Tata Altroz will launch in January 2020 and will become a competitor of models like the Maruti Baleno and Hyundai Elite i20, it will be the first model on the new ALFA platform
The Tata Altroz is just about a month away from its market launch and will be revealed to all on 4 December. The new model will become the most premium small car to wear the Tata badge and will go on to rival the Maruti Baleno and Hyundai Elite i20. It will also have many firsts to its credits, such as being the first model to be based on the company’s modular ALFA platform, being the first small car to be designed as per the IMPACT 2.0 design language and so on.
With so much to offer, the new model could become a potent rival of established B2-segment hatchbacks and our Tata Altroz vs Maruti Baleno vs Hyundai Elite i20 comparison here should help you form an idea of how good (or bad) the upcoming car is.
Tata Altroz vs Maruti Baleno vs Hyundai Elite i20 Comparison – Design
The Tata Altroz was previewed by the 45X concept at the Auto Expo 2018, where it left the show-goers awestruck with its stunning looks and large dimensions. The Altroz, however, measures less than 4-metre in length, which helps its carmaker to benefit from lower taxation. It is said that the larger-than-life dimensions of the 45X concept were to showcase the flexibility of the ALFA architecture.
The Altroz, however, looks as big as the Baleno and Hyundai Elite i20. In terms of design, it offers a good amalgam of premium looks and some sporty characteristics. Design as per the IMPACT 2.0 theme, it has some bold surfaces and a handful of sporty touches, all of which come together to lend an attractive look to the car.
The 45x concept that previewed the Altroz had really large dimensions. However, the astonishingly large dimensions were to showcase the modular nature of the ALFA platform. The Altroz, which is the production model, has more realistic dimensions.
|Tata Altroz||Maruti Baleno||Hyundai Elite I20|
|Length – 3,990 mm||3,995 mm||3,985 mm|
|Width – 1,755 mm||1,745 mm||1,734 mm|
|Height – 1,523 mm||1,510 mm||1,505 mm|
|Wheelbase – 2,501 mm||2,520 mm||2,570 mm|
In terms of length, it measures 3,990 mm. This makes it marginal 5 mm shorter than Baleno and i20. However, at 1,755 mm, it’s wider than both its rivals. It’s also substantially taller at 1,523 mm, as compared to 1,510 mm of Baleno and 1,505 mm of i20. However, its wheelbase, at 2,501 mm, is surprisingly shorter than 2,520 mm of Baleno and 2,570 mm of the i20.
The Maruti Baleno got a facelift recently and continues to impress with its smoothly following lines and modern looks. Based on the Liquid Flow design theme, the Baleno offers a curvaceous design with a few slightly sporty design cues. The new facelift doesn’t make the car look too different from the original version but the latest set of styling elements do freshen up the things a fair bit.
The front-end, for instance, looks bolder due to a wider front grille garnish and a sportier bumper. Similarly, the diamond-cut alloy wheels add a touch of premiumness to the side profile. Overall, the Baleno might not look as sporty as the Altroz but it’s definitely up there when it comes to the premium quotient.
The Hyundai Elite i20 is the oldest car here but in spite of the age, it looks the boldest due to the Fluidic design language it’s based on. Like the Baleno, it has already gone through a facelift and the styling updates it has received make the car look a tad bolder.
However, the Elite i20, in spite of all the bold styling cues, fails to look as premium as either the Altroz or even the Baleno. From these three, our pick would be the new Tata offering as it offers the right blend of sportiness and premiumness. However, the Baleno offers understated elegance, while the Elite i20 is all about boldness.
Tata Altroz vs Maruti Baleno vs Hyundai Elite i20 Comparison – Interior
We are yet to get to go up close to the Tata Altroz, so, it’s a bit early to comment on its interior quality and appearance but from whatever is known, it’s clear that the Altroz would have a much more premium cabin than its siblings like the Tiago, Nexon and Bolt. Its dashboard will house a floating-type touchscreen unit that will offer both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The small car is also likely to offer features like wireless smartphone charging and ambient lighting. Another highlight will be a semi-digital speedo console similar to that of the Harrier. The cabin would have a dual-tone colour scheme with a dark grey upholstery and black panels. This should complement the sporty exterior.
Even the Maruti Baleno has black-colour panels along with a dark shade of fabric. Its dashboard features the company’s Smartplay Studio touchscreen infotainment system that offers both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, the design of the dashboard of the Altroz is far more premium than that of the Baleno.
However, the fit and finish and the quality of materials is pretty good and this is one area where the Baleno might just end up having an upper hand over the Altroz. In terms of features, the Baleno misses out on wireless smartphone charging but offers bits like rear aircon vents, electrically-adjustable ORVMs, auto-dimming IRVM and SHVS mild hybrid system.
The Hyundai Elite i20 offers all-black and dual-tone beige-black interior colour scheme based on the trim you choose. While the beige inserts do make the cabin look slightly upmarket, the design of the i20’s interior feels the most dated among the three cars here. That said, the fit-and-finish of the cabin is top notch and the interior comes with many features such as wireless charging and a cooled glove compartment.
While it’s a bit early to comment on the spaciousness that the Altroz’s cabin would offer, the i20 and the Baleno are almost equally matched in this department. However, going by what we’ve seen on most other Tata models, the Altroz might just win our Tata Altroz vs Maruti Baleno vs Hyundai Elite i20 comparison with the highest space on offer, a more modern design and even more features.
