Maruti Suzuki Baleno
Maruti Suzuki BalenoMaruti Suzuki

It looks like Hyundai Elite i20 has got some real competition in the market. The sales of Hyundai Elite i20 have been outnumbered by Maruti Suzuki's new premium hatchback Baleno in December 2015, strengthening the belief that Maruti's new car could emerge the winner in the fast-growing premium hatchback segment.

In December 2015, Maruti sold 10,572 units of the Baleno, whereas the sales of its prime rival Elite i20 stood at 10,379 units, reported ET Auto. However, the scenario was different in November. The sales of Elite i20 had touched 10,074 units then, while Maruti sold 9,074 Balenos.

Maruti Baleno, the first premium hatchback to be sold through the Nexa dealerships, has been earning rave review for its design and competitive price tag since its launch in the country, and has a waiting period of up to three months in some cities. The car, the stronghold of Nexa, has now been priced between Rs 5.11 lakh and Rs 8.16 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) after the company hiked the prices in the in the range of Rs 5,000-12,000.

Launched in October last year, Maruti Baleno is the second car to be sold through the new Nexa premium dealership chain after the S-Cross, and is offered with a 1.2-litre K-Series petrol engine and a 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine under the hood. While the petrol engine is tuned to develop 83bhp and 115Nm of torque, the diesel mill churns out 74bhp and 190Nm of torque.

Maruti is also gearing up to enter the subcompact SUV segment in India with its new Vitara Brezza, which will challenge the likes of Hyundai Creta on the road. The Creta has already gained a foothold in the Indian market with over 75,000 bookings in the country alone.