Best Premium Hatchback Between Baleno, Elite i20 and Etios Liva

Premium hatchbacks are the new first cars for prospective car buyers in India. A phenomena which is most obvious in metro's and mini-metro's. One reason could simply be the desire to indulge oneself with top-end features while upgrading from a smaller entry hatch. Thanks to premium hatch being loaded with features, they offer a strong buy-me reason over entry sedan which in most cases are feature barren. Current premium hatch which has found favour with car buyers in India are: Baleno, Elitei20, Polo, Swift and Etios Liva to name a few.

Which is the best premium hatchback in petrol ?? Toyota Liva vs Maruti Suzuki Baleno vs hyundai i20 Engine and performance, more spacious, driving comfort, long-term use.

Best Premium Hatchback Between Baleno, Elite i20 and Etios Liva

Lets take the easy one first as its more qualitative (so open to different interpretation by all) - Long term use. With your permission let me rephrase this to, which premium hatch back is 'Most Long Lasting' - Whilst all cars are designed to last long as one can still see the Maruti 800 or Santro or Qualis running smoothly on road even today after being discontinued fro some years now. Anecdotedlly Toyota cars are normally believed last real long with no problems from its engine even after its done over 1 lacs Kms. That does not mean others won't, therefore subjective.


All of them are speced quite closely with each having technologies that suits them the most. All of them are 1197cc, 4 cylinder, 4 valve/Cyl with DOHC, However, Baleno and Elite i20 come with VTVT (Variable Timing Valve Train), whereas the Liva comes with Electronic Fuel injection technology. Baleno is known to be a smooth performer and that to a great extent be attributed to its All Aluminim engine.


Car              Power                     Torque                      ARAI Mileage          0-100           Autocar          Ecardlr
                                                                                                                                                Rating             Rating

        84 Ps / 6000 Rpm     115 Nm / 4000 Rpm    21.1 KMPL        -                    9/10              9/10

Elite i20       83 Ps / 6000 Rpm     115 Nm / 4000 Rpm    18.8 Kmpl         15.65 Secs    7/10            7.5/10

Etios Liva      80 Ps / 5600 Rpm    104 Nm / 3100 Rpm    17.7 Kmpl         15.93 Secs    8/10           7/10

Driving Comfort

Driving comfort is dependent on many factors, these are;

Ease of Driving - Means a car that feels less tiring over a long drive. Cars with electronic power steering are supposedly less tiring to drive than with hydraulic power steering, however over all car weight also has a bearing on this factor. The flip side to this is that cars with hydraulic power steering has better road feedback vs an EPS driven car. Parking ease can also enhance ease of driving and normally car with smaller radius can a go a long way in enhancing the driving ease related to parking. Ecardlr and Autocar ratinge are given below for factors that impact driving ease

Factor                              Baleno                              Elite i20                              Etios Liva
AutoCar Rating

Ride Quality                     7/10                                  7/10                                     8/10

Handling                          7/10                                  7/10                                      8/10


Most car buyers get taken up by external diemnsions of a car. The only dimension worth looking at externally is Wheelbase length as it defines cabin space mostly. Car spaciousness should be defined by its internal dimensions like; legroom headroom and shoulder room. 

Car              Front Legroom            Front Headroom          Rear Legroom             Rear Headroom

         870/620 mm                  900 mm                        970/700 mm                 890 mm

Elite i20       830/610 mm                   990 mm                        840/640 mm                 950 mm  

Etios Liva      830/590 mm                   980 mm                       900/670 mm                 900 mm

Basis above data points on factors of your choice, the preference order could well be: Baleno (No surprises) followed by Etios Liva and then Elite i20 (this is surprising).