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DRIVEN: Hyundai Grand i10 1,25 Fluid

by Gareth Dean on 04/06/2014

Comments: 5

CAPE TOWN – The latest addition to Hyundai’s already hatchback family looks to fill a the gap between it’s long-running A-segment staple and it’s i20 B-segment offering, but is there a need to fill this recently created niche?

Filling a new gap in the market

What sort of niche are we talking about here? It’s not possessed of a concrete label, but if it were to be described in normal motoring parlance we could refer to it as an A-B segment. It’s a market that’s arisen from a recent blurring of the lines between A- and B segments that’s resulted from the smaller segment’s offerings now approaching similar dimensions to that of their larger peers.

Such models as Volkswagen’s Polo Vivo sedan and the Toyota Etios are proof of this movement and Hyundai doesn’t want to miss the boat.

The result is the Hyundai Grand i10, a model with which Hyundai hopes  to bridge the gap between the i10 and its B-segment i20 relative.

So long Getz, hello Grand

Hyundai SA views the Grand as a spiritual successor to its much loved brand builder, the Getz, and visually there are some definite parallels. While such signature features as the hexagonal front air dam, swept-back headlamps with eyebrow strakes that flow into the hood and a touch of Hyundai’s Fluidic design language in the swage lines running along the flanks are present and correct, they almost appear to have been applied to a tightly proportioned canvas in a similar vein to the Getz.

The Grand is based upon the European market 2014 i10, but is built in India where the Grand monicker is applied and the wheelbase is stretched by around 100 mm. The whole shooting match rolls on a fetching set of 14-inch alloy wheels while additional touches include foglamps, colour-coded wing mirrors with integrated indicators.

A look inside

Although the Grand is 200 mm longer, 65 mm wider and 30 mm lower than the i10, the overall cabin dimensions, bar some additional shoulder and legroom up front, are little changed from those of the admittedly airy smaller car. The major plus is a 256 dm3 luggage compartment that’s 31 dm3 up on the i10′s rather pokey boot and  growing to 1 202 dm3 with the 60:40 rear bench stowed.

A large glasshouse affords a good view of your surroundings, as do the high-sited and supportive front seats.

While the cabins of most cars of this ilk often betray their budget placement, the Grand’s facia presents a neat, upmarket layout comprising a sweeping trim panel (that can be specified in three colours, along with the seat panels) with a neat central HVAC and audio system cluster. Although hard plastics are the order of the day inside, the fitment quality is typically Hyundai-solid.

On the road

The Grand is powered by a 1,25-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with outputs of 64 kW and 120 N.m of torque. It’s a thrummy little unit that revs keenly and, mated as it is with a short-geared six-speed gearbox, makes for nippy round town driving. Our route skirting False Bay presented the Grand with some rather testing conditions, including steep uphills that knocked some wind out of the engine’s sails and crosswinds that broadsided the light car. But the Grand proved very capable and comfy on this unconventional stretch of road.

While the gearshift is snappy and the steering light but not overly numb, the clutch modulation takes a little getting used to, being a bit sensitive at lower speeds.

Otherwise it’s wieldy little runabout with generally good refinement and body control that’s predictable if slightly top-heavy in its feel. The MacPherson front/torsion bar rear suspension setup serves up a supple ride on most surfaces but it can get a bit choppy when the road surface oscillates a bit.

You get what you pay for

Its asking price pitches the Grand into territory occupied by the likes of the five-door derivatives of the Polo Vivo, Honda Brio and Toyota Etios. Here it sits in about the upper-middle of the R134 0000 to R149 000 price range and, while marginally better equipped than the lesser selling Ford and Honda, it makes the Toyota and VW look Spartan by comparison.

Among the standard specification highlights are:

-       Air-conditioning

-       Bluetooth

-       CD/MP3/USB audio system with RDS

-       On-board computer

-       Remote central locking

-       Dual front airbags

-       ABS

-       Electric windows all round

-       Electric mirrors

-       14-inch alloy wheels

-       Body-coloured door handles

-       Front foglamps

Overall

So does the Grand plug the i10-i20 gap? Well, yes and no. The specification is generous and it’s pleasant to drive and easy on the eye, but a glance at the range topping i10 (now the Fluid, as the Glide model is being phased out to accommodate the entry-level Grand) will reveal that, utility space and styling aside, there’s little separating the two. Granted, the Grand is a newer, capable and likeable little car but when donning your consumer cap and looking at the equivalent i10 you might find yourself asking if it’s grand enough to span the gap.

*Specifications
Model:
Hyundai Grand i10 1,25 Fluid
Engine: 1,25-litre, four-cylinder petrol
Power: 64 kW at 6 000 r/min
Torque: 120 N.m at 4 000 r/min
0-100 km/h: 12,7 seconds
Fuel consumption: 10,3 l/100 km
CO2: 130 g/km
Top speed: 167 km/h
Price: R149 900
Service plan: optional
Service intervals: 15 000 km
*According to Hyundai

  • fd21

    Unless the Grand’s NVH levels are noticeably better than the normal i10, I can’t see how they can justify the Grand’s existence. Why did they just not replace the i10 with this and bring it in a lower spec with a smaller engine (such as the 50kw 1.1 litre) and thus a lower price. Mostly all new cars which replace the previous version increase in size (length, width, boot space, etc) anyway so there is no need to call this a “Grand” i10. If this replaced the i10 in Europe (which seems much more logical) why not do the same here and instead “re-use” the old i10 to make a sub R100000 car and call it something else (similar to what Toyota did with the Corolla Quest). A sub R100000 car with a well known and trusted badge will do quite well in our market I think. Then again I don’t see many Chevrolet Spark Lites on our roads.

  • fd21

    I also can’t see someone choosing this over the larger, better equipped Renault Sandero which is also cheaper.

    • Knormoer

      Hyundai vs Renault reliability. Case closed

    • mark_steenkamp@yahoo.com

      Yip better value! I had my share with Hyundai and will never own a Korean car again, not even to talk about a Indian car. Why do they call this a new car if it is the same thing just a different body, not even spec as well as the European I10

    • Frodo

      You will be very hard pressed to find any recent quality survey where Renault posts a better result than Hyundai/Kia. In the last South African JD Power survey Renault featured stone last.