Life was much simpler back in the day. If you had to buy a small car, you had limited options and all the cars were quite similar in terms of size and equipment. But now the small car segment itself has been further divided into super-compact, compact, and premium hatchbacks. Soon, these sub-segments will see a few cars that’ll divide the segments further. One such example is Hyundai’s new Grand i10.
The Grand i10 fits right between the i10 and the i20. Both, in terms of price and dimensions. But wait; don’t mistake the Grand i10 to be the i10’s successor in the European markets. This Grand i10 is 10cm longer than the European one and this addition has been made considering the Indian conditions.
Like most other Hyundais today, the Grand i10 too carries forward Hyundai’s Fluidic design theme. And like other Hyundais, the Grand looks pretty to the eye. Swept-back headlamps and a big hexagonal grille with chunky fog lamps add zest to the front. Sharp lines and the body moulding make sure the zest is carried through the profile of the Grand i10. At the rear too, the styling is anything but bland. The large bumper wraps the whole thing pretty neatly.
On the inside, the Grand i10 looks nothing like the i10 or the i20. It’s an all-new design. Beige and black plastics are used nicely, and you get brushed-aluminium dials for the air-con vents that look tastefully made. The overall fit and finish and the plastic quality is pretty good, and is one of the best in the segment.
Hyundai is now making a habit of stuffing the cabin with a lot of equipment, and the Grand i10 is no exception. It gets the segment-first rear AC vents. And at the front, you get everything from steering-mounted controls, keyless entry, auto-folding mirrors, multi information display to a multimedia system that has USB and AUX ports, supports Bluetooth connectivity and has 1GB internal memory space for music and phone contacts. The seats are comfortable and there’s enough legroom at the rear. The rear bench is wide enough for three, although there’s a bulge at the centre that’ll make the third passenger a bit uncomfortable on long journeys.
Under the hood, you’ve got an option of a petrol and a diesel engine. The petrol is the same 1.2-litre Kappa engine that goes in the i10, but the diesel is an all-new 1.1-litre three-cylinder block. It puts out 70bhp and a healthy 160Nm of torque. The power delivery is quite linear and there’s no sudden burst of power. But despite that, the engine is in its happy powerband only once you cross the 1,800rpm mark. And it stays that way till it crosses 4,000rpm. On the outside, the three-cylinder engine is noisy, but the noise is muted nicely once you get inside the cabin. It also throws some vibrations at idle, but they even out with a dab of the throttle.
The engine is married to a five-speed manual gearbox. The gearbox is a fine piece of machinery with short and precise throws and well-sorted ratios. In the city, you won’t have to fiddle much with the gearstick to be in the powerband. And on the highway, the Grand i10 will cruise happily at 100kph with the engine spinning at just 2,400 revs.
The Grand i10 is one nice-riding hatchback. It feels a bit firmer compared to the Verna, but absorbs bumps with ease. The suspension isn’t noisy when you put it through torture on a bad stretch of tarmac. And at highway speeds, it isn’t wallowy like the Verna – it feels planted and confident. But around corners, expect it to have some amount of body roll.
The steering too isn’t as light as the Verna or the Elantra. But it isn’t a problem manoeuvring through tight spaces. Jaipur’s open roads on our test drive didn’t offer any tight bends to check its dynamics through bends, and you’ll have to wait till we do a proper road test of the Grand i10 soon.
The Grand i10 is pitted against Maruti’s Swift, and undercuts the Maruti’s pricing by about Rs 40-50,000 variant-to-variant. The petrol Grand i10 starts at Rs 4.29 lakh and goes up to Rs 5.47 lakh. And the diesel will cost you Rs 5.23 lakh for the base variant and top-end variant will ask for Rs 6.41 lakh (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi).
The Grand i10 lacks the driving pleasure and sharp dynamics of the Swift, but as a package with good styling, lots of features, enough cabin space, competitive pricing and a frugal diesel engine, it makes for a good all-round package. A package good enough to make it another winner in Hyundai’s portfolio.
Diesel: 3cyl, 1,120cc, 70bhp, 160Nm, 5M, FWD, highway kpl: 19.5, Rs 6.41 lakh. Petrol: 4cyl, 1,197cc, 82bhp, 114Nm, 5M, FWD, Rs 5.47 lakh (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi for the Asta variant)
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