My initial choice was between the Baleno and the Honda City and it was rather a difficult one. But I seem to have made the right decision and am pleasantly surprised at having a very rewarding ownership experience.
The performance is fantastic especially on account of the flat torque curve - you seem to be in the meat of the power band in most driving conditions. In fact the engine is so responsive, you rarely need to use more than 4500 RPM at any point unless you are in a real hurry. Overtaking Lancers (1.6) and Honda City's are a walk in the park.
The fuel efficiency is extremely good when you consider the performance on tap helped largely on account of the torque available which allows you to move along all day in a high gear.
The service is definitely good as you are the top of the line and are given preferential treatment too.
Tyres could be better though and the handling is towards understeer though depending on where you are it doesn't really matter.
Looks? Good from all angles except the rear from about 250 meters away. The side is especially good and gives a very solid look to the car. The redesigned front end is trendy too.
The Interiors could do with a tach that's the same size as the speedo indicating its performance pedigree.That's about the only peeve I have with the interior, otherwise its pretty good, insulates noise and has a very effective air con. The Kenwood music system is more than adequate and comes with a remote too. Power mirrors are standard along with the usual central locking and power windows etc.
Value for money if you are a performance freak.