UPDATE: Versions of the Grand i10 added with specs and features – CLICK HERE
When Hyundai entered various global markets almost two decades back, it was often the center of jokes for its unorthodox methods, with most critiques running it down in almost every single way. However, the Korean giant didn’t have to wait long before they not only silenced the critiques, but gave enough reasons to make the competition stand up and take note. Rivals took a beating and today, the company is among the top four manufacturers in almost every single market it sells products in. The same goes for India as well and with great products like the i10, i20 and the Verna, Hyundai enjoys a comfortable 2nd number spot in the Indian automobile segment.
Their foothold is all set to strengthen with the launch of the next product, the Grand i10. To be slotted between the i10 and the i20, the Grand makes sure all the dozen off launches in the segment in the last couple of years will not give the company a reason to feel threatened!
How does it look?
Though the Grand i10 looks like the i10 in many ways, it has been engineered from grounds up. There is almost nothing that the Grand i10 shares with the i10 and yet, it has a close resemblance. Hyundai did this deliberately to continue on the same design language and keep the family fluidic design theme going. However, this has been done cleverly and the Grand i10 clearly looks a generation ahead as compared to the i10. The design makes use of Hyundai’s Fluidic design philosophy and we particularly love the way the front execution – the front is short with a small bonnet which is raised to impart sportiness and all this compliments well with striking two tone alloy wheels which are the best in the segment.
The Grand i10 is slight longer than the i10 and wider too and this helps to do away with the tall boy design.
Is it modern on the inside?
All Hyundai products in India are known for their high quality and practical interiors and the Grand is no different. I own an i20 back home and the quality on the Grand even bettered that! Hyundai has worked very hard to make sure that an owner feels this hard earned money has been spent well. The design of the fascia is modern and the high placed gear lever, like the i10, liberates a lot of space between the front two seats. Cubby holes are found everywhere and as far as practicality goes, the Grand does the job well.
What is surprisingly very good is the space inside. With the front seat adjusted for my height (I stand 6 feet tall), I gave the rear seats a try. My knees didn’t touch the back of the front seat and the redesigned rear windows (which are bigger now) easily imparted an airy feel. The first in segment rear air-con vents is a well thought feature and we hope this makes it to the i10 and i20 in the near future as well.
The Grand i10 comes with all the bells and whistles expected in this segment including Bluetooth connectivity, auto fold electric mirrors, smart keyless entry with start-stop etc.
The Grand i10 comes with an option of both a 1.2-litre petrol and an all-new 1.1-litre diesel engine. The former can also be found in the i10 and the i20 and is known for its smooth operation. The engine performs well in city usage though on the highway with a full load of passengers and air-con working, you do have to work a bit on the gears. That said, it is fairly economical and the 5-speed gearbox is a joy to use. The 1.2-litre petrol is also available with a 4-speed automatic.
The talking point here however is the new 1.1-litre diesel motor. It is the 2nd generation CRDi engine and is loosely based on the 4-cylinder 1.4-litre diesel engine that Hyundai already has in India. However, many internal parts are new and in the Grand i10. Hyundai claims that the Grand i10 the most efficient in its class.
As part of a special preview, we drove the diesel Grand i10 in Hyderabad and immediately loved it torque flow. Turbo lag is next to nil and this means that the car won’t be giving the driver unwanted power jerks in traffic. The engine picks up from under 1500rpm easily and has a smooth buildup of torque. It may not be quick in outright acceleration but the way it behaves in 4th and 5th gear at over 2500rpm is remarkable. The Grand i10’s ability to cruise at 120-130km/h is phenomenal and there is no sign of strain from the engine at all. A generic acceleration run from standstill to 100km/h came up in roughly 16 seconds which is bang in the territory of other diesel powered hatchbacks in this segment.
Summing it up
This car really is a ‘grand’ step for Hyundai in India. The i10, in spite of it having been around for a decade, is still doing great numbers and the Grand will only add to that. It does everything the i10 does but in a better way. It feels bigger, is plush and gives that sense of ‘extra’ in every parameter. The icing on the cake of course is the brilliant diesel engine and we can safely assume that the petrol Grand i10 range will start at around Rs 4.75 lac ex-showroom Delhi. The diesel of course will be a lac more but given the complete package of space, quality and design, there is no getting away from the fact that Hyundai will have the last and the grandest laugh of all.
Stay tuned for a comprehensive test drive report in the first week of September!