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Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Diesel Review: Pros and Cons

Introduction

Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Action Front Right Three-Quarter

The Hyundai Grand i10 was a game changer when it arrived at the end of 2013. With more legroom and features than all of its competition, it raised the bar in terms of what buyers could expect from their compact hatchbacks. Well, here we are back again six years later and this time with this car, the Grand i10 Nios, which, as its Latin name suggests, is a Grand i10 with “more” to offer.

What is that “more” you ask? Well, that’s what we are here to find out and we will do that by telling you five things that we liked about the Grand i10 Nios diesel and two things that we didn’t.

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Positives

Attention Catching Exterior

Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Exterior Front Left Three-Quarter

The Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS might look like the lower-priced Santro thanks to the family design philosophy but it has got enough fancy bits on the outside to help it stand out among the competition or even in a crowd of cars.

In this top-of-the-line model that we are driving today, you get diamond-cut 15-inch alloy wheels, boomerang shaped LED DRL inserts in the grille, projector headlamps and fog lamps, blacked-out pillars for the floating roof effect and just for some extra pizazz, a faux scuff plate at the rear. There’s a very European premium hatchback feel to the whole design of the Grand i10 Nios and that’s not a bad thing at all as it does grab quite a few eye balls.

Interiors

Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Interior Dashboard

Step into the cabin and you can instantly tell that this is where Hyundai has spent most of its money when developing the Grand i10 Nios. Gone are the days of beige and black and instead it is now a grey and black affair with a rather pleasant look grey upholstery for the seats.

The cabin is quite a nice place to be in thanks to colour schemes used all around. The Nios, over the previous model, has grown in size across all the dimensions creating more space inside. The plastics on the all touch surfaces are of high quality with this special fish skin pattern on the doors and dashboard adding just that little extra touch that sets the car apart. We also like the way the touchscreen system and instrument cluster have been integrated into one large unit.

Feature List

Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Interior Music System

One of the selling points of Hyundai cars has been the features and this car with its NIOS tag does well to carry on the family legacy.

In this top-spec Asta variant that’s in the frame, you get climate control with rear vents, wireless charging, button start, seat-height adjustment for the driver’s seat and folding rear bench for additional storage. The highlight of the cabin is this eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto as well as Arkamys sound system developed for use in Hyundai cars. What’s more, all versions of the Grandi10 Nios get dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors and seat belt pre-tensioners.

Efficient Diesel Engine

Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Engine Bay Engine

The Hyundai Grand i10 Nios is powered by a BS4 compliant 1186cc four-cylinder diesel engine producing 74bhp/190Nm. This engine, for the first time in the history of the i10 range, is being offered with an automated manual transmission but what we have here is the five-speed manual which is standard across the range.

It’s a peppy little engine with some lag under the 2000rpm mark, but once the turbo has spooled-up you get a nice linear punch allowing for quick build-up of speed. This easy availability of torque so low down also allows for quick and rather effortless overtakes. It’s efficient too as in our real world efficiency tests, this car and engine combination returned 22kmpl on the highway and 16.13kmpl in city conditions. Hyundai has not yet launched an upgraded version of this diesel engine to comply with the BS6 regulations but will announce it within the coming months.

Ease in City Driving Conditions

Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Action Cornering

While this might be called the Grand i10 Nios with a double emphasis on the word more, it is still a compact hatchback with a city friendly footprint.

You get a light steering, a cushy low-speed ride and sufficient insulation to filter out the vagaries of the outside world. The light steering is especially a boon as it allows you to parallel park and make quick U-turns when necessary. Because of the large amount of torque available, you only need to switch to first gear if you are moving from standstill.

Negatives

Not So Friendly Highway Manners

Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Action Rear Right Three-Quarter

An emphasis on being city friendly has made the Grand i10 Nios not so friendly on the highway. Don’t get me wrong, you can do three-digit speeds with not much effort but the Grand i10 Nios is not the most able kilometre muncher on offer.

The steering weighs up correctly as you go fast but is vague at the centre and doesn’t provide much feedback.  The ride at low speeds might be city driving friendly but pick up pace and the car starts to skip and pitch over undulations. The front suspension offers good rebound damping; however the same cannot be said about the rear shocks as the rear feels bouncy, making it uncomfortable for the rear-seat passengers.

No Top-end AT

Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Interior Gear-Lever

If you want to drive only with your right leg but want all the bells and whistles, the Grand i10 Nios is not your deal. At the time of making this video, the diesel AT option is only available in the Sportz variant.

The difference in pricing between both trims is around Rs 15,000 and for that you lose out on minor details like the leather wrapped steering wheel, button start, rear wiper and chrome door handles. We believe that Hyundai will at some point within this year introduce a top-of-the-line diesel AT Asta variant for the Nios as part of the car’s planned upgrades.

Conclusion

Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Exterior Rear Right Three-Quarter

The Hyundai Grand i10 Nios does what Hyundai’s do best. Offer a feature-loaded deal in a compact package that’s easy to drive and easy to park.  On the negative side, it is not the most highway friendly car and the lack of a top-end diesel AT could be a deterrent for those who want a fully-loaded deal. However, with the bigger size, you get more room inside and with this diesel engine you get a pocket friendly driving experience too!

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Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
Mumbai₹ 5.95 Lakh onwards
Bangalore₹ 6.21 Lakh onwards
New Delhi₹ 5.64 Lakh onwards
Pune₹ 6.03 Lakh onwards
Hyderabad₹ 6.03 Lakh onwards
Ahmedabad₹ 5.79 Lakh onwards
Chennai₹ 5.91 Lakh onwards
Kolkata₹ 5.67 Lakh onwards
Chandigarh₹ 5.68 Lakh onwards
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