The i10 is Hyundai’s hatchback offering in the B segment and was launched in November 2007. In December 2008 a new engine variant was added to the existing model range. The i10 marked the beginning of Hyundai’s contemporary hatchback styling. In India, the i10 is sold alongside the manufacturer’s Santro which fits in the A+ segment. The i10 performs way better than the Santro in all departments.
Design and Features
The i10 has been designed in the interests of attaining maximum space optimization. The end result is a sober and plain vanilla design with no Korean quirks, a high, stubby bonnet and a curvaceous form. From the front the headlamps seem quite small in comparison to the big and wide air dam. A high waistline doesn’t offer any help. Overall the designed gets livened up a bit by the black plastic strips which run around the car. Unlike previous small cars from Hyundai (the first Santro), the i10 doesn’t look gawky and conforms to the visual taste of Indians. On the inside, the i10 sports the best interior in its class with respect to quality, layout and appeal. The gear lever is integrated into the central console while the dashboard, doorpads, roofs and seats are done up in dual tone beige and black colours.
The 1.1 variant i10 is available across Hyundai showrooms in two models namely D-lite and Era. The D-lite variant comes equipped only with air conditioning and power steering. While the Era variant sports body colored bumpers, chrome finish radiator grille, front power windows and central locking in addition to the above two features. The 1.2 manual and automatic transmission variants are sold in three models namely Magna, Sportz and Asta. The Magna is the base variant and offers only air conditioning, power steering, power windows, central locking and rake adjustable steering wheel. The Sportz variant gets a MP3 player, rear defogger and rear wiper in addition to the features on the Magna. The Asta is the top model and comes fully loaded with all the above features along with fog lamps, two airbags and ABS as standard.
Driving abilities and Comfort
The i10 has not been created with the intention of satisfying the cravings of driving enthusiasts, but it doesn’t disappoint either. It feels adequately equipped in handling prowess and driving dynamics department unless you start pushing it beyond what it’s meant to do. The i10 has been developed to play the role of an efficient city car. In technical terms, that means a soft suspension setup which limits driving fun on winding roads. While hot-footing through corners the front end begins to understeer and the rear gets jittery too. On straight roads at speeds even in excess of 130kph the car doesn’t feel wavy.
The i10 will appeal massively to the ’slow and steady’ family men but not to ’boy racers’. The soft suspension setup ends up arming the i10 with best in class ride quality. The passengers are well cocooned from the harsh realities of the road surface. The i10 absorbs every dimple, pimple, pothole and crater that the road throws at it with consummate ease. This small car is not an able handler but compensates for it with an Aladdin’s magic carpet quality ride.
The i10 is offered to buyers with two engine options namely a 1.1liter (1086cc) iRDE (Intelligent Response Drive Engine) and 1.2 liter (1197 cc) Kappa engines. Both engines are petrol powered and have a four cylinder configuration. The iRDE engine deploys three valves per cylinder while the Kappa one gets four vales for each cylinder. The 1.1 engine develops a max power while of 66.6PS@5500rpm and a max torque of 10.1kg@2800rpm. The 1.2 Kappa engine develops a max power of 80PS@5200rpm and a max torque of 11.4kg@4000rpm and is offered with 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission options. The Intelligent Response Drive Engine has been designed in the interests of delivering good performance without compromising on fuel efficiency while the Kappa engine boasts of the lowest NVH levels in its class. The 1.1 litre variant achieves the 0-100kmph run in 16 seconds while the 1.2 variant completes the same in 14 seconds. Both engines return an average fuel efficiency of 16kpl.
The 1.1 Hyundai i10 model retails in the price bracket of Rs.4-4.5 lakhs (on-road Mumbai) for the base and top variant respectively. The 1.2 manual transmission model is priced in the range of Rs.4.8-5.9 lakhs (on-road Mumbai). The i10 serves its purpose of being a highly competent city car which can handle occasional weekend getaways too. Its looks won’t maim you but the best in class interiors and ride quality will pamper you unlike any other B segment car in the market currently.