Grand i10 vs Stingray bloody battle begins

Hyundai has played a big gamble by ushering in its new Grand i10 model in the market. With its eyes firmly set on market share of Maruti’s Swift and Stingray, this Korean manufacturer will be hugely benefitted if its Grand i10 strategy pays off. In our last road test comparison between Swift and Grand i10, Maruti was successful in shielding its leadership from Hyundai though it wasn’t at all a walk over as Grand i10 gave a tough time to reigning king of small cars; Swift. In fact Swift had to perform to best of its abilities to earn the pole position and even we at ecardlr got pleasantly surprised by the vigour and determination of Grand i10’s fighting spirit. Had it not been for meek motor and flair lacking cabin and dynamics, Grand i10 would have equalled and probably even bettered the Swift’s challenge. Now in addition to Swift, Grand i10 has also squarely targeted the potential customers of Stingray as Hyundai has deliberately overlapped the price territory of its Grand offering with Stingray model of Maruti-Suzuki. With almost same retail price for base versions of both Stingray and Grand i10, there is all but strong probability that these two contenders are going to lock horns in already fierce hatchback category of Indian auto market. Now out of Grand i10 and Maruti Stingray, who wins and who loses in market battle is surely going to be an interesting fight to watch out for but then for results you have to wait for at least two or three months as collective sales figure of the respective models will only reveal the true picture of Indian customers’ preference between these two propositions. Or other simple, short-cut yet reliable alternative you can resort to is to just read our road test comparison that today features the roaring fight between Hyundai and Maruti as Grand i10 and Stingray decides to slug it out in open. We referee this fight-until-death bout between these two strong segment contenders and as always give our verdict without any prejudices. 

Grand i10 vs Stingray bloody battle begins

As both the cars in comparison are targeted to fetch the practical buyers, the design philosophy adopted by their respective manufacturers falls in line with their city-friendly and practical brand ethos. Stingray uses efficiently the upper space as it boasts of tall-boy design while Grand i10 relies on stretched wheelbase and extra width to do justice to its roomy claim. Although the path adopted by Maruti and Hyundai seems completely opposite, the aim of both these fierce rivals are strictly targeted to woo urban buyers. 
Front face of the Stingray comes with all new slimmer grill flanked by the all new projector headlamps on either side. The reflector theme of grill along with mild wraparound design of lamps makes upmarket and solid first impression. In Profile prominence has been given to new multi-spoke design of alloy wheels and blacked out pillars that successfully carry the responsibility of zinging up the side view of this new upgraded Wagon R variant. 
Rear of the Stingray comes with new clear lens tail lamps with liberal chrome garnish though the overall design pattern is reminiscent with current Wagon R. Boot lid has again get accented chrome on with in place prominence given to Stingray badging. Addition of spoiler has indeed made a difference as it blends seamlessly with the tall-boy posture of car.
Grand i10 design too boasts of practical appeal without a compromise on the modern and contemporary aspect of styling. Front face of this Grand model has uncanny similarity with the i10 and in fact the whole posture of the car resembles heavily with its younger sister; save for its stretched profile view due to addition of 100 mm in overall length of the car. Swept back headlamps have the similarity with the Eon lenses as they feel a bit gown up in Grand i10.
Profile view of Grand i10 is feels slight ungainly due to excessive lengthened side panel and even the addition of character line with black moulding fails to disguise this stretched out version completely. However addition of 14” alloy wheels and roof rails successfully aid the visual appeal of the Grand i10.
Rear of the Grand i10 is dominated by the large and practical windscreen complemented by the roof spoiler that houses the stop lamp assembly too. Tail lamps are wrap around and integration of reflectors in rear bumper further uplift the practicality of this urban warrior. Loading lip height is just spot on and integration of rear wiper is another thoughtful touch this grand Hyundai comes with.
Except the height dimension, Grand i10 dwarfs Stingray in all other measurements. Its lengthier, wider and more importantly has got crucial advantage of 25 mm more over the Stingray that along with its wider body could prove decisive in ensuring the better rear passengers comfort at the Grand i10’s rear bench. We are going to take a closer look on the rear room and space in the following section but here although both cars feel upmarket and contemporary we go with half a star more to Grand i10 due to its all-around balanced proportions though Stingray doesn’t trails behind by large margin as this upgraded model of Maruti looks almost as modern as Grand i10.  
Grand i10: *****Stingray: *****
Now more than the exteriors, its combination of interior space, quality and comfort that counts more when it comes to wooing the middle class customer. And given the number of wide choices, the Indian middle class have become very discerning as well as demanding of late. This has put extra pressure on manufacturers to include all the safety and convenience features at least in the top end offering of their offerings. Now along with the convenience, customers also wants a good spacious feel from the cabin and that makes things more conflicting as companies has also to keep a close eye on value for money front. 
In space and room, individual cases of both Grand i10 and Stingray strikes good points on a scale though head-to-head comparison tilts things slightly in favour of Grand i10 though the margin of this lead is just about average. With its longer wheel base and wider footprints, Grand i10 feels quite comfortable as the shoulder room and leg room makes even the long journeys comfortable. However the low thigh support and average headroom conspires to bring down the overall level of space satisfaction.
Now where Grand i10 loses i.e. on head room, exactly there Maruti draws its first blood as tall-boy design of Stingray liberates abundance of head room and combines with quite good knee room the Stingray feels very comfortable. But this comfort factor plunges quickly as soon as third persons climbed in at the rear bench. 3 persons at the back is complete no in Stingray and even a short journey like a quick trip to market or nearby shopping mall will invite the acrid feedback from back occupants. However seats are set high and wide opening doors assuage this cramped 3-persons feel.    
Coming to interiors, Stingray has adopted all-black colour theme dressing up its cabin.  Dabs of classy piano finish here and there inside look really classy as these efforts to upmarket the Stingray really paid off. Though the black colour does little to augment the space feeling, still the ambience quality has really been uplifted and by far there is no doubt about it. 
Instrument cluster though feature same dials as of Wagon R, now comes with blue light theme. Blue backlight theme of instrument cluster seems to be taken from Hyundai and addition of MID aids the overall practicality of Stingray. Centre console hawk-wing style music system which also get some back-lit arrangement.
On the other hand simple and uncluttered controls of the Grand i10 blend flawlessly with its high quality material texture taking the segment’s functionality to a new high. Two tone; black-beige colour makes the things bright in addition to augmenting the airy feel of the car.  

