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View Poll Results: Which FAST hatchback would you choose?
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS 20 3.91%
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI 275 53.71%
Fiat Abarth Punto 190 37.11%
Ford Figo 1.5L P 27 5.27%
Voters: 512. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 28th March 2017, 10:08   #1
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Default Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

With the launch of the Baleno RS, a sporty avatar of the Baleno hatchback, I felt that putting a mini comparison with the rest of the FAST hatches available in the country.

Cars in Comparison are:
  1. Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS
  2. Fiat Abarth Punto
  3. Volkswagen Polo GT TSI
  4. Ford Figo 1.5L P

Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto-2017marutibalenors01tile.jpg


Points that the comparison are made on:
  • Specifications;

  • Prices;

  • Features.

NOTE: Click any picture to open a larger higher-resolution version in a new window / tab.

Last edited by a4anurag : 28th March 2017 at 11:16.
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Old 28th March 2017, 10:15   #2
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Specifications Comparison

Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto-specifications.jpg

----x----

Pricing Comparison

Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto-pricing.jpg

----x----

Features Comparison

Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto-features.jpg

Last edited by Samurai : 28th March 2017 at 14:38. Reason: pic replaced
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Old 28th March 2017, 10:25   #3
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS

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What you'll like:

• 1.0L Boosterjet engine with more power & torque. Minimal turbo lag = good driveability
• Tastefully integrated bodykit gels well with the exterior styling
• All-round disc brakes. Confidence-inspiring braking ability
• User-friendly cabin with loads of space! Accommodating 339 liter boot too
• Comfortable ride quality matched with neutral on-road behaviour
• Kit includes dual airbags, ABS, projector headlamps + DRLs, reversing camera, Apple CarPlay, navigation and more
• Maruti's excellent after-sales service & fuss-free ownership experiences

What you won't:

• Simply overpriced! A whopping 1.5 lakh rupee premium over its 1.2L sibling
• Not really a ‘hot hatch’. Neither its engine nor the handling are sporty
• Inside out, it’s almost identical to the regular Baleno. Differentiation should’ve been more
• 3-cylinder motor – although acceptable - lacks the refinement of the 4-cylinder 1.2L
• Ordinary interior quality is Swift-like. Several budget grade parts in here
• Light build. Lacks the solidity of its rivals
• Rear seat headroom & under-thigh support are limited for tall passengers

------------

Fiat Abarth Punto

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What you'll like:

• Finally, a hot hatch for which you don't need to break the bank!
• Explosive performance from the 145 horsepower turbo-petrol engine
• Outstanding dynamics & stability. Very satisfying to drive
• Perfectly calibrated & weighted hydraulic power steering
• A+ braking ability, thanks to the all-round disc brakes
• Gorgeous Italian design (minus the vinyls), now with sweet 16" Scorpion rims
• Solid build quality. Feels like a tijori on wheels

What you won't:

• Long throw, rubbery gearshift is a major turn-off. Long clutch too
• Awful cabin ergonomics. Driving position is weird!
• Limited rear bench space. Also, interior fit & finish are way behind the Germans & Koreans
• Garish body stickers & red highlights are an eyesore
• Merely 155 mm of ground clearance. We have our concerns
• Fiat's after-sales quality remains a gamble. Network has limited spread across India
• At 12 lakhs on-the-road, more equipment (ESP, TC, parking sensors, auto-dimming IRVM, electrically foldable ORVMs) is expected

------------

Volkswagen Polo GT TSI

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What you'll like:

• Enthusiastic, high-revving 1.2L TSI engine. An excellent performer
• 7-speed DSG gearbox is a flawless match to the sporty motor
• A well-built European hatchback with clean, timeless styling
• Mature suspension offers a balanced ride & handling package
• Safety kit includes electronic stability program, hill-hold feature, dual airbags and ABS
• Accommodating 280 liter boot

What you won't:

• Long-term reliability concerns over the DQ200 DSG transmission
• Cutting-edge engine & gearbox tech make it a pricey hatchback
• Exterior is indistinguishable from the regular Polo. No sporty bodykit ( la Liva TRD & Polo SR)
• Ordinary rear bench legroom. Comparable to the likes of the Maruti Ritz
• VW's substandard dealership & service experiences. Maruti / Hyundai networks are more customer-centric

