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Hyundai i10 has been among the best selling hatchbacks from the Korean automaker, which had its world premiere in India in 2007, followed up by its launch. Over the last few years the Indian automotive industry went through various upheavals and competition got stiffer with the changing equations and dynamic market requirements. What kept the i10 going in the market are the timely updates it received. The Hyundai i10 facelift is a good looking hatchback. It is bigger and looks more mature than its predecessor. The large hexagonal grille, large headlamps, revived front and rear bumper and new tail lamps look very refreshing. Hyundai i10 feels bright and airy from inside with best-in-class plastic quality and decent fit and finish. The front seat offers ample space, and the rear seats are comfortable too with good thigh and back support. The boot space is on par.
The Hyundai i10 facelift is available in two petrol engine options: 1.1-litre iRDE2 and 1.2-litre Kappa. Although, Hyundai might discontinue the 1.2-litre Kappa2 powered version of the car, since it also does duty to new Hyundai Grand i10 and Hyundai i20. The Hyundai Era and D-lite variants are configured with a 1.1-litre iRDE (Intelligent Responsive Drive Engine) petrol unit that delivers fuel efficiency of 14kmpl on urban roads and 19.8kmpl on highways. It produces a power of 68.1bhp and torque of 99.1Nm.This power-unit can achieve 100kmph in 15.55 seconds with a top speed of 149kmph.
The other five variants (Sportz, Magna, Asta and Asta Optional) are powered with a DOHC 1.2-litre petrol unit boosted with VVT (variable valve timing) technology. This engine produces a maximum power output of 79bhp @ 6000rpm and a peak torque of 112Nm @ 4000rpm. The low end torque and refinement levels are better than the old 1.2-litre Kappa engine. This powertrian is competent to deliver the class leading mileage of 20.36kmpl on highways. Mated with a five-speed manual transmission, all these variants offer fuel economy of 15.4kmpl in city and 20kmpl on highways.
The Hyundai 10 Magna AT and Asta AT are available with the automatic transmission and deliver a class leading mileage of 15.4kmpl in city and 20.3kmpl on highways. The Hyundai i10 Magna, Asta, Sportz and Sportz Option perform better in terms of acceleration and pick-up. These variants can accelerate to 100kmph in 13.02 seconds with a top speed of 151kmph. The automatic transmission powered i10 Asta AT and Sportz AT variants are little lazy and achieve 100kmph in 16.27 seconds with a top speed of 144kmph. The i10’s two variants (Magna and Era) are also available with the frugal 1.1-litre iRDE2 LPG engine option. Undoubtedly, the Hyundai i10 is a fun to drive city car, but the ride quality can get bouncy on uneven surfaces.
Sporting new cuts and curves, the Hyundai i10 facelift looks bigger, sportier and more outgoing than before. The large hexagonal grille, pronounced air dam, large headlamps, fog lamps, rear view mirror with integrated turn indicators and front bumper highlight the mature personality of the car. The new i10 is assembled with 13-inches, 5.0J x 13 steel wheels, which are fully covered 155/80 R13 rubber tyres. However, the tyres are extremely small. The top-end variant gets wheel caps. The rear profile is simple yet refreshing.
The redesigned tail lamps and rear bumper with parking sensors, reflectors and body-colored rub strip add more to its outgoing personality. The rear spoiler looks good with an integrated third brake light. The dimensions are similar to the Hyundai Santro measuring around 3, 585mm (length), 1,595mm (width) and 1, 550mm (height) with 2, 380mm of wheelbase. The new Hyundai i10 is the lightest premium hatchback with a kerb weight of 860kgs. It is available in eight shades: Carbon Grey, Stone Beige, Electric Red, Garnet Red, Sleek Silver, Crystal White, Phantom Black and Ice Silver.
The new i10 is a sheer beauty from the inside. Its premium interior is almost unbeatable in this segment. The dual-tone (black and beige) cabin feels very airy and bright. The old beige color dashboard is now in darker brown shades, solving the issue of the windscreen reflection. The leather covered steering wheel feels smooth even better than some of the C-segment cars. The plastic quality is excellent. However, there is nothing exceptional about its overall fit and finish. There is a digital display, but the display quality is just average under direct sunlight. A gearshift suggesting display helps the beginners or new drivers with the gearshift operations. The leather-wrapped gear lever and handbrake are easy to operate and quite accessible. However, the color effect of the lever and door handles is cheap. The climate control unit is mediocre.
The i10 Asta, Asta with sunroof, Asta AT, Sportz and Sport AT variants have a basic stereo system with MP3/CD player and FM with speakers. Whereas, the top-end variants are offered with a good quality audio system with USB, AUX-in and Bluetooth support. The driver seat gets height adjustment feature with 16 different positions facilitating the visibility. The cabin is spacious enough to accommodate four passengers without any squeezing effect. The front seat offers ample space with good thigh support. With rear headrests and neck restraints, the rear seat as well is quite comfortable. There are various storage spaces like glove-box, cup-holders and door pockets, but bottle holders are missed somewhere. The 225-litre boot space is good for this segment. The rear seat can be folded in a ratio of 60:40 or 50:50 to increase the cargo area.
Engine and Transmission
The new Hyundai i10 facelift comes in two petrol engine options: 1.1-litre iRDE2 and 1.2-litre Kappa. Hyundai is about to discontinue its Kappa petrol engine, as it also does duty to the new Grand i10 and i20 which are comparatively more premium products. The Era and D-lite i10 variants are power-packed with a 1.1-litre iRDE (Intelligent Responsive Drive Engine) petrol unit with manual transmission. It churns out a peak power of 68.1bhp and a torque of 99.1Nm. This powertrain offers a fuel economy of 14kmpl in city and 19.8kmpl on highways. It can mark 0-100kmph in speedometer within 15.55 seconds and achieve a top speed of 149kmph. The i10 Sportz, Magna, Asta and Asta Option variants are boosted with the DOHC 1.2-litre, Kappa petrol engine, which will be discontinued by the company. The i10 Magna and Era are available in the most economical 1.1-litre iRDE2 LPG engine options too.