Tata Altroz vs Maruti Baleno vs Hyundai Elite i20 Comparison – Specifications
The Tata Altroz will go on sale in a total of two engine options. Out of these, one will be petrol and the other will be diesel. The basic petrol option will be that of a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated engine that will produce a maximum power of 86 PS and a peak torque of 113 Nm. The motor will come from the Tiago and will be re-tuned to suit the Altroz.
The Altroz will be also sold with a diesel engine motor that will also come from the Nexon, but will be tuned differently. For the Altroz, it will produce 90 PS and 200 Nm. Coming to the transmission options, a 5-speed manual unit will be standard across all engine options at the time of launch. At a later stage, an automatic unit in the form of AMT will be offered for both the engine options.
Also, it’s likely that the Altroz could get a more powerful petrol motor in the form of a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol unit that will come from the Nexon. For the new Maruti Baleno rival, it will produce a maximum power of 102 PS. The high-performance engine will be paired with a dual-clutch. This will make the Altroz the first Tata model to offer a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
|Tata Altroz||Maruti Baleno||Hyundai Elite I20|
|1.2 Litre BS6 Petrol Engine||1.2 Litre Petrol Engine||1.2 Litre Kappa Petrol engine|
|86 PS||83 PS||83 PS|
|113 NM||113 NM||114 NM|
|5 Speed Manual Transmission||5 Speed MT / CVT||5 Speed MT /CVT|
The Maruti Baleno is also being sold in three engine variants – 2 petrol and 1 diesel. Out of these, the base petrol motor comes in the form of a 1.2-litre K-series naturally-aspirated engine that outputs a maximum power of 85 PS. It is available with two transmission options – 5-speed manual and a CVT automatic. The other petrol variant is that of a 1.2-litre Dualjet unit that also outputs 85 PS of maximum power but offers a mild-hybrid setup that optimizes the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
The diesel engine variant is powered by a Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre unit that offers 75 PS of maximum power. It comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. However, the diesel variant will be discontinued ahead of the kicking in of BSVI emission norms as it won’t be upgradable to meet the stricter emission standards. Even the Dualjet petrol engine would replace the other petrol option by the time BSVI regulations come into effect.
|Tata Altroz||Maruti Baleno||Hyundai Elite I20|
|1.5 Litre BS6 Diesel Engine||1.3 Litr Diesel Engine||1.4 Litre Diesel Engine|
|90 PS||75 PS||90 PS|
|200 NM||190 NM||219 NM|
|5 Speed Manual Transmission||5 Speed Manual Transmission||6 Speed Manual Transmission|
The Hyundai Elite i20 is available in two engine variants – a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.4-litre diesel. The former produces a maximum power of 83 PS and is available with two transmission options – a 5-speed manual and a CVT automatic. The diesel engine option, on the other hand, offers a maximum power of 90 PS and comes mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
This makes the i20 diesel the only model in our Tata Altroz vs Maruti Baleno vs Hyundai Elite i20 comparison to offer a 6-speed gearbox with a diesel-sipping motor. It may be noted while the 1.5-litre diesel motor that powers the Nexon comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, the same engine has been mated to a 5-speed manual unit due to packaging constraints and other such factors in the Altroz.
Still, the new offering seems to have an upper edge over its immediate rivals due to a wider range of power options, which makes it the winner of this part of our Tata Altroz vs Maruti Baleno vs Hyundai Elite i20 comparison.
Tata Altroz vs Maruti Baleno vs Hyundai Elite i20 Comparison Verdict
Design – The looks of a vehicle are highly subjective to one’s personal tastes so it’s tough to clearly point out a winner of this part of our Tata Altroz vs Maruti Baleno vs Hyundai Elite i20 comparison. However, if you ask for our opinion, we feel that the Altroz offers the right blend of premium design and sporty styling cues. It is also the most modern looking offering among the three models we have here.
Interior – Like we said, we are yet to get up close to the Altroz and haven’t yet seen its interior in flesh. However, the Altroz comes with some additional goodies like ambient lighting, cruise control, follow-me home headlamps and rain-sensing wipers. The Altroz is also wider than both other models, which means it could even offer some more space.
Specifications – In terms of specifications, the petrol unit of the Altroz looks as potent as that of the i20 and the Baleno at least on paper. However, it must be noted that while the adversaries get a four-pot petrol engine, the Altroz gets a three-cylinder unit. Its diesel engine is also more potent than that of the Baleno and as powerful as that of the Elite i20.
On the other hand, soon, the Baleno would be left with just one petrol engine option, while even the Elite i20 offers only one petrol and one diesel option. Also, while the Altroz might not have an automatic option right from its launch, it is expected to get automatic options for all its motors in future. This will surely give it an upper edge over both its immediate rivals.
Comparison Verdict – It’s true that the new Tata model looks like the winner of our Tata Altroz vs Maruti Baleno vs Hyundai Elite i20 comparison here but we need to keep in mind that we’re dealing with a pretty price sensitive segment of the market here and even a slightly wrong pricing strategy could spell disaster for the new model. However, given Tata’s practice of pricing its cars competitively, the Altroz could actually end up emerging as the clear winner of this comparison.