Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS Roadtest Review – Grand gets Grander

The i10 brand name has been a household name from Hyundai for Indian car buyers. The first generation i10 was introduced way back in 2007, which was very well received. 2014 saw the introduction of a grander and larger version with the Grand i10. Come 2019, Hyundai yet again has come up with an all-new Grand i10 NIOS. Read on further as we drive the all-new hatchback loaded with premium features from the Korean car manufacturer in and around the beautiful locales in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Food for thought!

The first generation i10 also sold in Mexico as the Dodge i10 and in Malaysia as the Inokom i10. The first generation i10 was designed by renowned ex-BMW designer namely Thomas Burkl. It also shares the platform with the Kia Picanto. In India, the all-new Grand i10 NIOS will be sold alongside with the second generation Grand i10.

Exterior & Design

The Grand i10 NIOS on first glance appears extremely bold and stylish with loads of sporty road presence. The basic silhouette reminds one of the Grand i10 family but with loads of expressive stylish touches. The face is dominated by the massive Hyundai family grille integrated within front bumper that is very well sculpted with sharp character lines and is finished in glossy black colour. The bumper houses round fog lamps that are surrounded with faux air dam. The most interesting area on the front bumper happens to be the boomerang shaped LED DRL’s that are cleverly infused on the outer edges of family grille. The wraparound headlamp cluster houses projector lights and turn signal indicators.

The hood comes with up-swept smooth flowing character lines right from the bumper making its way all the up to the front windshield. Coming to side profile, it is dominated with the large body coloured wing mirror with integrated LED turn signal indicator. The awesome looking 15 inch dual tone diamond-cut alloy wheels comes shod with 165/ 70 R15 Apollo Amazer tyres. Another unique highlight of the side profile is the G i10 branding on the thick blacked out C-pillar that gives the car a floating roof like effect and also gives you the feeling of the car being longer than it actually is. The rear profile highlights itself with a neatly sculpted bumper with reflectors on either side and a blacked out faux skid plate. Tailgate gets special NIOS badging that Hyundai has been giving with the Venue. The boot lid also gets a thick chrome strip running horizontally defining the opening. Another highlight of the NIOS is the blackened roof rails and the body coloured shark fin antenna.

Interior & Safety

The Grand i10 NIOS features a dual tone dashboard with wavy pattern and satin paint on crash pad. The instrument cluster features a 5.3 inches digital speedometer along with an analog tachometer and all the telltale signs. The styling and designing is something unseen and unique it it’s class. The multi-function three spoke steering wheel comes loaded with audio controls and is leather wrapped. The steering is tilt adjustable but lacks telescopic adjustment almost like every other car in its class. However, the attention grabbing feature of the dash remains the massive 8 inch AVN colour display. It’s the latest generation unit which comes integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless mobile phone connectivity.

The automatic climate control is a single zone unit with turbine design vents on the dashboard and also comes with vents for the rear passengers. Coming to the seating the Nios gets fabric upholstery with the Asta trim coming with neat grey colored seats and the Sports trim with black fabric seats. Front seats get fixed integrated headrests with manual adjust available on the driver seat. The rear seats get two adjustable headrests in the Asta trim while the Sports trim comes with fixed headrests. The seats offer very good support both to the back and under thigh, extra seat bolstering also aids in a very comfortable in cabin experience.

Leg room and headroom is pretty generous all around and so is the shoulder room. The rear seat has a flat center cushioning which should help the person sitting in the middle. The cabin is well appointed and loaded to typical Hyundai levels.

In terms of safety the Grand i10 Nios comes loaded with features like dual airbags, ABS with EBD, emergency stop signal, speed sensing door locks, rear parking camera with sensors etc.

Engine, Transmission and Drive

Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS comes equipped with the same tried and tested 4 cylinder 1.2l Kappa petrol engine and the newly developed 3 cylinder 1.2l U2 oil burner. The petrol engine develops 83 ps of power and 11.6 kgm of torque, whereas the diesel motor pushes out 75 ps of power and churns out a healthy 19.4 kgm of torque. Both the engines are mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and a Smart Auto AMT gearbox.

With limited time on our hands we only got a chance to sample the manual transmission on both petrol and diesel cars. But, we’ll make sure to bring forward our take on the Smart Auto AMT as and when we get a chance to drive it. On the move, the petrol motor is extremely smooth with its power delivery and rev happy engine in nature. Even with four people onboard with luggage the car just pulled effortlessly. Only when we had to tackle some corners in and around Aravali hills in Udaipur that we felt the engine is losing its steam. On the other hand the 3 cylinder oil burner is exactly opposite with loads of torque on offer it just tackled the hilly course with ease.

However, the diesel motor felt slightly underpowered on the pin straight and well tarred highways of Rajasthan. Ride quality is another strong point of the all-new Grand i10 NIOS. The suspension is softly sprung and very quiet for added passenger comfort which helps keep out the unruly noises. Steering feedback could have been better on the NIOS as it felt completely disconnected from the road at lower speeds. However, as speed builds up the steering weighs up quiet well but nothing that’ll inspire driver confidence to push the car to its limit. Nonetheless the car is quite capable as a small family moving machine with spirited performance in most situations.

Verdict

We still don’t understand why Hyundai decided to sell the second generation Grand i10 alongside the 3rd gen Grand i10 NIOS. We’re sure it’s going to eat up some of its sales. But, we’re also sure there must be some strong strategy behind all this and it might help boost each other’s sales as the potential car buyers gets to choose from two different generations of the same car at different price range. No denying the fact that the Grand i10 Nios is one feature loaded hot hatch that drives extremely well and has loads of fun factor loaded on to it. The Grand i10 Nios looks trendy, drives well and has all the right things going its way in an excellent package. Would we buy it if we were looking a car in this segment, well our answer would be Yes!

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