Illuminated centre console houses all the conventional controls very neatly and frees a lot of space in the first row. From AC vents to its controls and dash board to overall texture, all feel rich in quality and Hyundai’s exemplary fit-finish makes the cabin quite a good place to be in. Steering wheel feels nice to hols as it has got spot-on diameter and has illuminated controls making them eligible for night operation also. Stop-start button and driver seat height adjust have got their place in only top-end version while cooled glove box and rear AC vents have been trickled down to lower trims too. 
Overall in this bout too, Grand i10 surges ahead of Stingray courtesy of its roomier cabin and functional cabin. High class feel of controls along with excellent utility aspect makes the Grand i10 cabin more desirable and functional than Stingray.  
Grand i10: *****Stingray: *****
Hyundai grand i10 and Stingray derive their thrust from the 1.2-liter and 1.0-liter capacity heart; both featuring the modern breathing architecture of dual cam shafts with 16 valves mechanism. As Grand is blessed with 4-cylinder configuration opposite to 3-cylinder featured by Stingray, it has got both the power and torque advantage over its Maruti rival. Hyundai workhorse produces 15 PS more power than its Maruti’s counterpart and in torque terms this lead rises to 24 Nm. 
And indeed these values make the difference as Grand i10 feels more sure-footed and linear in its power delivery than the Stingray and this difference is apparent more in the lower engine revolutions than the top-end approaching manoeuver where actually K-series engine of Maruti feels more eager and refines despite of its lower displacement. Traffic ambling is more confident and easier in Grand than the jerky responses from Stingray which warrants downshifting every now and then to get steer clear of engine stalling. 

Mid-range and to-range of the cars, on the other hand a different story to tell as despite of having lower capacity and a cylinder less, Stingray motor feels more lively and rev-happy. K-series engine always prove itself quite a perky one and in this comparison too, it amazes us with its eagerness and revolutionary nature. 

Both the car comes with standard mating of 5-speed gearbox to their respective engines laid-out in transverse geometry; thereby sending the power to the front wheels. Both cars have quite a shifting finesse though Hyundai with its dash mounted and short lever feels snappier than the shifting quality possesses by Stingray that comes with a rather long lever. Maruti’s new gearbox comes with cable type linkages that have indeed made a sea level of difference over their predecessors still there is some way to go both for Maruti and Hyundai to match the shift quality of Volkswagen or even the Honda and Toyota. Clutch of both the cars feel light though progressive nature of Grand i10 makes the shifting experience of car better than Stingray. 
Grand i10: *****Stingray: *****
Stingray comes with MacPherson strut up front and isolated trailing link with coil spring at rear to suspend the wheels. The setting of suspension has been done according to the city-friendly positioning of the car. Springs are softly sprung in order to iron out the undulations effectively though the potholes are still not dispatched with absolute cushioning. One need to approach them with care and so is the case with high speed-breakers. On the other hand, riding on 14” wheels, grand i10 shows a decent amount of grip and width of 165 mm has proved instrumental in making i10 quite a good riding car. Standard hardware of McPherson strut at front and coupled torsion beam axle at the rear accomplish their task of wheel- suspension quite well as Grand i10 soak the undulations and rough patches with ease. Still both these cars are ruffled by the potholes and deep scars on the road so one need to be careful equally in both Grand i10 and Stingray in approaching the big hurdles and ruts as these cars are not made to play hard with deep road obstructions.   

As ride quality resulted in ties between these two contenders, importance of handling department has become even more crucial as the choice of winner of this round now depends solely on handling aspect. And that’s where Grand i10 again takes the lead as it shows more composure and grip on the cornering than the flighty Stingray. Grand i10 though tends to lose grip as the rear tries to flip around, the magnitude of such dicey situation is far less than the Stingray that feel less stable due to its narrow tyres and taller pretensions. Further the cornering moves are sure to jostle the Stingray occupants more than the Grand i10 insiders. 
Grand i10: *****Stingray: *****
Stingray price range stretches between Rs 4.10 lakh to Rs 4.67 lakh while Grand i10 retails at between Rs 4.29 lakh to Rs6.45 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). On value for money aspect (VFM) Stingray although beats the Grand i10 though the win margin is hairline as the price difference of mere Rs19k for the base models of both cars is not big enough to give Stingray any decisive decision edge over Grand i10. Grand i10 has shown its supremacy over the Stingray in each and every critical aspect as Hyundai has been able to outsmart the Maruti by virtue of its thorough homework. Grand i10 looks contemporary, has the roomier and plusher interiors, comes with more city-friendly motor and blessed with good ride-handling combination. Over and above it, pricing starting from as low as below Rs 4.5 lakh mark is ridiculously good for the car of this stature. Needless to say that Stingray fought hard in every round of this bout though this time Maruti has no other option to concede its defeat at last; a situation that Maruti is actually not habitual of.  
Grand i10: *****Stingray: *****

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