This is the new Hyundai i10. Except it isn’t … It’s the Grand i10: a bigger, bolder, higher-spec’d model that, in South Africa, slots in a cut above the i10 we’ve known for years, and just below the i20. Overseas, however, it is the new i10.
Nonetheless, South African motoring consumers are not unaccustomed to older models hanging around when the new generation is launched – and, as such, Hyundai is billing the Grand i10 as something of a Getz reborn. So, can the Grand i10 be the hit for Hyundai that the Getz was? Some time with the manual 1,25 Fluid version provided some answers …
As the new “grander” i10, the vehicle’s exterior is chunkier and bolder than before and will definitely appeal to younger buyers. With the car’s bumpers, side mirrors and door handles all in body colour, the Grand i10 also looks smart and grown up. One aspect that slightly ruins the look for me though, are the small 14-inch wheels. Just one size bigger would finish off the chunky look nicely.
The Grand i10 is bigger overall than the original model by 180 mm in length, 65 mm in width and 45 mm in the wheelbase. It actually sizes up quite closely to the old Getz, but is better packaged. This increased size and better packaging translates to a roomy interior, though the boot space is a little tight (happily, the rear seatbacks can be folded flat).
The interior itself is a case of “if it ain’t broke” … An evolution of the i10, it has a bolder look and feel that matches the exterior. The design is neat and functional and everything is put together with good-quality, albeit hard plastics. As stated, overall space is good for such a small vehicle and an array of well thought-out stowage spaces adorns the cabin, including under the front passenger seat.
It’s really well-spec’d too, Hyundai cramming the Grand i10 with standard features that you might only expect to find on, well, grander vehicles. There’s a decent sound system with Bluetooth connectivity, USB and AUX inputs and remote controls on the steering wheel; the usual air conditioning and front and rear electric windows with one-touch for the driver, a full trip computer and driver and passenger airbags.
Fluid buyers also get keyless entry with remote boot opening on the key, an alarm/immobiliser and electrically heated and folding side mirrors.
For any Hyundai anoraks out there, an easy way to spot the Fluid model is to look for the side indicator repeaters incorporated into the wing mirrors, and not on the fenders.
But back to the serious stuff, what’s it like to drive and live with? Like most small cars today, the Grand i10 is powered along by rather small 1,25-litre engine, in this case without turbocharging. Peak outputs of 64 kW of power and 120 Nm of torque are sent through a slick-acting five-speed gearbox – more than enough oomph to make swift, easy progress around town. It reaches 100 km/h in a peppy 12,7 seconds, but what really counts with this sort of car is the fuel economy.
Hyundai claims the Grand i10 1,25 will consume 5,9 litres of fuel per 100 km in mixed driving conditions, which is quite good, and be kind to the environment, emitting 130 g/km of carbon dioxide. During about-town driving however, I recorded 8,5 l/100 km on the car’s on-board computer.
ABS anti-lock brakes and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution comprise the electronic safety systems, the brakes themselves being perhaps overly sharp. The lack of traction control (not something you often see in this price bracket) isn’t a huge worry as the Grand i10 is no sports car. Nonetheless, with its compliant suspension, it is quite comfortable and, from the height-adjustable driver’s seat, it’s easy to find a good driving position that places everything in easy reach.
One of the reasons Hyundai has become the fastest-growing automotive brand in the world is because of its great value, and, at R153 900, the Grand i10 certainly offers that. A second aspect is that the company knows it builds good, solid cars, and confidently backs them up as such, including in the purchase price a five-year/150 000 km warranty, a five-year/160 000 km perforation warranty and five-year/150 000 km roadside assistance.
Add everything together and it makes a rather attractive case for itself, much more so than the original i10, yet much like the old Getz. The Hyundai Grand i10 does, however, compete with some serious rivals. Toyota has just injected new vigour into the popular Yaris and the Hyundai’s Kia Picanto cousin is always at the top of the recommendation list. To complicate things, there’s the ever-popular VW Polo Vivo and Ford Figo in the same pricing ballpark. It really is difficult to choose, so you’d have to drive them all, but it’s probably safe to say the Grand i10 will do the Getz proud.