Hyundai i10 Kappa2 First Drive
It is not a easy job to better what is already very good. Well that is just what Hyundai has done to better the bestseller i10 and get the latest avatar the Hyundai i10 Kappa2. To get the facts in order the i10 when launched a few years back was regarded as the bench mark for cars in its segment. Recent onslaught from competitors and newer models like the VW Polo, Chevrolet Beat, Ford Figo, K Series Maruti Swift and the Fiat Punto to name a few was beginning to eat on the i10 market share and Hyundai had to get into action sooner than expected. The good part is that the new Hyundai i10 Kappa2 that we have here is the latest generation from the Korean car maker and the very same that is showing at the Paris Motor Show 2010. We drove this new chick from Hyundai and here is how it behaved.
Hyundai i10 Kappa2 Exteriors – Design
The new Hyundai i10 Kappa2 has been refreshed and now has a all new front. All new wrap round head lights look more pronounced now. The headlights are now more protruding and have a good imposing look on them with the nicely integrated turn indicators also housed smartly. The air-dam has gone lower and wider, an all new centre grill with an horizontal chrome slat where the Hyundai logo prominently sits is the new family face for Hyundai cars for the coming years we are told. The honeycomb all matt black grill enhances the aggressive look in the front. The bumper has also been fully redone is now more muscular and also houses triangular fog lamps. The bonnet remains the same. The side profile is enhanced by body colored door rubber moldings and the addition of turn blinkers on the wing mirrors which is a very good looking cosmetic addition. A new VTVT monogram on the left fender and Kappa2 logo on the right side shout out that this is the new Hyundai i10 Kappa2 ! Ok more on the VTVT and Kappa2 in the engine section. The side profile remains more or less the same which isn’t bad to look at. On the roof in the front you have a new small radio antenna that adds to the exterior value. At the rear the styling clues are on the all new bumper that going with the front bumper is styled very aggressively and now also has the reverse parking sensors. The rear bumper runs down low and has two reflectors housed on them as well. The tail light cluster is similar in shape as the outgoing version but now has a different rounded lens design integrated in them. The newness at the rear is in the bumper and the tail lamp and also the new spoiler with stop lamp that adds to the sporty image on the car. The rear windshield and the boot opened handle remains the same. Over all the new Hyundai i10 VTVT has gone much more aggressive with this new design, the earlier one was more rounded and had the cute sweet touch to it. We are more than happy with this all new aggressive -0sporty stance that the new i10 has. Fit and finish are good as on all Hyundai’s and so is the paint quality and weld quality.
Hyundai i10 Kappa2 Interior – Cabin
The new Hyundai i10 Kappa2 had one of the best cabin areas as per the gadgets and goodies when launched. With the new Hyundai i10 Kappa2 Hyundai want to redo that magic. First look and you spot a new color to the dash, a 2 tone affair. Gone is the beige color and in comes the dark grey and light grey shades. The steering is a 3spoke affair and looks similar to the earlier one but the biggest change on it the addition of the audio control buttons and the Bluetooth button. The inclusion of the audio and Bluetooth should bring a smile on the face of the music lovers or phone a friend type of people who won’t have to move an inch to change music or make or receive calls while driving. The steering is also adjustable for height. The instrumentation has an all black background and also has a digital fuel meter and a up shift-down shift indicator that helps the driver to get the best out of the Hyundai i10 VTVT power plant. The centre dash has the music system in silver and the ac controls under it. The pick on the centre dash is the inclusion of the much needed USB port and the AUX connection that is added on to this new layout along with the power outlet socket. The rest of the dash remains same, the welcome inclusion or change is the change of the backlight from light green to a vibrant blue as also seen on the Verna Transform. The Air conditioner remains the manual rotary one while the vents get the chrome linings around them. The MP3/CD player is the same and audio quality has always been good. A silver panel houses the MP3-CD player and the AC controls giving it the brushed aluminum look. Going on with the instrumentation the most unique addition to the goodies line-up is the wing mirrors are powered and are also now electrically heated, so no need to lower your windows and wipe the mirrors repeatedly during rains or a cold morning. This feature isn’t even available on some of the high end cars that are sold in India. Front 2 airbags are standard on the top end version along with ABS and EBD. The gear is still in the forward position ala the Honda CRV which is not bad but takes 10-20 minutes to figure out. Its got a good chunky portion to grip and a dash of chrome is put on it as well.