------------

Ford Figo 1.5L Petrol

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What you'll like:

• Aston Martin-esque face looks very stylish!
• Value for money positioning. Priced lower than the Swift
• Compliant ride quality. Suspension is tuned for comfort
• Airbags across the range. Titanium (O) & Titanium+ variants get 6 airbags!
• Well-packaged cabin offers good legroom, lots of features and a chilling air-con
• Dual-clutch Automatic with a bigger 1.5L petrol, ESP, traction control & hill start assist

What you won't:

• Ordinary handling and lighter build quality are a departure from the usual Ford characteristics
• Cabin width makes the Figo suited to 4 adults, not 5
• 14" rims look too puny. Tyres could be wider.
• Rear headroom is limited. Headliner brushes the heads of taller passengers
• Automatic unavailable in the fully-loaded trim
• At highway speeds, downshifts aren't as immediate as you'd expect from a dual-clutch automatic

__________________________________________________ _

Links to Official Reviews:

1. Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...al-review.html (Maruti Baleno RS : Official Review)

2. Fiat Abarth Punto

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...al-review.html (Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review)

3. Volkwagen Polo GT TSI

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...al-review.html (Volkswagen Polo 1.2L GT TSI : Official Review)

4. Ford Figo 1.5L P

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...al-review.html (Ford Figo : Official Review)

Last edited by a4anurag : 28th March 2017 at 11:59.
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Old 28th March 2017, 12:38   #4
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Thread moved from Assembly Line to What Car? --> Hatchbacks section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 28th March 2017, 13:21   #5
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

As I mentioned to another post in the Baleno RS thread, a comparison with the Punto Abarth is not relevant anymore. We can safely assume that the Abarth Punto is out of production now, since the last remaining stock available even at the factory was produced back in 2015.

Even that remains unsold due to various known 'issues' discussed widely to death including the gearbox, fake Abarth tag and decals, ergonomics and features for an asking price of 9.9L. It was also sandwiched between the 'comfort of an auto transmission, but fast' Polo GT at the lower end and the rumoured 'truly international hot' 14L Polo GTi at the higher end, which eventually got launched at 27L! The only spike in interest levels these days is when such comparisons are done only to realize that a 9.9L sticker price was not so bad for a 145bhp hatchback, considering the 8.69L sticker price for the 3 cyclinder , 101bhp Baleno RS. Will miss it since it scored where it mattered for a fast hatchback with a good engine, excellent braking, hydraulic steering, sorted ride, handling and build. Anyways, that's a choice done and dusted I guess.

That leaves us with only two choices - Baleno RS if it's a manual and GT TSi if it's an automatic. Figo 1.5 DCT is just a paper warrior, and that combination has been proven to be a let down both on track and also here in Team Bhp member test drives. If it's the Figo, I'd rather pick the sub 10sec diesel option instead.

So yep - three choices for me.

1. Baleno RS
2. Polo GT TSi
3. Figo Diesel.

Easy to eliminate options 1 and 3 - poor build quality and suspected comprises on safety being the major concerns I have with these two choices.

That leaves me with only GT TSi as the voting option, because I like to vote for a car I would actually consider buying. Weird, because 5 years back I didn't buy this exact same car because it was barebones in terms of features, and had boring engine options. 5 years later, the exact same car, known safety ratings, exact same looks, a nice petrol engine, a brilliant (but scary) transmission and an updated feature list does make it look a lot more palatable than the 'new' options available. Good job VW!

Oh, but wait! GT TSi costs almost 11.5L in Bangalore now. That S-Cross 1.6 looks rather tempting from here.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 28th March 2017 at 13:48.
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Old 28th March 2017, 13:30   #6
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

The Polo gets the electric folding mirrors, please correct that.
And agree with the above post. Ask the people voting for Abarth if they own it ��

TSI is my pick and yes, I own one.
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Old 28th March 2017, 13:47   #7
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

This is easy

Polo GT TSi: Brilliant combination of a good engine and auto gearbox, still one of the best looking car out there, premium image, solid build quality, latest tech (DSG) available this side of a million rupees (though a bit of concern on long term reliability) and absolute magic to drive. Without a doubt, my pick would be the polo.

