Full Throttle

Road Test and Review: Hyundai GRAND i10 Diesel

Full Throttle

There has been a long-standing void in Hyundai’s lineup for India – between the i10 and the i20. The i10 is too small and the i20 slightly ‘more premium’ for the most competitive hatchback segment. Now, Hyundai has brought some balance to its line-up, with the new GRAND i10 bridging the gap between the i10 and the i20.

So, having tested the GRAND i10 prototype last month and been impressed with the features on offer, I recently spent a day with the production car and here’s the detailed review.

Design

The GRAND i10 is not merely a ‘grander’ form of the i10. Built on a completely new platform, the car looks totally original. Although the GRAND i10 adopts Hyundai’s fluidic design language, it sports a more sober look with less creases and lines.  Hexagonal grille and elongated headlamps look elegant and I particularly liked the unique design of the fog lamps. Sloping roofline, ascending beltline and integrated roof rails coupled with the two-tone diamond cut alloy wheels create athleticism. The wraparound tail lamps are trendy and probably, the best design element of the GRAND i10.

As with any Hyundai product, the GRAND i10 also comes with great interiors. The quality of the dual tone plastics shames more expensive models.  The adjustable steering column feels premium and the gear lever is ergonomically placed on the dashboard. The chunky A/C dials and round vents add to the elegance of the dashboard.

The GRAND i10 comes with rear A/C vents and 1GB built in audio memory, two first-in-segment features. Also on offer are push start button, keyless entry, auto-folding mirrors and glove box chiller.

The seats may not be the best for long driving but they are smartly designed and offer good support and especially, spot on driving position.  Rear passengers get ample space but the rear A/C vent unit eats into the third passenger’s legroom.

Performance

The all-new 1.1 U2 CRDi diesel engine develops 71PS of power @4000rpm and is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The 3-cylinder unit certainly has its shortcomings such as idling vibration and noise but things get better once you’re on the move, thanks to the commendable noise insulation of the car. Power delivery is very linear and smooth to make it a great city car but on the highways, you might crave more power. Gearshifts are butter-smooth with very short throw and the ratios are well spaced, again, adding to the driving comfort in city.

Ride and Handling

Handling has never been Hyundai’s forte but the GRAND i10 is proof that the carmaker is seriously working to strike the perfect balance between comfort and handling.  The car handles surprisingly better compared to other Hyundais, while keeping the ride comfort unaffected. It is pretty stable at speed and doesn’t totter around when pushed hard into a corner.

Safety

Slight disappointment here – ABS and airbags are not a standard fitment, but available only as an option. Engine immobilizer is standard across all variants and central locking is part of all but the base variant.

Conclusion

The diesel range of the GRAND i10 starts at 5.23 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), which makes it 30000-50000 cheaper than the Swift across variants. The GRAND i10 cannot be compared to the Swift in terms of performance and driving dynamics, however, as an overall package it is a stronger choice. It has a handful of very useful features, great interior quality, class-leading mileage and an eye-catching design. No doubt, the GRAND i10 is great value for your money, especially if your driving is more stop-and-go or city driving.

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