Maruti Baleno RS vs VW Polo GT TSI: Specifications comparison

4th Mar 2017 8:00 am

Maruti enters the hot-hatch arena with the Baleno RS. Can it take on the established Polo GT. We crunch some numbers.

With the choice of petrol and diesel, a spacious cabin and the peace of mind that comes with a Maruti, the Baleno has the right ingredients for a good family car. Maruti, however, wants to broaden its appeal and in a bid to address the hot hatch market has added a stronger petrol motor. It’s not just any motor with just a bump in power, it's what Maruti calls the Boosterjet that features direct injection and turbocharger. It makes 102hp and 150Nm. The car is labelled the RS and has a dash of added style on the outside too. So on paper how does it stack up against the other hot hatch, the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI? We did some number crunching.

Engine and gearbox

The main highlight of the Baleno RS is the turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine which makes a healthy 102hp and 150Nm of torque. These numbers are quite conservative, but the Baleno RS for its size weighs a measly 950kg, which gives it a power to weight ratio of 107.3hp per tonne. What’s interesting is that Maruti is offering the Baleno RS with only a five-speed manual gearbox.

Engine and Gearbox
Maruti Baleno RSVW Polo GT TSI
Engine displacement1.0-litre1.2-litre
Power102hp at 5500rpm105hp at 5000rpm
Torque150Nm at 1700-4500rpm175Nm at 1500-4100rpm
Gearbox5-speed manual7-speed DSG automatic
Power to weight107.3hp per tonne94.67hp per tonne

The Polo GT TSI has a capacity advantage over the Baleno with a bigger 1.2-litre engine. This additional capacity gives it 3hp more power over the Baleno but the torque output is a good 25Nm higher. However, the Polo’s portly 1,109kg kerb weight makes it 159kg heavier than the Baleno. As a result, power to weight ratio at 94.67hp per tonne is not as impressive as the Maruti. Unlike the Baleno, the Polo GT is not available with a manual transmission but gets a high-tech 7-speed dual-clutch auto'box which offers lightning-fast gearshifts.

Bells and whistles

The Baleno is the newer car and 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.

In the Polo GT, there’s neither keyless-entry-and-go, nor a reverse camera. It gets a touchscreen ifnotainment system, parking sensors, climate control system, static cornering lamps and a cooled glovebox. But 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.

Size does matter

The Baleno just ducks 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, while its ground clearance is a decent 170mm. The Polo is 3,971mm long, 1,682mm wide and 1,469mm tall, and ground clearance is a not-so-bad 165mm.

Maruti Baleno RSVW Polo GT TSI
Ground clearance170mm165mm


At Rs 9.11 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) the Polo GT TSI is the more expensive car of the duo with the Baleno RS priced at Rs 8.69 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). 

Also read:

Maruti Baleno RS launched at Rs 8.69 lakh

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