Owing to its practicality and user-friendly nature; Hyundai i10 has dream run in Indian market especially in its initial stint in market. It came as a fresh breath of air amidst typical Japanese marquees and customer just lapped up this Korean proposition. In addition to its highly practical nature; i10’s high fuel efficiency acted as an icing on cake. No wonder Hyundai i10 became the darling of masses instantly. But as they say retaining leadership is far more strenuous task than achieving it. With the passage of time, i10 grappled with enhanced competition with many other formidable challengers started posing threat to its supremacy. Age factor also started tilting balance against i10 though Hyundai was quick to address this conspirator through constant up gradation and timely face-lift measures. Now after having more than half-a-decade familiarity with Indian customers’; Hyundai still finds sufficient i10 takers every month. Despite of fact that Hyundai has now engrossed more with its latest offerings like Grand i10 and Xcent etc.; i10 seems to be taking care of itself on its own. We get behind the wheels of i10 once again to ascertain whether this baby Hyundai is still makes urban market sense or life has indeed comes a full circle on it?
Styling is one of the important & crucial factors, especially in this segment.Hyundai fluidic sculpture design theme is evident from the very first sight. Hexagonal shape front grill, large headlamps along with massive air dam gives it a character.
Move around the side & one will see the side mirrors with integrated turn indicators. Waistline molding in the body color is available with top of line variant. Kink window line aids the zing to profile view while rising belt-line adds subtleness to overall side view.
Rear part also gets the style tweaks. Rear lamps got more detailing so is the rear bumper, which now also houses the reflectors and rear parking sensors. Rear windscreen is wide and features large glass house. Trunk opener is a classy touch that has ultimate air of tactile communication.
Interior are major beneficiary of the facelift scheme with many value addition. Soothing Blue illumination has its soothing effect, especially at knight. Black dashboard makes its way instead of beige; thereby eliminating any deflection as the case with the beige scheme.
Front seats are wide & nicely bolstered. Seat fabric is more appealing& plush. Seating position is high& convenience is complemented with height adjust. This offers plenty of visibility to the driver. Quality of cabin is decent with gear lever, center console & A/C switches all are of high quality.
Rear seat is spacious but only moderate thigh support. Ingress-egress is an easy affair & plenty of head room, leg room & knee room are available. Top-end modelof i10 is generously equipped. It contains the blue tooth facility, steering mounted audio controls, USB- port, Aux-in support, gear-shift indicatoretc.
Hyundai uses 1.2-litre4-cylinder engine to put out 80 PS of raw power at fairly high 6000 rpm. Further the more important parameter of performance i.e. torque stands at 112 Nm that peaks at 4000 rotation/minute of crank shaft. The engine uses contemporary architecture of twin cams 16-valves model for breathing purpose.
Ignite the engine & idle is very smooth & refined. The engine is more refined than ever. The drivability of the engine is excellent with the engine pulling cleanly from as low as 1500 rpm. Part throttle responses are sharp and meshing the gas pedal is also not too bad.
The focus is clearly on the drivability as the positioning is urban friendly. Drivability is of main concern & crawling in the city in even 3rd gear is not much of bother even with the blower throwing the chilled air at the full pace.
With the strong bottom & mid range, the car never feels underpowered. On the highway, just shift to right gear, gas-up & you will dart past the vehicle ahead of you. Top-end is though not as impressive as the Suzuki’s K-series motor.
The motor mated to 5-speed manual transmission is designed to deliver the max power at 6000 rpm but on the top-end the engine become quite audible&feel strained. Gear shift mounted on center console is ergonomically perfect as lever falls in hand quite easily. Shifts are short, throws doesn’t require much effort and clogging action has good feel to it. That said Hyundai still lags behind the benchmark of Honda’s shift quality that still leads the class. Brakes and steering wheel work fine for typical urban requirement.
ZEAL ON WHEEL
Hyundai i10 suspension set-up is on the stiff side. Riding on the narrow 155 mm width, it begs for some more grip. Low speed absorption is good & it comfortably deals with undulations. Once you mesh up the pedal, there is lack of finesse to tackle the potholes. Baby Hyundai crashes over potholes& ride becomes choppy as the speed increases. To sum it, Ride quality is just about average.
Tall profile of tyres, however, provides it decent handling characteristic. Its fun to do the cornering with i10 as it maintains its composure &cohesiveness. Raised driving position is good for al-round visibility & it really matters a lot in urban traffic. Light power steering & short turning radius are all aimed to make it favorite among the urban users.
Hyundai has made the things difficult by pricing it on steep side. As the top model trades at Rs 5.90 lakh, it is somewhat on the expensive side. Although at time of its inception customers would not take offence on this bit pricier aspect though with increasing number of competitive proposition even at budget price has certainly turned on competition heat. Increasing availability of cheaper and formidable rivals in market place has forced i10 to cede its market share to rivals. Unwillingly Hyundai did that but at the same time bounced back with other value-constellations like Grand i10 and Xcent to make up for i10’s loss. Nowadays may be i10 has lost its best-selling crown to its rivals still it hasn’t given upon its fighting spirit. Even in its last legs, i10 is inflicting some heavy causality on enemy camps.
Style & Substance 3/5 Ride & Handling 4.5/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3.5/5 Safety & Equipment 3.5/5
Power & Transmission 4/5 Fuel Efficiency 4/5
Value for Money 3.5/5