The Hyundai Grand i10 is spacious, loaded with features and extremely fuel efficient.
After being spotted testing extensively, the second generation Hyundai i10 (code name BA) is all set to hit the Indian market. The festive season is around the corner and it is the perfect time for manufacturers to launch a product onslaught. Globally, the next generation i10 will be unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, which is to be held in September. The i10 is a very important car for Hyundai and the Grand i10 is the only launch for the company in India this year. We get an exclusive peak at the new Hyundai Grand i10 and come out impressed.
Speculation was that Hyundai will name it the i15 and place it between the current i10 and the i20. Yes, the product positioning is exactly as predicted but due to certain global company policies, it has to have the ‘i10′ in its branding and hence its called the Grand i10. In this entire activity, we got up close and personal with the uncamouflaged Grand i10 and even got to drive it for a bit. However as a part of Hyundai’s global policy the test car was camouflaged and no pictures were allowed of the display car.
The Grand i10 is based on a completely new platform. The car has been built from scratch by Hyundai’s European Centre in Germany. The Grand i10 is a made for India and Hyundai engineers from India have been involved throughout its development. In fact there are few significant differences between the Indian and the European spec model (IA). The Indian version has a longer wheelbase and is longer in length by nearly 100 mm. Not only that, the rear window glass is larger in the Indian version to give an airy feeling to the passengers.
The Grand i10 is based on Hyundai’s revolutionary fluidic design language and it looks very athletic and sporty in appearance. The 14-inch diamond cut alloy wheels look fabulous. Rear parking sensors are standard on the top model. Step into the cabin and one is amazed by the amount of space on offer. There is enough legroom, knee room, headroom and shoulder room in both the rows. The front seats are comfortable and very supportive with decent amount of underthigh support. The fins on the side extend excellent support to the back. The rear seats also follow suit and offer enough headroom for tall passengers.
The Hyundai Grand i10 also gets a segment first rear AC vent, which is very useful considering our tropical climate. The AC cools well, however there is no climate control on offer. The audio system gets USB/AUX connectivity as standard and you can also stream music through your phone via Bluetooth. As another segment first, there is 1 GB of internal memory on the audio system where you can save music from your phone or USB and store it in the car. Other features include push button start and smart key. There are quite a few storage places inside the cabin. Boot is nearly double the size of the Maruti Swift and swallows more luggage than the competition.
The Hyundai Grand i10 will be available in both petrol and diesel powertrains. The petrol engine is the same tried and tested 1.2-litre Kappa unit and though Hyundai has not mentioned power and torque figures yet, we reckon it will be the same as the i10 (80 BHP, 114 Nm) with minor tweaks for better refinement and efficiency.
The diesel version of the Hyundai Grand i10 is powered by a new 1.1 litre 3-cylinder U2 second generation CRDi engine (which is the 1.4-litre CRDI mill sans a cylinder). This is the first time any version of the i10 has come with a diesel mill in India. Hyundai has not yet revealed the power and torque rating for this engine but has mentioned that this engine will deliver the best in class performance and fuel efficiency. We reckon this engine will produce close to 75 BHP of power and 180 NM torque, like it does in the first gen i10 diesel in Europe.
On our short drive, we were mighty impressed with this latest offering from Hyundai. Engine refinement and NVH levels are very good although there is a bit of diesel clatter at start-up and during idle. Once on the move, you would never be able to tell it’s a 3-cylinder motor. The acceleration is linear with negligible turbo lag. The engine revs cleanly but feels a bit strained at the top end. Redline comes in a little over 4500 RPM and the Grand i10 gathers momentum quickly without breaking into a sweat. You would hardly be able to tell its a 1.1-litre engine in city conditions but out on the highways, the 3-pot motor does lose steam. Acceleration up to 120 km/hr is quick after which the engine feels strained. The 5-speed manual gearbox is smooth and has relatively short throws. We reckon this 1.1-litre diesel motor will return close to 25 km/l as per ARAI tests, which is what will delight most users in this segment.
Ride quality has improved over the other Hyundai offerings and the suspension is not as softly sprung. This means the Grand i10 feels quite stable at high speeds with no bouncy feeling whatsoever. The suspension does feel better tuned than the old i10. Handling has improved too and the steering feels decently weighed at high speeds but our drive was too short to write a full blown review on the driving dynamics. We will review the car in full detail very shortly and come up with an in depth review. Brake bite is pretty good but the car does tend to twitch under heavy braking.
Based on our short experience with the vehicle, the Hyundai Grand i10 comes across as a great product. In this segment, consumers look for a quality product which is spacious, offers good performance and is yet economical to run. The Grand i10 ticks all the above boxes and with the segment first rear AC and usual goodies Hyundai offers, its makes a very strong point for itself. Hyundai will position the Grand i10 between the current i10 and i20, which means the base Grand i10 (diesel) will be priced at around Rs. 5.00 lakhs, making it terrific value like other Hyundai cars.
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