One might be inclined to think of the Hyundai Grand i10 1.2 Petrol as a mere facelift, thanks to the i10 suffix, but the Grand is a totally new car. Hyundai has retained the i10’s strengths, and has overhauled it in many ways to improve an already strong product. We took this grand new package out for a few hundred kilometres and came away impressed with its quality and features.
This Grand i10 adopts the design theme seen on the other cars from the carmaker, like the Verna and Elantra. The i10 in its latest avatar is designed by Hyundai’s European design centre in Germany. Over the previous generation i10, the Grand is 100-mm longer, 65-mm wider and also 30-mm lower, lending it a squat, well -planted stance. The wheelbase has been stretched by 40mm too, which remains the key reason for the roomier cabin.
Like the i10, the Grand’s sports a dipping roofline ending in a neat spoiler with integrated stop lamp and washer. It also comes with roof rails, which means mounting of carriers is a simple task. The parking sensors integrated in the bumper are not body colored and remain an eyesore spoiling the otherwise well designed rear. The overall fit and finish including the shut lines are amongst the best-in-class though.
The interiors of the Grand i10 are all new. However, the engineers at Hyundai have identified and retained some of the very useful and functional bits from the i10. The dashboard has been given the standard two-tone treatment with matte black and dark beige shade which help in defining the surfaces and their textures. The grain textured plastics are well put together.
All the key functions (Mode/Scan/Phone etc.) of the OEM audio system are big enough for convenience and easy to reach as well as operate. Bluetooth connectivity means you can pair as many as five smart phones with the system easily.
As earlier, the high-mounted audio with the central air-con vents’ placement frees up enough space despite having big rotary control knobs. There is also a 12V socket there to charge your electronic gadgets. The gear lever positioning has moved a bit away from the dashboard than the earlier version, but falls perfectly to the hand.
Hyundai has provided tilt adjustability on the high quality, leather wrapped steering wheel (Sportz and Asta trim). The instrument panel on Grand continues to feature Hyundai’s favourite ‘blue’ theme with easy to read, brightly lit analogue display.
Since the car uses a smart key for ignition, the engine start stop button (Sportz and Asta trims) takes up the ignition key duties here. The Grand i10 comes with a glove box, which is a segment first feature. Hyundai, however, has missed out on the climate control feature. But the quality of materials used, and the overall fit and finish are top notch.
The rear passengers are pampered with good space as well as the luxury of an AC vent which is also a segment first. The back bench, like most of the hatchbacks is best suited for two passengers. The AC vents have directional settings and can also be turned off. There is also a second 12v power outlet below the vent for your smart devices. The seats offer legroom with adjustable head restraints. Rear passengers will have little to complain about apart from lack of enough thigh support.
The illuminated boot at 256 litres is big in comparison to a Suzuki Swift.
Engine clutch and gearbox
We had a chance to sample the Grand i10 equipped with the second engine option — the four cylinder 1.2 litre Kappa Dual VTVT petrol engine, which is a proven performer and has been doing duty on Hyundai’s other cars. This unit now produces 83 PS of power at 6000 rpm and 11.6 kgm of max torque @ 4000 rpm. Those figures are a marginal improvement over the previous version doing duty on the i10.
As soon as you thumb the starter, this engine purrs to life and immediately settles down to a near inaudible idle. Hyundai’s engineers must be given credit for their hard work in lending this engine high levels of refinement. The engine is eager to rev, the gearbox action is slick and the clutch is light. The gears slot with impressive precision with minimum resistance.
The light clutch makes driving in stop-and-go traffic a breeze. As per Hyundai’s ARAI figures, this mill manages 18.9 kms to a litre of unleaded petrol — an impressive figure.
Ride and handling
The Grand i10 like most cars today has completely ditched hydraulic power assisted steering for an EPS for better fuel efficiency. The suspension setup soaks up minor to small bumps and potholes easily, though the large ones are dispatched with an audible thud. Hyundai has managed to improve the ride quality and handling substantially in comparison to the i10.
The typical bounciness associated with small cars is a thing of the past as the Grand i10 offers a relatively flat ride. Present i10 owners planning an upgrade will be happy to discover the way which the Grand drives without feeling nervous at high speeds.
With the Grand i10, Hyundai offers everything (including a diesel option) that one can expect in a mid-high range hatch. It is interesting to learn that the current i10 will continue to sell alongside the new generation machine. The Grand i10’s strengths include fabulous build quality, reasonably spacious interiors, rich features list, a refined and peppy engine and much more.
The Grand has the potential to please buyers with its list of features, but may also confuse them with the pricing of its top end variant. A price tag of close to R5.48 lakh for the Asta 1.2 (O) may not get the buyer maximum bang for his buck, but at the same time the decently priced and well equipped Sports (R4.89 lakh) variant could pose a serious threat to the likes of the Figo, Ritz, Swift etc.
Rs 5.48 lakh (ex-Delhi) for the Asta (Petrol)
displacement — 1197 cc
Fuel type — Petrol
engine — 1.22 Kappa Dual VTVT Petrol
Max power — 81 bhp @ 6,000 rpm
Max Torque —
114 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
Mileage (ARAI) — 18.9 kmpl