The Hyundai i10 hatchback was launched riding on the success of the Santro and Xing to rope in not only the Hyundai loyalists but also to cater to a larger audience. The i10 has not failed the Korean manufacturer even a bit, consistently clocking ranked as one of top-10 selling cars in the country.
The two-tone colour scheme lends an air of richness associated with cars higher in the ladder of automotive segments and the plastics and knobs have a nice feel to them as well. One thing that stands out as a unique aspect is the placement of the gear-shift lever which is housed on the centre console. This liberates a good amount of space on the floor which has been utilized smartly by endowing it with useful storage spaces and cup holders. There are enough spaces to carry things ranging from your wallet or cell phone to bottles of a litre capacity. The luggage space too is decent but the deep loading-lip can be a cause of concern while loading/unloading baggage. The disappointment comes in shape of the door pockets which are narrow on the front doors and missing at the rear.
The interior otherwise is a congenial place to be in. On the comfort aspect too, the i10 is bang upto the mark. The front seats are shaped in a way to offer you the best support in all the right places. The head-restraints are not a different unit as seen in other cars and are an extension of the chairs.
The ideal driving position can be arrived at with ease and the view of the outside is pretty good. I missed a dead-pedal at the side of the clutch though. The rear bench is adequately firm and pampers you with good comfort levels. The protrusions at the bottom of the rear seats do not allow the occupants to stretch legs.
It does not bite an eyelid and will take you from speeds as low as 15kmph to all the way upto 120kmph, and that too without making the car feel like it's going to cough up to a halt at low speeds and die out of pain at higher revs. The engine is essentially the same 1.1-litre unit that powers the Getz 1.1 too and is a beefed-up unit of the trusted Santro, albeit with slightly more power which is now peak-rated at 67 horses with iRDE pasted on top of it. It is not as fast off the line as its smaller sibling, Santro, but it performs admiringly to dismiss the run to a hundred clicks in 14.5 seconds.
Santro is at one end of the spectrum, Getz on the other end, and i10 sits between the two as far as placing the product in the segment is concerned.Managing 16.8kmpl on the highway, the Hyundai i10 lay rubber on 12.3 kilometers of road before emptying the fuel tank further by one litre when while running in the city.
Handling and Ride
At slow speeds you surely can sense the odd pothole and suspension 'thuds' are quite audible, but it never swings towards the ‘bad’ side of the balance and the ride quality improves folds on end as you gain speed. Just one word of caution here - when going round a bend over a rough patch of tarmac, the i10 does feel a little unsettled with the car wiggling its tail a bit. Handling is neutral till the point that you do not demand a lot from the chassis. The steering is a delight to use and does not feel all that confused even when doing high speeds.
The steering wheel is good to hold too. Enthusiastic driving though will have you understeer heavily and those skinny tubeless tyres will howl for mercy. Brakes offer good bite and feel but the ABS version certainly felt more poised when the anchors were dropped in anger. The safety features of Hyundai i10 include dual air bags, seat belts with pre-tensioner; anti-lock braking system (ABS) and auto door unlock system that is sensible to impact of collisions. There are also child seat fittings, which can be adjusted in the front.
The variants of Hyundai i10 that are available in India include Asta, Asta w/Sun Roof, D-lite, Era, Magna (O) with Sun Roof and Sportz. The launch price of the car is around Rs 4 lakhs. It comes in colours like Crystal White, Stone Black, Oyster Grey, Virtual Yellow, Electric Red, Deep-ocean Blue, Champagne Gold, Blushing Red, Sleek White and Alpine Blue. The car competes with the likes of Maruti Suzuki Wagon R and Tata Indica Xeta. The hatch is a small car with a fully loaded package. The car provides for space and is quicker than its counterparts. Also it is the only car which has an automatic variant in the segment. The Maruti Suzuki A-star now also competes for attention in the automatic transmission. The i10 is a quality choice for those who enjoy riding their cars.
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