Home / Reviews / Shootout / METTLE DETECTOR: Baleno vs Elite i20 vs Jazz


Baleno vs i20 vs Jazz web 1

India’s sub-four-metre rule has led to several creations, but it’s the “premium” hatchbacks that are giving the most bang for the buck. The latest entrants are the all-new Suzuki Baleno and the next Honda Jazz. How do the two new Japs stand up against the ruling Korean?

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar


A lot of people compare apples with oranges and get away with it. When there are similar competitors with the same intent – keeping the doctor away – but with invariably different focal points, each comes up with a speciality that it becomes better known for. All the three apples we have here provide similar value and are all a bite to savour, but there are some major differences, both in outlook and in approach, the latter perhaps. So what we have here is a cracking three-way that will focus on what we truly want from a car: style, substance, dynamics, efficiency, and, of course, value.


The styling is probably the first aspect many people look at. It’s also one they ask their friends about, not realising that – not to sound cliché – beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, and that looks are entirely subjective. That said, they all have a contemporary design approach. Suzuki’s YRA Concept providing the lines for the Baleno, the Jazz getting its new family face from the FCV almost, which is essentially an example of the future available today, and the Elite i20 goes all Fluidic and then some.

The Baleno has the lines, and they all meet and make sense when you look at it that way, but, honestly, I think the front grille looks very weird, though the rear does look very neat. Then you have the double-wave side profile complete with chunky wheel-arches that house 16” alloy wheels. It is a rather exciting design, the Baleno.

Moving on to the Elite i20, it still looks quite contemporary and has a lot of elements that many consider attractive: LED signatures, sweeping wraparound head-lamps, a bold grille, and unique (and very Alfa Romeo) tail-lamp clusters; although it isn’t as curvy as its elder sedan siblings. It also sports 16” alloys and has a neat, functional look from the side profile.

The Jazz, as I mentioned earlier, reminds me of the FCV that Honda showed some time ago but it still represents the next step in automotive propulsion; the days of future past, if you will. It still looks like a futuristic shuttle and the play of triangles and polygons, both glass and metal, makes for a subtly exciting exterior. It’s the only one in this bunch to sport 15” alloy wheels.

Verdict: If it came down to the looks alone, I’d pick the Jazz.

Baleno vs i20 vs Jazz web 2

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About the author: Jim Gorde


Automotive Correspondent at Bike India and Car India.
Believes that learning never stops. Loves V8 engines as much as a good breakfast.
t: @BikeIndia / @CarIndia


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