The Hyundai Grand i10 first drive review

The Hyundai Grand i10 received a much needed facelift this year and is padding up to give a tough competition with the likes of the newly launched Suzuki Ignis, Ford Figo Aspire, and Tata Tiago.  It boasts of plenty of features that threaten to topple the others out of the competition. My brother in law bought one last year and I got a chance to drive it for some time for city runs. And it surely felt like sitting inside a cockpit of an aircraft after driving a ’99 Maruti 800 for a year.

Looks, design and features

 Let’s start with the looks of the car. The fluidic design language revolutionized the outlook of brand Hyundai and made an instant connection with the consumers, making its cars sell like hot cakes.  The muffin shaped grille along with the new design headlamps with the fog lamps placed in the front bumper, turn indicators housed on the side mirrors feel premium . The door handles are chrome finished and its a nice touch. The square little black button on the front door handles are sensors to open and lock the doors if you just have the keys with you, yet another feature unique to the Hyundai family.

The rear of the car houses a spoiler integrated with the roof. The rear is one of the smartest looking in its class with the new tail lamps neatly flowing along the curve lines of the car.  Rear wiper too is offered. The thick A - pillars sometimes cause a blind spot while taking reverse, but that shouldn’t be a major concern for a hatchback.

Step into the cabin and a well equipped and neatly laid out dashboard greets you. The black and beige tone of the dashboard feels lively. The steering wheel has a smooth feel to it and has music controls, hands free audio controls which even hatches of same class don’t offer. The volume control and AC knobs have a fine finish and are within the reach and the buttons are well laid out without much confusion. The Bluetooth connectivity is seamless and the factory fitted 4 speaker audio system offered decent sound. There is also option for an AUX input and USB port. The instrument cluster houses the speedo, odo, tachometers, along with the trip meters, door open indicators etc. The small LCD display offers gives option for FM or other media playback. The side mirrors are electrically adjustable and give excellent view of the events behind. Power windows are also offered, along rear A/c vents. It’s safe to say that this car is loaded to the gills and keep its occupants cool with the less time taken to bring the temperature down. Dual airbags are standard in this sportz variant.

Engine and performance

Under the hood of the Grand i10 is the 1.2 L, 4 cylinder kappa petrol motor which makes 83 PS and 116 Nm torque, mated to a five speed manual gearbox. The engine revs all the way to the red-line and drivability is better in low speeds and higher gears, without much fuss. Overtaking in higher gears just needs a push of the pedal and it does the job without downshifting. Due to the better drivability the fuel economy is an improved 15.1 kmpl. 

The suspension of the car is well tuned for Indian roads, as it absorbs any potholes and undulations the road throws at it. This results in more confidence in driving and the ability to run slow speeds in higher gears is a boon for people more often plying in the city. But the downside is body roll around bends due to the soft suspension setup. Surprisingly the grip levels offered by the 165/65 R14 tyres all around are better and the car sticks to the line. The feedback of the steering could have been better though, as it feels light. The brakes, discs up front and drums at the rear, offer sufficient bite and are easy to get used to. The sharp bite at lower speeds need  some time to get around, but once you get the hang of it, precise braking can be quite handy in tight spots.

Overall this car has a tremendous value for money, as it is loaded with features that other sedans can only dream of. The good looks, refined engine, easy drivability in city, managing the occasional highway runs, better overall fuel efficiency and at a price of 6.88 lakh (on road , Mumbai) makes it a deal winning car.