Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS and Ford Figo Sports are the latest hotter entrants in the hatchback space with their very unique characteristics
Maruti Suzuki entered into the hot hatch segment with its Baleno RS model that was launched in March this year and grabbed everyone’s attention. Being sold through the Nexa premium dealership, it is an attractive model and gives the Indo-Japanese automaker an edge over rest of its competitors in the performance oriented premium hatchback segment.
It is a very well known fact that demands for performance oriented cars and premium hatchbacks are growing rapidly in India and Maruti Suzuki has just touched the right spot with the Baleno RS. After one month of Baleno RS’ launch, Ford has also given a try in the segment with the newly introduced Sports variant of the Figo hatchback.
The all-new Ford Figo Sports comes boasting attractive sporty elements in form of new grille, sporty body decals, roof spoiler, etc. The most exciting change is the driving dynamics. The American automaker believes, it will be able to fetch a good amount of sales number with the Figo Sports. But, the task for Figo Sports is not going to be easy as the domestic market has highly capable performance oriented hatchbacks presenting already.
Here we are taking a look at a spec-sheet based comparison between the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS and the Ford Figo Sports:
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is based on the standard Baleno model, which has received immense popularity in very short span. The Baleno RS comes with the similar silhouette like the standard model. It appears curvy and the flowing design really makes the performance oriented premium hatchback very stylish looking. Up front, it gets a V shaped radiator grille with sporty mesh and chrome trim which blends perfectly into the sharp laid back headlamps.
The headlamps get projector units and integrated LED daytime running lights. Down below, the front bumper houses a wide black air intake meeting the with the blackened fog lamp housing. A very interesting feature here is the lip spoiler with satin black finish that adds zing to the hatchback. At the side profile, the Baleno RS gets sporty 16-inch alloy wheels painted in glossy black.
Apart from that, the side skirt finished in satin black enhances the Baleno RS’ appeal further along with ensuring a lowered stance for the hatchback. It also comes with turn indicator integrated ORVMs and blackened glass area. The rear profile comes with LED infused taillights, an integrated roof spoiler with high mounted stop lamp and a thick horizontal chrome bar connecting the taillights. The rear bumper looks sporty, but there is no separate diffuser available with this model.
Ford Figo Sports on the other hand looks similar to its regular version, but little bit of additional design elements make it sportier. The compactness of the car is visible from all the corners. Up front, the most noticeable change is the large black honeycomb mesh grille and black bezel around the headlamps. There is no LED daytime running light integrated to the headlamps. Based on the Titanium variant, the Figo Sports comes with fog lamps as standard. The air intake is positioned at the centre and it does little to make the car’s front profile attractive.
At the side profile, the first thing noticeable are the 15-inch panther black alloy wheels wrapped with 195/55 section tyres giving it a low profile racing appearance. Apart from that, the car also gets sporty body decal on doors and black ORVM caps for white model and vice versa. The dual-tone paint scheme is available on the roof also and the glass area gets blackened appearance.
The rear profile of the Ford Figo Sports gets an integrated roof spoiler, compact taillights and sporty body decal at the bumper. However, the car doesn’t get any ‘S’ or ‘Sports’ badge, which might be disappointing for some customers. Another visual change available here is the narrower gap between the tyre and car body, compared to the regular model.
Overall, both the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS and the Ford Figo Sports come attractive looking with their respective styling. But the Baleno RS gets couple of extra features enhancing its upmarket nature and design.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS vs Ford Figo Sports – Dimension
Dimensionally, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS comes identical to its regular version. The five-seater premium hatchback measures 3,995 mm in length, 1,745 mm in width, 1,510 mm in height and it also has a wheelbase of 2,520 mm. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS has a ground clearance of 170 mm, while the boot space on offer is 339-litre. The hatchback has a 37-litre capacity fuel tank. It also has a turning radius of 4.9-meter.
|Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Turning Radius||Ford Figo Sports Turning Radius|
The Ford Figo Sports on the other hand appears with exactly same dimensions as its regular version. The Ford Figo Sports has a length of 3,886 mm, width of 1,695 mm, height of 1,525 mm and a wheelbase of 2,491 mm. It comes with a ground clearance of 174 mm, while boot space on offer is 257-litre and the sporty hatchback comes with a 42-litre capacity fuel tank. Like its rival, the Ford Figo Sports too comes with a turning radius of 4.9-meter.
So, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is 109 mm longer and 50 mm wider than the Ford Figo Sports, while the latter one is 25 mm taller than Maruti Suzuki hatchback. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS offers 29 mm of extra wheelbase ensuring more space for occupants inside the cabin. Difference between two car’s ground clearances is very nominal, as the Ford Figo Sports comes with 4 mm of extra ground clearance.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS gets 82-litre of extra boot space capacity, while the Ford Figo Sports comes with 5-litre of extra capacity in the fuel tank.
|Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS||Ford Figo Sports|
|Length – 3,995 mm||3,886 mm|
|Width – 1,745 mm||1,695 mm|
|Height – 1,510 mm||1,525 mm|
|Wheelbase – 2,520 mm||2,491 mm|
|Ground Clearance – 170 mm||174 mm|
|Boot Space – 339-litre||257-litre|
|Fuel Tank Capacity – 37-litre||42-litre|
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS vs Ford Figo Sports – Interior
Interior of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is truly premium and stylish. The standard Baleno brought the freshness in the segment with its attractive styling and upmarket features, which has been adopted by the Baleno RS too. It gets a multi-function steering wheel, dual-pod instrument cluster with analog dials and a digital MID at the centre.
Compared to the regular model, the sporty RS badged Baleno appears with couple of additional design elements that enhance the appeal further. These include the metal finishing on the door handle and parking brake, while the glove box, front foot well, luggage space gets illumination. The blackened dashboard gets silver accent highlighting the centre console and the AC vents.
A touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice command and various connectivity options enhance the premium-ness of the hatchback. Overall, the Baleno RS’ interior looks like a slightly more stylish version of the standard model. The signature hot hatch elements like bucket seat, contrast stitching, highlighting badges are absent there.
In terms of interior design and features, the Ford Figo Sports looks quite basic compared to its rival. Compared to the regular Ford Figo, the Figo Sports comes with little bit of changes in an attempt to become distinctive and sportier. It gets a leather wrapped multi-function steering wheel, analog dials and digital MID consisting instrument cluster, Ford MyDock music system with USB and Bluetooth.
In an attempt to become all black, the Figo Sports gets red contrast stitching along with glossy black inner door handles, steering wheel bezel and music system bezel. Being based on the top-end Titanium variant, the Figo Sports comes with automatic AC. But, the absence of sporty metal pedals and mostly the touchscreen infotainment system make this hatchback’s interior less desirable when compared to the Baleno RS.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS vs Ford Figo Sports – Powertrain
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is powered by Suzuki’s 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbocharged petrol engine paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. Despite being smaller in displacement, the 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine is much more powerful compared to the regular Baleno’s 1.2-litre petrol unit. So, it is clear that Maruti Suzuki has emphasised on the power and performance of its hot hatch.
|Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Engine||Ford Figo Sports Engine|
|1.0-litre Boosterjet petrol||1.2-litre Ti-VCT petrol
1.5-litre TDCi diesel
This three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine is capable of churning out 101 bhp of peak power at 5,500 rpm and 150 Nm of peak torque between 1,700 rpm and 4,500 rpm. The Baleno RS is capable of returning a claimed fuel efficiency of 21.1 kmpl. While Maruti offers the Baleno RS in only petrol version, the Ford Figo Sports is available in both petrol and diesel engine options. It comes with a top speed of 199 kmph and capable of reaching 0 – 100 kmph in 11.4 seconds.
|Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Transmission||Ford Figo Sports Transmission|
|5-speed MT||5-speed MT|
The Ford Figo Sports petrol model gets power from the same 1.2-litre Ti-VCT engine that does duty under the hood of regular Figo petrol. This engine is capable of churning out 88 bhp of peak power at 6,300 rpm and 112 Nm of peak torque at 4,000 rpm and it delivers fuel efficiency of 18.16 kmpl.
|Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Maximum Power||Ford Figo Sports Maximum Power|
|101 bhp @ 5,500 rpm||88 bhp @ 6,300 rpm (Petrol)
99 bhp @ 3,750 rpm (Diesel)
The diesel variant of Figo Sports comes powered by the same 1.5-litre TDCi engine that works under the hood of the regular Figo diesel. It kicks out 99 bhp of peak power at 3,750 rpm and 215 Nm of peak torque between 1,750 rpm and 3,000 rpm. It returns fuel efficiency 25.83 kmpl respectively for petrol and diesel models. The diesel model is capable to reach 175 kmph of top speed with ease and it can accelerate to 100 kmph from nothing under 10 seconds. Transmission duty in the car is done by a 5-speed manual gearbox.
|Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Maximum Torque||Ford Figo Sports Maximum Torque|
|150 Nm @ 1,700 rpm and 4,500 rpm||112 Nm @ 4,000 rpm (Petrol)
215 Nm @ 1,750 rpm and 3,000 rpm (Diesel)
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is clearly capable of producing more power and torque output compared to the Ford Figo Sports petrol, despite having a smaller engine under the hood. Also, the Maruti hatchback generates more fuel efficiency as well. No wonder, Maruti’s hot hatch appears very attractive and better performer than the Ford vehicle. However, with a diesel variant on offer, Figo will be able to lure many customers who are diesel enthusiast. Overall, Baleno RS gets an edge over its rival.
|Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Fuel Efficiency||Ford Figo Sports Fuel Efficiency|
|21.1 kmpl||18.16 kmpl (Petrol)
25.83 kmpl (Diesel)
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS vs Ford Figo Sports – Safety
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is equipped with several top-notch quality safety features that include Suzuki TECT body structure, dual front airbags, ABS, seatbelt pre-tensioner, headlamp leveling, auto dimming IRVM, rear parking camera and sensors, rear defogger, disc brakes on all the four wheels, anti-theft security alarm etc.
The Ford Figo Sports too comes with several features like dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, seatbelt warning, engine immobilizer. It lacks on rear disc brakes and reverse parking sensor. So, it appears that Maruti Suzuki offers couple of extra safety features in its Baleno RS compared to the Ford Figo Sports.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS vs Ford Figo Sports – Price
Maruti Suzuki offers Baleno RS at a price tag of Rs. 8.69 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi), while the Ford Figo Sports is priced at Rs. 6.32 lakh for the petrol model and Rs. 7.22 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi) for the diesel model. Baleno RS is clearly higher priced compared to its rival, but if you look at the features on offer with this vehicle, the pricing seems justified. The extra price could be the deal-breaker for some too.
|Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Price||Ford Figo Sports Price|
|Rs. 8.69 lakh||Rs. 6.32 lakh (Petrol)
Rs. 7.22 lakh (Diesel)
* All prices, ex-showroom, New Delhi.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS vs Ford Figo Sports – Comparison Verdict
Both the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS and the Ford Figo Sports come with attractive styling in their respective manners. Being a performance-based car, Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is not only equipped with sporty exterior and interior styling element, it gets a powerful engine as well that delivers higher power and torque output. It not only generates more power than its regular version, but beats the Figo Sports too.
The American automaker has applied some sporty styling element in order to make the Figo Sports distinctive and sportier than the standard model. But power and torque output remains same. However, the driving dynamics of the Figo Sports has been significantly improved thanks to the updated suspension and it’s a signature character of Ford we all love.
The new age Indian customers are showing more and more interest towards premium cars that comes reflecting urban style, impressive performance and of course interesting upmarket features. Considering all these factors, Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS gets an edge over its rival. The popularity of standard model is also going to play a crucial role in favour of the Baleno RS.
Pricing of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is little higher than the Ford Figo Sports, but you have to remember that the Maruti vehicle is packed with features that are not available in Figo Sports. Also, with around Rs. 1.5 lakh cheaper pricing than Baleno RS, the Figo Sports diesel seems a sensible option for some customers who are price sensitive as well as wanting to have some fun behind the wheel.