Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the options of buying small cars were limited. City roads were mostly ruled by the Ambassador and the Fiat Padmini although the Maruti 800 was launched in the mid 1980s. Those looking to buy a compact car had to opt for the Maruti 800, which had limited equipment and size. However, once India’s car market was thrown open for foreign entrants, the market saw entries from French, Japanese and South Korean manufacturers. The small segment was further divided into compact cars, premium hatchbacks etc. Who knows what further divisions will be made to this market. An example of a car which fits between two car categories is the Grand i10.
In terms of dimensions and prices, the Grand i10 falls in between the i10 and i20. However, it would be a mistake to consider the Grand i10 to be a successor to the i10. The latest Grand i10 is a little longer than the European version of the i10, by almost 10mm. The addition has been done keeping in mind the demands of customers in India, one of the largest markets for Hyundai cars. Like most other cars from the house of Hyundai, the Grand i10 has also been designed according to the Fluidic Philosophy that Hyundai has been using in its other car models. The Grand i10 is quite good to look at with its large hexagonal grille, large and swept back headlamps and large fog lamps which add panache to the front. The body moulding and sharp lines ensure that the panache is carried to the entire profile of the Hyundai Grand i10. At the back too, bland is the last thing that the styling can be called. The huge bumper wraps the whole back quite neatly.
The interiors of the Grand i10 are poles apart from the i20 or the i10. The design is a new age one. The black and beige coloured plastics have been used well and the dials are brushed with aluminum and the air conditioning vents seem to be made tastefully. The overall finish and fit along with the quality of the plastic is quite good and is perhaps best in this segment. As a part of its Fluidic design philosophy, Hyundai is stuffing the cabins with a lot of features and the Grand i10 is no different. The rear AC vents introduced in the car are a first for its segment. The frontal part of the car also has a lot of features such as keyless entry, automated folding mirrors, controls mounted on the steering, multiple information display and a multimedia system which has AUX and USB ports. Bluetooth connectivity is supported by the car and there is 1 GB internal memory available for phone and music contacts. The seats are quite comfortable and adequate legroom is provided at the back too. The back bench has been kept wide enough for three people to sit on even though a slight bulge is there in the middle which may make long journeys uncomfortable for the middle passenger.
Buyers can opt for both a diesel and a petrol engine although a new CNG model has been launched by Hyundai. The Hyundai Grand i10 price for the CNG model is around Rs 4.92 lakhs. The petrol engine is a 1.2L Kappa one which is also used in the i10 while the diesel model has been provided a 1.1L 3 cylinder one. The maximum power produced by the engine is a 70 bhp one while the torque is around 160Nm. The delivery of power is mostly linear and sudden bursts of power are missing. Even though there is a lack, the power band is quite happy once you cross the 1800rpm threshold. The good power band can be felt till 4000rpm. The 3 cylinder engine is quite noisy although within the cabin the noise is much muted. However, when the car is idle, there is a bit of vibration but once the throttle is pressed, the vibrations can be cancelled.
The car’s engine is hooked to a 5 speed manual gearbox. It is a well engineered part and its precise and short throws and well-sorted ratios are a delight to be driven. You may not have to mess with the gear stick much for sticking to the power band on city roads. The Grand i10 can move happily at a speed of 100kmph on highways and the revolutions per minute obtained are a respectable 2400rpm. The Grand i10 is a good enough hatchback to be driven around. Compared to the Verna, it feels a little firm but the absorption of bumps is quite easy. There is no noisy suspension even when the car is put through a rough stretch of the road. The highway speeds are not wallow as they are in the Verna. The car feels confident and planted although around corners, a bit of body rolling is felt on the car.
The steering of the car is also not light enough to be compared with the Elantra or Verna. Maneuvering in tight spaces is not a problem either for the car. When pitted against the Swift from the house of Maruti, the Grand i10 is cheaper by almost Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000, depending on the variant. The Hyundai Grand i10 price of petrol engine begins from Rs 4.29 lakhs and it may go up to Rs 5.47 lakhs. The Hyundai Grand i10 price for the diesel engine is around Rs 5.23 lakhs for the starting model while for the top variant, the price could go up to Rs 6.41 lakhs.
The driving pleasure and dynamics of the Grand i10 may not be like the Swift but it is packaged well with a lot of features, style, cabin space and competitive pricing and a simple diesel engine. The package is a good one and it certainly seems to be a winner for Hyundai India.
For a sensible hatchback, the car ticks all the correct boxes, especially that of good looks and pricing. If you do not want to opt for the Swift, then this would be a good model to opt for.