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We already love the design and styling of the Tata Altroz and it’s also packed to the brim with features. But how does it fare against its rivals that have been popular for so long?
Tata Motors have significantly upped their game in the past couple of years and we’ve seen some premium offerings like the Harrier, Nexon EV and the now the Altroz, which is the first premium hatchback from the Indian brand. Just a couple of days ago the Altroz also scored a brilliant 5-star rating at the Global NCAP, making it one of the safest cars in the country. Meanwhile, the Hyundai Elite i20 and the Baleno have been the most popular cars in the segment for a long time. With the Altroz’s launch, the Hyundai and the Maruti have a new rival and its time to see how they fare against each other on paper.
The Altroz’s design is the main talking point and we really like the way it looks, with its styling remaining faithful to the 45X concept that was showcased two years earlier. In fact, it is the benchmark in this segment when it comes to design and Pratap Bose and his team have delivered a fantastic looking hatchback. The shark nose treatment, slim headlamps, blacked-out honeycomb grille and a black floating roof make it look leagues ahead of competition in terms of design. The Baleno and the Elite i20 have a fluid design with nicely flowing lines while the Jazz looks sharper and edgier than the rest. However, the Altroz’s styling gives it a great road presence and is sure to turn a lot of heads on the road. In terms of proportions its only marginally shorter than its rivals and at 2501mm, it also has the shortest wheelbase. At 345 litres it also has a bigger boot than the Baleno, but it’s the Jazz that gets a class leading boot space with 354 litres.
The Tata Altroz is powered by a 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine and a 1.5-litre Revotorq diesel unit. The former makes a healthy 85bhp and 113Nm while the latter churns 89bhp and 200Nm of torque and both are BS6 compliant. In comparison to its petrol rivals, the power and torque figures are very closely matched. Both, the Altroz and the Baleno get idle start stop system while the Baleno also gets a torque assist function thanks to its smart hybrid tech.
The power and torque outputs of the diesel powertrains too are closely matched with the Altroz and Elite i20 putting out 89bhp each. At 99bhp and 200Nm, the Jazz’s 1.5-litre iDTEC unit is the punchiest of the lot on paper while the 1.3-litre FCA sourced mill of the Baleno makes the least power – 74bhp and 190Nm. However, the Baleno is quite lightweight, tipping scales between just 960-985kg for the diesel variants. At 865kg, the petrol is the lightest of the lot.
The Altroz petrol and diesel, and the Baleno petrol with smart hybrid tech are the only cars in this lot that are BS6 compliant. On the transmission front, except the Altroz, all other cars get a CVT automatic, however, it can only be had with the petrol engine while the diesels can only be had with a manual transmission.
When the Hyundai Elite i120 was launched it was the benchmark with its extensive list of features. However, competition has caught up and all the cars in this segment are well-equipped. It’ s safe to say that the Altroz outdoes the competition with slew of cool features like the premium Harmon Kardon sound system, mood lighting, a range of voice alerts for safety, 90-degree opening doors, keyless entry with wearable key and a partially digital instrument panel that can mirror audio and navigation windows with the central touchscreen. That apart, they all get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, climate control and steering mounted audio and call controls among others. The Elite i20 is the only one to get cornering lights however it loses out on cruise control that rest of the competition gets. Where the Altroz truly stands our is its safety rating, having scored a full 5-star rating at Global NCAP. Moreover, it also gets cornering stability control that the competition misses out on.
The Altroz is now the most affordable petrol car in its segment with a starting price of Rs 5.29 lakh while the Baleno, at Rs 6.68 lakh remains the most affordable diesel option of the lot. The Baleno, Elite i20 and the Jazz are offered in two petrol automatic variants each but its again the Maruti, in its Delta auto trim that’s the most affordable petrol automatic of this bunch. Take a look at the chart below for detailed information on the variant wise price comparison of the Altroz against its rivals. Also, note that the Baleno petrol and the Altroz are the only BS6 compliant cars here and prices will change in the coming months when Hyundai and Honda roll out the BS6 variants of their premium hatchbacks.