Volkswagen introduced the much awaited Ameo in 2016 June, and this is an all new compact sedan. Maruti Suzuki launched Baleno premium hatchback sometime towards the end of 2015, and the demand for this car has only sky-rocketed since launch. Baleno is a hard car to beat evident from the huge demand. In 2016 July, Baleno was a major contributor to the overall 30% profit generated by Maruti Suzuki in India. In less than nine months’ post launch more than 75,000 units of the car was sold and in 2016 July, the company rolled out 9,120 units of Baleno.
The demand for Baleno is enormously high to an extent that Maruti Suzuki is planning on a new factory in Gujarat to cater to the growing demand. Ameo is also a strong sale contributor for Volkswagen and during the 2016 July period the company sold 2,200 units of the car and the company recorded a growth of 6.75%. Ameo alone has contributed 51% of overall sales, it is now certain that Baleno and Ameo are strong sale contributors and both cars are under four meters in length. For people who are looking at optimum comfort and luxury, Baleno and Ameo are great cars to own, and it is confusing to choose the better out of the two. Let us compare the two cars and find out.
Volkswagen Ameo is super attractive at first sight, it has a neatly arranged grille covered with three slat horizontal bars on top of which is neat Volkswagen logo. The design of the headlight is great and it looks professional with sharp edges. The bonnet looks good too and it has an arty vertical crease, the car has outer rear view mirrors and body-colored bumpers and the most loaded Highline car has alloy wheels. In order to sustain harsh driving conditions, the car has front fog lights and halogen headlights along with heat-insulating glass windshield.
Baleno is a hatchback, but the dimension is one of the features that makes it stand out, it is 3995mm long and is bigger than even fierce contender Elite i20. Have a look at the car and you will be amazed by the professional design. The first sight of attraction is the arty V-shaped radiator grille covered with shiny chrome accent and the design of body colored bumper in front is good as well. View the rear profile of the car and it has combination lamps with LED, and the A, B and C pillars are covered in a neat black shade. On the top-end variant you will notice door handles with a neat layer of chrome and the remaining parts of the car have body colored exterior door handles. The outside rear view mirror has integrated turn indicator and it has electric adjustment facility.
Step inside the Ameo and you will be amazed by the vibrant beige and black interior, and the top-end Highline variant has a plush leather covered steering wheel, fine leather gear knob and glossy aluminum on the front portion of center console. The layout of the dashboard is good and it is manufactured with top-quality material and it is extremely scratch resistant. Sitting inside the Ameo is a comfortable experience, the seats are super comfy and the quality of equipment is good. This is a feature rich car, it has marvelous touchscreen music system with phonebook and I-pod connectivity, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, rear air con vents, chilled glove box and the other class-performing features to take note of is front center arm rest and static cornering lights, anti-pinch power windows, center arm rest, rain sensing wipers and cruise control.
It is a comfortable experience to sit inside the Baleno, the 2520mm wheelbase calls for good amount of space for rear and front passengers. There is sufficient thigh room in front and decent amount of leg space on the rear. Maruti Suzuki has not used chrome on parking brakes and door handles, the company has used a neat chrome polish instead. It is a great experience to sit inside this car, the steering wheel is covered with neat leather and the multi-information speedometer with TFT color is bright behind the dark color theme. The comfort levels offered by this car is good, it has push start / stop button with smart key, height adjustable driver’s seat, automatic air con, rear and front adjustable head rests, telescopic steering with tilt function. There is a world-class audio system with CD player and MP3 connectivity.
Ameo runs on a fierce 1.2-liter MPI power train connected to five-speed manual transmission and this engine is present in 3 variants, Highline, Comfortline and Trendline. The 1.5-liter TDI diesel engine is connected to five-speed manual transmission. There is also a 1.5-liter diesel TDI engine connected to seven-speed DSG transmission, and this automatic transmission is available only in Highline and Comfortline variants.
Baleno petrol is powered with a 1.2-liter DOHC engine engineered with an advanced K-series technology. This engine gives 115Nm and 62kW, and the diesel vehicle is equipped with a robust DDiS 1.3-liter engine that yields 190Nm and 55.2kW, and the transmission options present are CVT tranny and 5-speed manual gearbox.
Braking and safety:
2016 Ameo is loaded with safety features, all variants have dual front airbags and ABS as standard features. The Highline and Comfortline variants have front fog lights and hill hold control and all variants have rear fog lights. The most loaded Highline car has auto-dimming interior rear view mirror, front fog lights with static cornering lights and rear defogger. The front disc brakes give the car additional stability to handle tough road situations effectively.
Baleno has rear drum brakes and front disc brakes, and all variants have electronic brake-force distribution and anti-lock braking system and dual airbags for co-passenger and driver as standard features. The other beneficial safety features are rear defogger, reverse parking camera, reverse parking sensors, pinch guard window and front fog lights. Also take note of these essential safety features rear wiper and washer, driver side seat belt reminder, auto diming, front seat belt force limiters, front seat belt pre-tensioners, auto head lights, head lamp levelling, anti-theft security system and dual horn.
Ameo is sold for a price of Rs 5.3 to 7.18 lakh and Baleno costs Rs 5.4 to 8.6 lakhs.
Baleno is more creatively designed and both cars offer good levels of comfort, Ameo has superior engine capacity and Baleno has more powerful safety features. Both cars are equally powerful for the price offered.