Figo is neither here nor there car - transmission is not ably supported by the engine option, and very unlike ford driving DNA

Baleno RS is a typical Maruti - the biggest selling point being - a maruti. Of the two variants, my pick would any day be the "regular" baleno petrol.
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Old 28th March 2017, 13:55   #8
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

This thread kind of highlights the fact that how bad is the hot-hatchback scene in India – 3 commuter hatchbacks and a 1 (now said to be discontinued) hot hatchback to fight it out!

If the Fiat is no longer in production, my vote goes to the oldest of the three – the Polo TSI; for me that look to be the least compromised one and can provide reasonable thrills.
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Old 28th March 2017, 14:04   #9
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

If we are discussing which cars are manufactured more or which are not manufactured now lets strike out the Abarth from the voting list. If Abarth is struck out, the Polo obviously is the choice. The Ford can really stay, but then Baleno should be struck out too, its really not a performance hatch in front of the other 3 cars mentioned.

Last edited by GTO : 29th March 2017 at 11:20. Reason: Poorly typed post
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Old 28th March 2017, 14:12   #10
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
If the Fiat is no longer in production
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post4164942 (Fiat's India strategy revealed)

This post has the details. Although, nothing is officially confirmed, looks highly suspect that they will resume production again.
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Old 28th March 2017, 14:46   #11
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
This should help a bit. I have added Figo/ VW diesels and also Etios Liva (petrol). Choose between the following petrol manual, petrol diesel and petrol automatic options -

Attachment 1623854
I could be wrong but I think the top speed for the Baleno RS is incorrect.

This is for the Baleno with 110HP engine, the one which couldn't make it to India.

The top speed for the RS is ~170 km/hr.
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Old 28th March 2017, 15:23   #12
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Etios Liva (petrol).
Another fast hatchback option that has been discontinued.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...ml#post3820873 (Toyota Liva 1.5L (TRD Sportivo) : Official Review)

This engine option is only available on the cross and the sedan variants now.
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Old 28th March 2017, 15:33   #13
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Until the Abarth Punto is officially discontinued (and I sure hope it isn't), that's the car I'd put my money on from this list. It offers a fabulous steering & high speed behaviour never seen before in the mass market segment. The engine is ferocious on the open road, while the build & braking are both solid. Yes, it has lag at low rpm, the gearshift reminds me of Mahindra UVs & I still can't find a comfortable driving position in that damn car - still, when it comes to fast hatchbacks, the Abarth Punto is my choice. When I took the TD car for a spin, I was smiling / grinning / laughing continuously. Not too many affordable cars have the ability to do that.

I'd buy the Liva 1.5L over the Baleno RS & Polo GT TSI for its neutral road manners & peppy engine. Too bad the car is RIP. It was a lot of fun to drive.

No way I'd get a Baleno RS at the current price (give me the Baleno 1.2L over it anyday), and neither will I touch a Polo GT TSI with a barge pole (DSG gremlins & poor overall long-term reliability).

My second choice from the fast hatchbacks currently on sale would be the Polo GT TDI.

Last edited by GTO : 28th March 2017 at 15:38.
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Old 28th March 2017, 15:36   #14
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

I have removed 'Top Speed' column, added Baleno in-gear acceleration figures and mentioned the fact that 1.5 engine is available only in Liva Cross variant.

Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto-stats.jpg

Source: Autocar India



1) Look at Baleno Boosterjet's in-gear acceleration figures and compare it with others. Implies turbocharged engine has very little turbo-lag.

2) Kickdown acceleration numbers of automatics is a test of how quickly the transmission changes gears. 40 to 100 kmph performance of Ford Figo 1.5 DCT seems to be impressive when compared to VW Polo 1.2 GT TSi

Last edited by smartcat : 28th March 2017 at 15:47.
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Old 28th March 2017, 15:51   #15
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Default re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

I'd pick the Abarth over anything else in the list. The pros far outweigh it's cons. Sad to hear that it is no longer in production. Somehow Indians tend to prefer diluted "hot hatches" over proper ones.

My second choice would be the GT TDI for that explosive diesel, slick manual GB and the mod potential it offers. VW after sales will be a concern though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
This should help a bit. I have added Figo/ VW diesels and also Etios Liva (petrol). Choose between the following petrol manual, petrol diesel and petrol automatic options -
Small correction: The new Polo GT TDI produces 110PS.

Last edited by BigBrad : 28th March 2017 at 15:53.
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