Hyundai is a well-known brand in the Indian market today with every other car being a Hyundai. Back in 2000s, this wasn’t the case though. You only had the Santro and Accent, that sold in humble numbers and the sales were nowhere close to the industry leader, Maruti Suzuki. But things changed with the ‘i’ series of cars. The i10 was launched in 2007 and there was no looking back for the company. The i10 can very well be credited for establishing Hyundai in India, much as we know it now. It was a solid, no-nonsense, family car at a price point that just hit the sweet spot for many. It had looks that gave many contemporary cars including the Maruti WagonR and the Swift, a serious run for their money. Almost a decade and many generations later, we demystify the magic Hyundai cast with the i10, that has customers still looking at the i10 as a viable option.
The i10 has dated, but that’s not to say it looks old by any measure. The last major overhaul was given in 2010 and since then Hyundai has had a slew of car launches and model updates, but the i10 remains the same. It was the first to receive Hyundai’s Fluidic design treatment that gave it a rather mature and aggressive look. Characteristic lines flowing from the front all over to the back add a sense of flamboyance to the tall boy character of the car — something that is sorely missed in the i10’s direct rival, the Maruti Suzuki WagonR. The wing mirrors featuring integrated LED turn indicators is something not many cars could boast off in this segment. Needless to say, they look stunning on the car even today. In comparison, the back of the car looks a bit bland but given the overall package, that would be nitpicking.
Enter the car and you notice that the i10 is in no sense a ‘typical’ budget hatch. It’s got a character to itself with the dual tone grey and black themed dash, chrome accented door handles and the gear lever that sits close to the dash in a nice snug compartment that it has to itself.The car seems well planned right from the placement of seats to the way the wheel arches have been positioned. And it shows in the way you can fit in 5 adults in the car (comfort is subjective!). Typical Hyundai way, there’s no dearth of equipment on this car. There’s an audio system with USB and AUX input, steering mounted controls, Bluetooth telephony and Keyless Entry in the top of the line Sportz variant.
The i10 lives through Hyundai’s 1.1L iRDE2 engine mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox, that generates 69bhp of power and while that figure might not seem best on papers, in our test drive, we were beaming a constant grin on our faces and there’s a reason why.This car is meant for bumper-to-bumper city traffic, doing gracefully the distance between point A and B. What Hyundai gives you, is a car that feels as planted in the 5th gear as it is in 2nd. Of course, the engine does like to clear its throat post 100 km/h, but given our traffic, you’d hardly need the 5th gear anyway. Occasional overtakes are delivered right on spot, with just the right amount of acceleration and power needed. It does all that while delivering a real world mileage of 13.2 kmpl on our test unit.
Prices and Variants
The Hyundai i10 was available in a large number of variants when it was first launched- there was even an optional variant with Sunroof and automatic gearbox. The portfolio has been trimmed now, with the addition the Grand i10, which is a more contemporary car and offers more bang for your buck, albeit at a slightly higher price point. It is now available in three variants- Era, Magna and Sportz with a single 1.1L iRDE2 petrol engine option. Prices range from Rs 4.34 lakhs to Rs 4.87 lakhs (Ex-Showroom, Delhi) for a new i10 and for a pre-owned i10, prices start from Rs 1.70 lakhs to 3.50 lakhs.
The i10 came in as Hyundai’s knight in shining armour. The tall boy form combined with Hyundai’s technical and design prowess has made the i10 quite popular with the masses. It’s got just about everything to qualify as your worthy family car or even a second car reserved primarily for city commutes. There’s no doubting the i10’s strong credentials and its ever-expanding loyal customer base.