Tata Motors, the homegrown automaker is all geared up to make a debut in the sub-compact SUV segment by launching the most-awaited Tata Nexon. The car was first unveiled at the Auto Expo 2016 and is likely to be launched in the month of October this year. With SUVs being the flavour of the season, Tata Motors has taken the right step by deciding to introduce its first product in the segment. It will not only compete with the cars of its segment but will also have to face rivals from another segment in the price range. The famous Maruti Suzuki Baleno will be the one among the arch-rivals of the upcoming product.
On the other hand, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno is presently the favourite among people looking for premium hatchbacks and is already an established product in the market. It is arguably the first choice in the price range in the given segment. Hence, it is going to be an interesting battle to watch out for.
Tata, being a trusted passenger automobile manufacturer in India has never let down the expectations of the people. This gives the buyers a kind of dilemma before the actual decision is made. So, to save yourself from the situation, consider looking through this piece in order to get a better judgement of what is served.
Exteriors and the Styling
The Tata Nexon is built on the Impact design philosophy of the company, which designs the Hexa as well. It has been designed with some fresh styling to have an edge over its rival. The aggressive front look is well complemented by the honeycomb mesh grille and sharp projector headlamp clusters. The side profile looks fleshy and appealing with curves and creases at the right places. The 16-inch alloy wheels add to the sportiness of the model.
On the other hand, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno is a large hatchback with some unique styling. The front of the car features projector headlamps with daytime running LED lights. The car gets V-shaped radiator grille, which adds to the aggressiveness. However, the Baleno is designed to be premium and does not have any designing traits that are loud.
The interior of the Tata Nexon looks well finished with superior plastic quality. The cabin is equipped with latest features to give it a more contemporary look. The leather-wrapped three-spoke wheel steering can also control the audio commands with the mounted buttons, while the 6.5-inch infotainment system supports Bluetooth and USB connectivity. A new information cluster is also introduced to assist drivers and other features are equipped as standard.
The interior of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno is spacious comfortable on both front and rear seat rows. The cabin is well illuminated and features a multi-information display with a dark shade. The infotainment system supports smartphone connectivity option and Android Play in the higher trims only. While, the standard features like USB, Bluetooth, reverse camera, etc. are also available to assist good driving experience.
The Engine Mechanism
The Indian-spec of the Tata Nexon will be available in both petrol and diesel engine variants. The diesel unit will be powered by a 1.5-litre Revotorq engine will be producing a maximum power output of 108 bhp and a peak torque of 260 Nm. The petrol version will have a 1.2-litre Revotron engine, which will produce a maximum power of 108 bhp and a peak torque of 170 Nm. Both the engines will come paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox, while the option of an AMT may also be provided.
On the other side, the Baleno hatchback also comes with similar power plant options. The 1.3-litre diesel engine produces a maximum power output of 74 bhp and a peak torque of 190 Nm, while the petrol variant comes with a 1.2-litre K-Series engine to develop a maximum power output of 83 bhp and a peak torque of 115 Nm. The transmission options include a 5-speed manual gearbox in all the variants, while a CVT gearbox is available only for the petrol Alpha, Zeta and Delta trims. The fuel-efficiency of the petrol-powered model is 21.4 kmpl, while that of the diesel version is 27.39 kmpl.
Conclusion – Which one to go with?
The above comparison quite significantly proves that the Tata Nexon has the upper hand over the Maruti Suzuki Baleno in terms of the mechanism. However, you cannot deny the fact that the Maruti car is one of the most popular models in its segment and is premium inside out. Moreover, the Baleno even has a better fuel economy and is counted among one of the most efficient cars in India.
The final verdict can only be delivered once the pricing of the Nexon is announced. And going by the reputation Tata Motors has in the passenger car market, a very competitive pricing is expected.