Performance and Handling
The new Kappa power-unit with VVT technology mollifies the low end torque issue of the older Kappa engine. Now, the torque delivery and drivability is better than before. The car can be accelerated from 10kmph in 2nd gear without any flat-spot. The mid-range performance is decent even on highways. The engine shows its rev-happy behaviour up to 6, 700rpm. The 1.1-litre iRDE (Intelligent Responsive Drive Engine) petrol engine can achieve 100kmph from stand still within 15.55 seconds and achieve a top speed of 149kmph. The electric power steering is light and prompt. The five speed gearbox is light and smooth to shift. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears contribute to its drivability, while the 4th and 5th gears help with its fuel efficiency.
The front MacPherson strut suspension feels more matured and robust than the torsion beam axle with coil spring rear suspension. However, the thinner 155/80 R13 tyres fails to make required impact. The ride quality is very bouncy and noisy for the rear passengers on broken surfaces, but is still acceptable. With high refinement levels, the engine feels very quiet when idle, but gets little loud above 5, 000rpm. However, the tyres noise gets significant at 90kph and audible in cabin too. The wheel insulation still needs an improvement. The 4.7 meter turning radius is small and helps the car with its city drivability. Along with this, the ultra light controls and clear visibility make the new Hyundai i10 a perfect urban choice. However, at sharp turns the body roll gets significant.
The braking performance is up-to the mark. The brake pedal is soft and sometimes gets hard to modulate/push. It needs to be tuned more. The new Hyundai i10 gets the advanced ABS (anti-lock brake system) along with standard front disc brakes and rear drum brakes.
The 1.1-litre iRDE (Intelligent Responsive Drive Engine) petrol engine powered Hyundai Era and D-lite variants deliver the fuel efficiency of 14kmpl on urban roads and 19.8kmpl on highways. The other five variants (Sportz, Magna, Asta and Asta Optional) configured with the DOHC 1.2-litre petrol motor, which is now boosted with VVT (variable valve timing) technology. All these variants are coupled with a five-speed manual transmission and deliver a mileage of 15.4kmpl in city and 20kmpl on highways. The Hyundai i10 Magna AT and Asta AT with the automatic transmission offer impressive fuel efficiency of 15.4kmpl in city and 20.3kmpl on highways.
With plenty of safety measures, the new Hyundai i10 offers a safe and sound drive. Its safety list includes dual front airbags, Anti-lock brake system (ABS), seat belts with pre-tensioners, front fog lamps, central lock, keyless entry with burglar alarm, reverse parking sensor, impact sensing auto door unlocking, foldable key, inside rear view mirror (day and night) and more.
The Hyundai i10 is one of the best entry level hatchbacks available in the country that impresses with its practical and comfortable ride quality in and around city. What appeals the most is the premium interior of the new i10. The plastic quality is excellent and the fit and finishing too are decent. The 1.2-litre Kappa petrol engine with VVT technology offers better fuel efficiency and performance, but the company might discontinue this version soon. The vehicle feels a little bouncy on rough surfaces, but is acceptable. The light gearbox and steering make it a breeze for city driving. The new Hyundai i10 hits the sweet spot with the affordable pricing of Rs.3.82 lakh to Rs.6.33 lakh (ex- showroom, Delhi).
Hyundai i10 vs Chevrolet Beat
The Maruti WagonR and Chevrolet Beat are two closest rivals of Hyundai i10. The Hyundai i10 is a good urban car, so is the Chevrolet Beat. The i10 looks very mature, whereas the Beat wins the game with its sportier and futuristic design theory. But, when it comes to interior the i10 is an obvious winner that offers unbeatable premium cabin in this segment. Hyundai comes with the lightweight Kappa engine, which is now tuned with advanced VVT technology for better performance and fuel efficiency. Chevrolet is still using the old petrol power-unit. The driving dynamics and handling of both the hatchbacks are equally good. The Beat gets the large and robust wheels offering better friction over rough roads at high speeds, where the i10 comes with thinner tyres. But, the light steering, gearbox and balanced ergonomic position of the i10 improve its overall ride quality. On pricing front, both are neck and neck.
Hyundai i10 vs Maruti Wagon R
The new Hyundai i10 appeals to the younger generation with its sporty and outgoing personality, whereas the boxy and tall WagonR doesn’t impress at all. However, it’s a matter of personal choice and preference. Hyundai is known for designing elegant and comfortable interiors, and the new i10 is no exception here. It offers best-in-class interior with good quality plastic and decent fit and finish. On the contrary, the WagonR is spacious and comfortable from inside, but the plastic quality is relatively cheap. Along with this, it doesn’t have much to offer. The i10 Kappa petrol with VVT technology delivers better fuel efficiency than the WagonR’s K-series engine. But, in terms of torque output the K-series engine leads with a marginal difference. It feels more rev-happy and peppier compared to the Kappa petrol unit. On handling and drivability front, both the hatchbacks score equally and offer a decent driving experience.
• Good to drive on narrow and crowded roads
• Excellent plastic quality, fit and finish
• 1.2-litre Kappa petrol engine with VVT technology and high refinement levels
• Light steering and gearbox
• Fun to drive in the city
• Bumpy ride quality on rough surface
• Accommodate four-passengers only
• Some missing features (like alloy wheels, dead pedal, climate control and front neck restraints)
• Thin tyres
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04 July 2014, 15:33 IST by Nikhil Puthran
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