAI mileage of 25.8km/ltr while the Baleno RS has an ARAI mileage of 21.1km/ltr.
Price and Verdict
The top variant of diesel Figo is priced at INR 7.42lakhs while the Baleno RS has been launched at INR 8.69lakhs (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi). Surely, the Figo is a very good buy keeping its performance and pricing in mind. It also got higher mileage and safety features than Baleno RS but if you enjoy driving then Baleno RS will be your pick for sure. The bigger wheels, stiffer suspension and engaging handling is what Baleno RS is all about. Moreover it gives you more premium features and space as well. Yes it is expensive and runs on petrol but if you dont mind spending extra for extra fun in driving then it———s the Baleno RS else the value for money factor will lead you to the Figo.
By- Sunil Kumar