The Hyundai Grand i10 has undergone a mid-life facelift with changes going further than just skin-deep. It now also gets a new 1.2-litre diesel engine, and we drove this new-engine variant to see how it shapes up.
Story: Harket Suchde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar
The previous generation of Hyundai’s compact Grand i10 hatch was a trendsetter of sorts when it was introduced to the Indian market: the first of the truly affordable cars to pack a whole host of what were then considered ‘premium’ features such as a reverse camera, second row a-c vents, push button start and more. This was way back in 2013, though, and other manufacturers have since caught up. Now Hyundai are hoping to crack the top echelon of the market again with this new 2017 iteration of the Grand i10. With refreshed aesthetics, a new and more powerful engine, and a few more features thrown in as well, the 2017 Grand i10 definitely seems promising on paper, and, in terms of visual appeal at least, it seems to live up to that promise.
The new front grille is bigger and incorporates a more striking reworked bumper design into the mix. The reworked bumper now also sports LED DRLs which underscore the fog-lamps. It seems an odd place to position the DRLs based on convention, where they are integrated into the headlamp unit; however, they are still effective in this position and don’t cause any detriment to the car’s visual appeal. Looking at the Grand side-on, the wheels are the standout element. The 14-inch diamond cut alloys are very swanky and give the car’s overall look a distinct touch of edginess. Come round the back and you’ll notice that the rear bumper, too, has been given a bit of a makeover, although the blacking-out of the section spanning across the two reflectors and housing the number-plate isn’t to my personal taste.
The inside of the Grand is decently put together. The two-tone dash still has a distinctly dull beige-ness to it. I was hoping to see a more contemporary dash, to be honest. The seven-inch infotainment system is new, of course, and appears to run on the same interface as the one in the much more premium Hyundai Tucson. It also comes packed to the hilt with connectivity options, including the new must haves — Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirroLink — along with the usual USB, Bluetooth, and voice-activated controls, among other things. The only thing missing here is indigenous sat-nav, with the device instead relying on your phone to provide the basis for the GPS navigation. The seat comfort and roominess, a hallmark of the previous Grand, is still present, as is the second row a-c vent.
As mentioned earlier, though, the crux of the matter is that meatier 1.2-litre CRDi three-pot diesel. It replaces the 1.1-litre and definitely gives the car some added peppiness in the performance department, as exemplified by our performance figures. The old Grand did 0-100 km/h in 23.55 seconds; the new one does it in 15.25 s. As soon as you shift into first and push down on the pedal you can actually feel the difference, with that feeling of urgency adding to the experience of driving the Grand i10. The clutch is smooth and progressive, and the five-speed manual transmission, too, is pretty well sorted. Cabin NVH levels are acceptable as well; things only get loud when you near the car’s top speed, which is understandable.
The steering is still light, making the Grand i10 a joy to manoeuvre even in tight lanes and heavy traffic, and while feedback is a little on the low side, it isn’t to such a degree as to be considered an issue. The ride on the Grand i10 is pretty sorted as well, taking in the bumps at low and high speeds without issue, and not misbehaving too much while taking corners at speed either. As for braking, this new i10 is a few milliseconds quicker to a standstill than its predecessor, and the brakes have enough bite and responsiveness to leave no room for complaint.
In terms of safety, the Grand i10 packs dual front airbags and ABS, along with retaining the parking camera with sensors for convenience. Fuel efficiency-wise we got 17.25 km/l overall from this 1.2-litre Grand which is a good return. All of this comes at an on-road, Pune, price of Rs 8.81 lakh. The Grand i10 is a definite improvement on what was a pretty decent car to begin with. It appears that Hyundai have cracked the code to success again this time around. However, only time and sales figures will tell.
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