Car review: New Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS | The Financial Express

Car review: New Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS

Hatchbacks cars are losing market share to SUVs. It’s good that some carmakers are making hatchbacks look cooler

Car review, New Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS
Hatchback sales have gone down from a high of 1.37 million units in 2019, and those of SUVs have almost doubled from 693,000 units in 2019.

Hatchback cars are losing market share to SUVs. According to 2022 sales data from Jato Dynamics India, sales of hatchback cars in 2022 stood at 1.24 million versus SUVs at 1.47 million units.

Hatchback sales have gone down from a high of 1.37 million units in 2019, and those of SUVs have almost doubled from 693,000 units in 2019.

But some carmakers are now making hatchbacks look cool, so that they can attract more buyers to the showrooms. The latest is the new Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS, which we drove around Delhi.

What is the Grand i10 NIOS?

With the Santro discontinued, the Grand i10 NIOS is Hyundai’s most affordable car.

—The petrol manual gearbox variants are priced Rs 5.68 lakh to Rs 7.93 lakh (ex-showroom).

—The petrol automatic (AMT) ranges from Rs 7.23 lakh to Rs 8.46 lakh.

—CNG variants (only manual gearbox) are priced Rs 7.56 lakh to Rs 8.11 lakh.

What are the changes?

The redesign is comprehensive, even though it’s a midlife update. Changes are black radiator grille, LED daytime running lamps (DRLs) integrated in the bumper, shark-fin antenna, and the biggest change at the rear where the two tail-lamps have been joined with a thin horizontal reflector.

The cabin is done up in white upholstery, making the cabin look bigger than it is.

Which engines power it?

There are three powertrain options, all are RDE-compliant and E20 fuel ready—1.2-litre Kappa petrol (5-speed manual transmission) 1.2-litre Kappa petrol (AMT) and 1.2-litre Kappa petrol plus CNG (5-speed manual transmission).

(RDE is short for Real Driving Emissions. Starting April 2023, all new cars need to have a device that monitors a vehicle’s driving emission levels in real time. RDE is phase 2 of BS6 emission norms.)

How does it drive?

The cabin is quiet, and the visibility from the driver’s seat is probably the best in its class. In the manual, the clutch is too light and doesn’t offer enough feedback. But the steering feedback—the mechanical signals that the front tyres send to the steering wheel—is accurate, and you feel every bump and dip in the road through the steering wheel. This leads to safer driving.

The AMT variant changes gears without the jerk usually associated with AMT gearboxes. For city driving, the Grand i10 NIOS AMT petrol could be the best small car in India.

But as you hit the highway, you will realise that the petrol engine is not in the same league as that of Maruti Suzuki Swift, which is far more responsive and has a better roll-on acceleration.

Is it better than compact SUV?

It’s definitely far more value for money than compact SUVs.

If you compare it with Hyundai’s own Venue, the Grand i10 NIOS is at least Rs 2 lakh cheaper, offers almost similar cabin space, has almost similar exterior dimensions (though the Venue is taller), drives marginally better (because it has lower centre of gravity), and can be driven long distances in comfort.

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First published on: 04-02-2023 at 02:00 IST