The compact hatchback segment constitutes about 48 percent of the total passenger vehicle market. Yes, It is a big, big chunk and which is why it makes sense for a company like Hyundai to offer multiple products in this segment. It starts with the Santro and then comes in the Grand i10 and after that, the i20. But, Hyundai identified that there's a gap between the Grand i10 and the i20, which is where the all-new Grand i10 NIOS comes in. The i10 brand first made its debut 12 years ago in 2007 and it was in 2014 when the second-generation Grand i10 was launched. It has been one of the consistently best-selling models for Hyundai in Nepal and now, the all-new Grand i10 NIOS has been launched in Nepal. And to reiterate the word 'NIOS' means 'more' in Irish and Hyundai promises that this new model will offer more of everything.
The Grand i10 NIOS is a stylish looking car. No doubt about that. We particularly like the front end where the hexagonal grille is flanked by two boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights, which looks very, very cool in our opinion. Plus, the headlamp cluster, it has been fully redesigned and gets projector headlamps as well. Even though the silhouette remains the same, the car gets a few creases on the bonnet and the profile, adding more character to the looks. Other small design bits such as newly designed alloy wheels, smart-looking LED fog lamps, the chrome garnishes all over and the Grand i10 branding on the C pillar, add a sense of freshness to the car.
The new Grand i10 NIOS is significantly bigger than the Grand i10 as far as dimensions are concerned. The Nios grows 40 mm in length and is 20 mm wider than the Grand i10, plus the wheelbase too increases by 25 mm. it is just the height, which stays the same as before. All these measurements result in the car being more spacious and comfortable for 5 passengers.
The interior on the Grand i10 NIOS has been completely updated as well. And for the first time, the company is offering this lovely dual-tone grey colour finish, which looks very upmarket, very premium. The dashboard, it has been completely re-designed as well. It looks very elegant, the materials used, the quality of plastics, it is much better than the Grand i10 and all of this, the cabin, it feels very upmarket. Hyundai has done well to offer a bucket load of features on the Grand i10 NIOS. In fact, the company says, that the NIOS gets 21 new features as compared to the Grand i10. These include a bunch of segment-first features such as two USB charging ports, wireless charging for mobile phones and a driver rear-view monitor.
It is the same as the reversing camera, except, it can be switched on even when the car is moving forward. Other creature comforts include a new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity and a new cool-looking instrument panel. But it is not a connected car like the Venue! There is still some time before Hyundai starts offering its BlueLink connectivity system on its small car portfolio. The new Grand i10 NIOS also gets a bunch of standard safety features which include dual airbags, high strength steel body, parking sensors, and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and seat-belt pre-tensioners as well.
Hyundai is offering a 1.2-litre petrol and diesel engines along with a 5-speed manual and AMT gearbox options. The 1.2-litre petrol makes 82 bhp and 114 Nm and comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox as also a 5-step AMT as well. The 1.2 litre diesel makes 74 bhp and 190 Nm of torque. The petrol engine with the manual transmission has a claimed fuel economy figure of 20.7 kmpl while the AMT returns 20.2 kmpl. The diesel on the other hand for both the diesel manual and automatic is 26.2 kmpl.
The Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS is basically a city runabout. Its compact dimensions and the small motor are practical and adequate for pottering about in town. There is a decent performance on offer and with the linear power delivery and smooth pull, you will not be thrown a surprise. But, in case you want to take it on the highway, you might be left wanting for more as far as power and torque is concerned. The diesel offers more torque down the rev range, resulting in a better initial pull but it is the petrol which has a more spirited performance.
The car retains its plush ride quality and dispatches bumps and potholes with ease. Even on bigger undulations, the ride experience is not jarring. The pleasant surprise here is the handling. It goes up by a notch and there is a hint of improvement in the steering feedback over the Grand i10 as well. So, it is more comfortable with those occasional high-speed corners and the vagueness that the earlier model had, has been nullified to a great extent. The cabin offers a quiet drive experience and the NVH levels go up too when compared to the Grand i10.