Originally Posted by Mageshs
Being an owner of Baleno Alpha from the past year, my opinion might seem titled towards it but I will try my best to put down a fair view on both these cars.
Exterior design is subjective, but Polo has a timeless design. You may find some haters of Baleno for its design, but won't find any for Polo. Paint quality as well as build quality is better on Polo. Interior quality as well as design is better in Polo, but Baleno is better equipped with features and feels more value for money. Rear space is much better in Baleno (actually it is a weak point in Polo for many) and boot space is also better. It has a high and narrow loading point though, so do check out on that personally. Ergonomics were better in Baleno, for me, as the pedals and gear lever were better positioned plus I found the front seats to be healthy on side bolstering as well as under thigh support. Visibility is sort of equal-equal, though the Baleno's narrow viewibg area from the titled front windsheild can tilt the scales in favour of Polo. Coming to the engines, Baleno is the clear winner here. It is peppy, efficient and frugal as well. Low end torque is average but I'm sure no other car from this segment would be considerably better. Cruising at 100 kmph on top gear, it feels refined as hell with negligible noise coming from the engine. Polo's petrol heart is a negative point for it. Comfort wise, Polo would fare better, not because of seat cushioning but because of a better ride at low speeds. At high speeds, Baleno would perform better if there are minimal undulations. For the suspension, I will give it to the German anyway. Handling is also equal-equal on both the choices, and an ex-i10 owner would be mighty impressed I bet. Maintenance would be a breeze for Maruti and it has a clear edge above Polo in this aspect.
So, to sum it up, product wise Polo is better but you won't get the piece of mind of a Maruti product. If your requirement is space and features, then Baleno makes more sense. Diesel Polo is a great engine and would win over Baleno Petrol/Diesel for its sheer fun factor (esp. when you know you have ample horses in reserve when the going gets tough
). It takes out one negative from the product, and you are left with expensive maintenance and less space only. If you're able to live with that for the better quality you'll enjoy for years to come, then Polo is the best bet. You will be able to get discounts on Polo as well, so I would suggest you to stretch and pick a Polo Diesel Comfortline.
Other than these, you can consider Jazz and Elite i20. Jazz has a good petrol engine (comparable to Baleno, better than Polo) with excellent space and sorted ride quality. Elite i20 is a good balance between Baleno and Polo, as it provides Polo-like quality with Baleno-like maintenance but the petrol engine is dull (comparable to Polo).
If it is going to be Petrol, Jazz/Baleno > Elite i20 > Polo.
If it is going to be Diesel, Polo > Elite i20 > Baleno/Jazz.