The front seats remain the same with unified headrests, the driver’s seat gets the height adjust which should aid short drivers. The rear seats are comfortable and the incline of the back rest gives support to the much needed areas of the back. Cushioning of the seats is now slightly firmer which we think is for the good cause if the seats are very soft then you tend to feel all the bumps and pot holes when the car drives over them. The interior of new Hyundai i10 Kappa2 is bright and appealing with the fabric on the seats being of high quality. Plastics used in here are also of high grade and fit finish is on the better side. The door pads have pockets and bottle holders but a large 1litre bottle doesn’t fit in it. There are small places for storing a lot of knick-knacks all over the cabin and also a second power outlet near the hand brake for the rear passengers. Chrome is also used for the door opener leaver adding to the glitter of chrome in the cabin. Leg room and head room in the front and at the rear remains the same and has always been sufficient on the Hyundai i10 VTVT so nothing to grouse there as well.
Hyundai i10 Kappa2 Engine
The new Hyundai i10 Kappa2 is powered by the same 1.1 IRDE and the 1.2 Kappa power plant that is seen on the outgoing model but there is more to the story. The Hyundai patented VTVT unit is also added to both the engines. The VTVT technology is something like the i-Vtec that Honda specializes in. Hyundai now claims that the engine now has increased power and performance figures with the addition of the VTVT technology. Power has gone up by 3PS on the 1.1Irde while the 1.2 KAPPA benefits from getting much higher refinement and smoother drive. Both the engines with the VTVT add on are now Euro 4 complaint. The efficiency levels for the new Hyundai i10 1.1 Irde 2 according to ARAI is of a class leading 21.36kmpl which is more than the Alto.
The Hyundai i10 Kappa2 now feels a lot different, the drive quality has changed tremendously while the power delivery is also much linear now. On our drive the first thing that we noticed is the smoothness and refinement of the 1.2 Kappa 2 engine which is now benefited by the VTVT. The i10 was always a shrewd handler and now feels a lot different and is much more fun to drive. Gear ratios are perfect and the gear changes are positive. The suspension remains the same but now feels a lot different we guess because of the better cushioning in the seats. Braking on the new Hyundai i10 VTVT is positive and the car comes to halt in a reassuring manner. As we mentioned the overall quality has bettered hence in the cabin everything stays where they are meant to stay and we didn’t pick any rattle or vibrations. Our only grouse is the single horn that doesn’t match the car, Come on Hyundai get a nice sounding twin horns on the new baby. The steering feedback is perfect, not very light nor very heavy. We hit an easy 130 kmph on open roads and the car was steady as an arrow. Let us end the drive section letting you know that the Hyundai i10 Kappa2 is one of the best small cars to drive around on open highways or to maneuver around on busy traffic streets.
Hyundai always had a winner in the new Hyundai i10 Kappa2 but now with changing times and newer technology and stiff competition it had to do something. It has done the correct thing with the inclusion of the VTVT technology on the best seller making it even better. The new shape and design on the outside and inside are also a welcome change, the extra goodies offered like heated wing mirrors with blinkers, reverse parktronics, new bumper at rear and front, Bluetooth the list goes on. Hyundai has not left anything out that includes the efficiency levels too and as a result has even over taken the segments most efficient car the Alto. Also consider the fact that the VTVT factor has improved the refinement and has made the car much more drivable. Hyundai India wants to go all out against the competition. Expect some real hard and competitive pricing on the new Hyundai i10 Kappa 2 and Irde 2 making it a package very hard to resist.