HYUNDAI GRAND i10 FACELIFT
Hyundai’s updated hatchback gets a stronger diesel engine
WWITH MARUTI SUZUKI wooing millennials with its funky little Ignis, could Hyundai, the country’s second largest passenger car maker, be far behind? Of course not. While the Korean company may not have had an all-new vehicle to respond with, it has done the next best thing and updated the hot-selling Grand i10 with a host of changes, including a more powerful diesel engine. We took it out for a spin to find out just how grand the Hyundai feels.
Since the Ignis with its 1248cc diesel mill makes 74bhp of power and 190Nm of torque and is a much lighter car, the Grand i10 needed a bump in performance. Sensing that, a new 3-cylinder diesel engine makes it to the Grand and it develops coincidentally, the same amount of power and torque. It gets a bump in power of 4bhp and 30Nm over the 1.1-litre mill it replaces and the spring in its stride with the new engine is evident, even at part throttle.
For a compact hatchback, zipping through traffic, a light steering and good body control are the main attributes, and the Grand i10 shines through in each. The extra power and torque get it off the line quicker, there is a stronger mid-range now and despite being a diesel 3-pot, it revs all the way to 5000rpm. There’s not much in terms of performance to be gained in the top end but a wider revband means you don’t need as many gear changes while driving in the city. And even at 3000rpm in the meat of the Grand’s powerband, the diesel engine feels so refined that there is no irritation from the build of revs that you’d otherwise get from a 3-pot diesel motor. In addition to good refinement, NVH levels are impressive too. The cabin stays a pleasant place when you are giving the tiny mill the beans and rarely does the Grand feel too stressed. The ride is well sorted, soaking in potholes and undulations with the poise of a much bigger car and the steering is light but not vague so you can point and shoot through gaps when you are in a bit of a rush. A slick gearbox adds to the fun-todrive element and the clutch is light, although a bit tough to modulate.
It looks a bit different too. A nice set of LED DRLs are neatly integrated into the front bumper. The minute
you disengage the handbrake, these strips turn on. To make way for the new LED strips and a bigger grille, the front bumper has been redesigned. It looks sportier than before with the sharper design and large grille. The rear bumper gets redesigned as well to include new brake lights and a faux diffuser. Overall, the facelift works to make the Grand look fresher than before, which is a job well done by the designers.
In the cabin, you will notice two major updates. First is the 7-inch infotainment system that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and second, the Grand now gets automatic climate control. The touchscreen infotainment system is shared with the i20. It doesn’t come with in-built navigation but you can mirror your phone now and Google Maps is the best navigation you can get in India anyway. The seats are very comfortable and there’s good enough space for four passengers. Hyundai offers the highest quality materials on the inside in their hatchbacks and it’s no different with the Grand i10. The dashboard surfaces, the steering wheel, gear lever, seat fabrics, everything feels very plush.
When it comes to safety, the Grand i10 gets a driver’s airbag on all variants which is a good move by Hyundai. The base variant, Era and one above it, Magna don’t get passenger airbags while Sportz and Asta get passenger airbags as well. Where we think Hyundai has skimped is offering ABS only on the top Asta trim. There’s a rear parking camera too that relays its feed to the large infotainment screen, and hence the Grand i10 won’t come with electrochromic rear view mirrors any more.
The Grand i10 has always been a good city car, and in fact good enough to win the Car of the Year award in 2014. The small tweaks make it an even better all-rounder than before but the game has moved on as the competition has stepped up. You get the Ignis and the Figo now, both with good powertrains, a host of features and they are equally if not more fun to drive. Can it hold its own now? We’ll have to get the three together for that.L
The spring in the Grand i10's stride with the new engine is evident, even at part throttle
Above: Grand i10 gets LED DRLs and a reprofiled front end
1: Update includes a redesigned rear bumper. 2: 30Nm extra torque over the earlier motor makes it quicker off the line. 3: New 7-inch touchscreen and climate control added. 4: Rear AC vents cool the cabin faster 4