With the Renault Duster AWD out of the garage, only an SUV or a big hatch could be my next long term. Not being picky, but a big boot and an opening hatch is the only vehicle we photographers can stick to. So came in the Hyundai Grand i10 facelift. Ok, so a small hatchback after a long time, and here are my initial worries - Can it hold all my equipment? Can it climb up the hills and maintain pace while shooting cars? Will it be effortless to drive in the city during our daily commutes? As we piled up kilometres on the small ‘lil diesel hatch, we have grown to love the Grand i10!
How does it drive?
We fell in love with the new 1.2L diesel engine when we drove the facelifted Xcent. The drivability was just too good and that .1L made a lot of difference in the way the Grand i10 drove in the city and on the highway. Though still a bit noisy with a bit of clatter creeping into the cabin, the linear power delivery had us impressed. Sure it won’t shove you in the seat when the turbo kicks in, but the smooth acceleration and plenty of torque lower down in the rev range meant it’s a breeze to drive in the city. Out on the highway, triple-digit speeds can be attained and maintained quickly. Steering is light and effortless to use in day to day driving conditions. Clutch is light and gearshifts are smooth, making the car easier to use in city traffic. It’ll take some time before the traffic gets to you in bumper to bumper traffic thanks to the smooth low-end in torque, light clutch and steering combo.
What about the ride?
Yes, the suspension setup takes up potholes really well, transferring very little thud into the cabin when at high speeds. At low speeds, the ride is very comfortable. Spirited driving in the Grand i10 highlights the ‘softness’ of the setup while still holding the lines well. Bounce in such conditions is controlled, but for a city hatchback, it rides well.
How’s it on the inside?
Space is adequate for four adults and the seats are comfortable even after spending hours behind the steering wheel. The infotainment system is the biggest addition to the facelift. While Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on the 5-inch screen, we had some inconsistencies with Android Auto connectivity where the system would freeze up. My OnePlus 3 still freezes the system up every time it’s connected.
The infotainment system is good on its own. While the audio quality is average the quality of the display is good and the reverse camera is quite usable even in the dark. Steering-mounted controls are handy but one of my biggest grudges even now is lack of DTE or fuel economy gauge in the instrument console.
Quality of the materials used is good and looks the kind which is built to last. Interiors are a mix of beige and black which is easy to maintain. Storage space is available in plenty, with slots for 1-litre bottles on all the doors along with cup holders in the centre and still leaving space for keys, wallets and other knick-knacks. Boot space is big and usable at 256 litres and manages to hold most of my gear.
The only issues we faced with the car was the doors not shutting in place and needing a stronger second push to lock properly.
I have driven the Grand i10 for a little over two months now, clocking 3500km during this time. We have been getting a fuel economy of 17.6kmpl, which is a mix of city and highway usage.
Summing up, the Grand i10 is a smart city car which manages to do some highway runs for me and my team. It looks good and is loaded with features, and has good quality materials on top of it all. All this while having a very likeable engine and ride quality makes it perfect for our pothole-ridden roads. No wonder the Grand i10 is our go-to car in the fleet for shoots and events.
Date Acquired: July 2017
Total km till Date: 3560km
Fuel Efficiency: 17.6kmpl
Cheers: Usable performance, Light steering wheel, Space
Sneers: Diesel clatter in cabin, buggy Android Auto, Lack of DTE display
Total Cost: NilRecommended Variant : Grand i10 1.2 Kappa Sportz
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