Hyundai Grand i10 Nios
Something that is not an SUV, we have a hatchback to tell. Hyundai Grand i10 Nios is successive to Hyundai Grand i10. Being obviously bigger, more spacious, better equipment, this new hatchback is targeted directly to Swift. In fact, Hyundai is trying to bring neck to neck fight with Maruti Suzuki Swift. Hyundai Grand i10 Nios has got both petrol option as well as diesel option. It has got AMT versions for both.
The car is wider and longer than the Grand i10 and looks more grown up too. There is a massive single grille which you can't miss. The boomerang shaped DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) are really so cool tucked away at the edge of the grille and top variance also gets projector lights. The sides get sharper in the bodywork and 15-inch diamond cut alloys look terrific. Another well executed detail is the textured blacked-out section in the C pillar with G-i10 embossed on one side. Move to the rear and you will notice the Hyundai logo has gotten bigger and you will find a short fin antenna on the roof. There is even a chrome strip at the base of the tailgate. The taillamps are however still a touch small.
This variant is gonna form the bulk of Nios sales just it was with grand i10. In fact, this car has same engine and transmission from Grand i10. The only difference is this car is BS6 compliant. It meets the latest emission regulations and typically that comes with the penalty of fuel consumption, but this car is actually 1 kmpl more efficient and that's because it is lighter. Nios is 30 -40 kilos lighter because they are using tensile steel. The high tensile strength steel is lighter and stronger. The engine and ECU have been more finely tuned. Hyundai has actually managed to give even better fuel efficiency on the test cycle.
The 1.2L petrol is great in the city. It is quite responsive. It is good on path throttle. You really don't feel underpowered. It keeps up with the traffic. As a city car, it does quite well. The minute you are off to highway and you want more out of it, you will have to rev the hell of this engine. So, on the highway you will be pushing this engine quite a bit. Frankly speaking, this car does not have the 'zing' of the Suzuki K-series which you get at the Swift.
With the stiffer chassis you can soften the suspension a bit without having impact on body control. The Nios has a slightly softer setup over the grand i10. You still get a little bit of vertical movement over the undulations on the road. It is quite secure; you can cruise happily at 3-digit speeds. Just that the steering is super accurate you must make a small correction while going through the sweepers. This car isn't made for highways. It is been tuned for the city where light steering is a boon. Quite clearly this is designed to be a happy city commuter and not one that encourages spirited driving.
You get automatic option for both petrol and diesel. What is more interesting is that the diesel and petrol both comes with the AMTs and not the torque converter of the Grand i10. In terms of hierarchy a torque converter is normally superior, smoother. AMTs are considered as poor man's automatic, but for our conditions the AMTs are making more sense. Firstly, because they are far more fuel efficient. The other thing is that they are more cost advantage. The real downside is just the way the power is delivered. AMT is typically not smooth as conventional torque converters. You do get a bit of head knock or interruption in power. On this version Hyundai has improved quite a bit.
Diesel is reasonable punchy but again runs out of steam on the highway. Surprisingly the diesel variant felt better than the petrol Nios on the monsoon ravage roads. On the rough roads we would prefer the diesel engine. Firstly, to accommodate the heavier diesel engine the front suspension has been beefed up which is good. The other reason is that the AMT variant which doesn't come in a top spec, you get a smaller 14-inch wheel and a tyre with a higher profile or smaller sidewall that really cushions you against the shocks.
Inside the cabin:
Like most Hyundai cabins, Nios is a nice place to be. It has a quite refreshing design. The choice of colours, he grey and white kind of theme from the seats to the dashboard. The interesting texture over the dashboard is a bit of design elements. The rotary vents over the AC have nice quality feel. The instrumentation is quite unique, you've got an analogue tach and digital speedo. Overall, plastics are not absolutely brilliant, but let's not forget this is a premier mid hatch, so some things are gonna be dumped down. In terms of equipment, this car has got the first in class wireless charging. The 8-inch touchscreen is the largest in class, with its height it is easy to operate. It does miss some features like rain sensing wipers and auto headlamps.
The sense of space in the backseat is really good. The legroom and headroom are impressive even for taller people. The seat has good under-thigh support, you have got rear AC vents. Overall the seat is quite flat, it is quietly like the bench, there is no armrest. Clearly this is designed for 3, Hyundai has neatly made a family hatchback.
It is a practical cabin with generous drop pockets. The 260 liters of boot space is marginally bigger than before. The backseats flips down but the release straps are a bit fiddly to use.
- 8-inch touchscreen
- Power-fold outside mirrors
- Apple Car play and Android Auto
- Wireless Phone charger
- Keyless entry and go
- Rear AC vents
- LED Daytime Running Lights
- Cooled glove box
- Part-digital instrument cluster
- Day/night rear-view mirror
- 2 airbags
- Speed alert warning
- Driver + co-driver seat belt warning
- Rear parking sensors
- Rear-view camera
- ABS with EBD