Hyundai’s up­dated hatch­back gets a stronger diesel en­gine

Evo India - - CONTENTS - Anand Mo­han

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

Pho­tog­ra­phy: Vishnu G Haar­i­nath

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


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