Since team IAB was neck deep in preparations for the Frankfurt Motor Show, we deputed our well-informed reader, Tarun Kumar Tripathy, an AMG-certified driver, and a full-time hotelier who runs a newly launched Indian restaurant 'Grill Ministri' in Chennai, to the local launch of the Grand i10. Here's Tarun returning with a set of nice images and a honest (but lengthy) opinion on the car.
Over the past few years, Hyundai has cemented its place as a formidable opponent to the world's best auto manufacturers.
In the Indian market, at a time when the industry has been struggling to put inventory on the road, Hyundai, with the Grand i10, has once again proven why it is the No.2 (No.1 in exports) car maker in the country and what it is doing to catch Maruti Suzuki.
This afternoon, Hyundai launched the Grand i10 in Chennai, and before we begin, here are the prices (ex-showroom, Chennai) -
Hyundai Grand i10 Petrol
- Era - 4.37 lakh
- Magna - 4.57 lakh
- Sportz - 4.97 lakh
- Asta - 5.57 lakh
Hyundai Grand i10 Diesel
- Era - 5.33 lakh
- Magna - 5.52 lakh
- Sportz - 5.92 lakh
- Asta - 6.53 lakh
On first sight, though Hyundai wants us to believe that it is fluidic, the Grand i10 has a more aggressive design. An important element that Hyundai designers underscore using Fluidic Sculpture is length. That becomes difficult if the car on the design board is a hatchback.
The Grand i10's 100mm advantage over its European version in length may not be highlighted by its design. However, it does look far more planted and spacious than the outgoing model.
Hyundai has also included a rear air-con vent to accommodate cooling/heating of the extra length. Another feature unique to the Indian version is the inclusion of a wider rear quarter glass panel that Hyundai, through its customer survey, has found to be a requirement of Indian customers to get an airy feel inside the cabin.
On the inside, you will easily see a massive departure from the quality of the i10 clearly defining its placement between the i10 and i20. The Grand feels matured and upmarket, almost to the level of the i20. I am 6ft 1 inch and I haven't sat in a roomier/more comfortable rear seat of a hatchback in India before. The standard i10 already has a good ingress/egress position but the Grand takes it up by a couple of notches.
To those of you doubting the tapered roofline, there are no problems with headroom anywhere in the car. To the music aficionados, the stereo has the ability to download your phone book and songs to its 1 GB internal memory. To the chauffeur driven, the rear air-con vent is supplemented by an additional power supply to charge your phones and laptops.
The car will come with a petrol as well as a diesel motor (Euro V Compliant) mated to a 5-speed manual tuned for efficiency. Prices announced for Chennai are ex-showroom and introductory.
On preview and on paper, the car looks to be a winner. Its got the space, the spec, and the all-important diesel engine. The recently updated Micra, the Figo and the Ritz have something to worry about, and don't be surprised if it also cannibalizes the sales of its sibling, the i20.
Note - For the brochure and a more comprehensive image gallery, head to our yesterday's launch report.