Hyundai i10 Road Test


Hyundai Motors have developed in leaps and bounds and have come to be known to produce some very good small cars. It is because of their ability to manufacture some great small cars that they have gained a lot of popularity and Hyundai’s reputation in the Indian market has grown tremendously. The first offering from Hyundai was the Santro and this was a car that took the Indian market by storm becoming the Korean manufacturer’s best selling vehicle not only in India but globally as well. The Santro was so well received that Hyundai became the largest exporter of passenger cars in India along with reaching the number two spot in terms of car manufacturing in the country. The Santro was instrumental in putting the Korean car manufacturer on the world map and Hyundai has taken the success of the small car and turned it into a big advantage for itself in the small car segment. These days it is hard to argue the fact that Hyundai is one of the best manufacturers of small cars. Check on Road Price

The Santro was constantly being upgraded and received regular improvements to better its looks and feature offerings but over time the model just got outdated and there were cries for a newer model offering. Hyundai addressed this customer requirement by bringing out their new flagship the Hyundai i10 in India. The i10 has been around now for a while and Hyundai had done such a good job with the first model that it is hard to imagine them making it a whole lot better. But that is exactly what Hyundai did by introducing the Hyundai i10 Kappa2. The i10 when it was launched in India was considered the car to beat in its segment and set the bar for what cars in the segment aimed to offer. These days with the burgeoning of the small car segment in India with the introduction of a number of competitors like the Chevrolet Beat, VW Polo, Maruti Swift, Ford Figo and Fiat Punto, Hyundai’s market share was beginning to decrease and they had to do something about it, thereby introducing the i10 Kappa2. The Hyundai i10 Kappa2 is on show this year at the Paris Motor Show and we have had the opportunity to test drive the vehicle extensively and have brought you the following.

Exteriors and Interiors

Let us start with the new look of the flagship i10 Kappa2. The new Hyundai i10 has been upgraded with new modern, trendy looks and gets a new front fascia. The headlights now wrap around the sides of the bonnet and offer a pronounced look to the front of the vehicle. They protrude out a bit more as well and allow the i10 to gain a more defined front shape. The turn indicators have been integrated very well into the headlight cluster and offer a distinct look to the front end of the vehicle. The front end also get the new look Hyundai chrome grille that is supposed to be the family face of all Hyundai cars coming out. The air vent has been pushed a bit lower into the front bumper and also gets a wider profile to give the front some more character and style. The distinctive chrome grille now has a horizontal slat that splits it in two with the Hyundai logo proudly sitting right in the middle. At the back of the chrome grille is a honeycomb matt black grill that add a more aggressive look to the vehicle.

The front bumper has been extensively reworked and has some crisp lines and curves that make it look very masculine and really give the car an aggressive look. The triangular shaped slots at the corners of the bumper house the fog lamps in the trims that have it as an option. The hood of the i10 generally stays the same with only minute creases incorporated above the headlights to add a curvier look to the front end.

The hood slopes upwards and meets the roof where you will notice another change in the new Hyundai i10 Kappa2, the introduction of a small radio antenna positioned in the middle at the front. Surprisingly this small addition does a lot to make the Hyundai i10 more appealing and allows it to get a more international look. This is bound to entice a number of buyers to choose the i10 Kappa2.

Looking at the Hyundai i10 from the side will allow you to see the stylish changes that have been made to make the car more visually appealing. The car now gets body colored door handles and door trim and there is also some extra badging. The left quarter panel gets a VTVT badge and the right panel gets a Kappa2 badge. I will talk about the VTVT in detail in the engine section of the article. The side mirrors no integrated the turn indicators and this is one of the best aesthetic improvements in the new vehicle. Many buyers have been waiting for this modification as it is considered to be quite a desirable feature for Indian customers.

The rear of the car probably gets the most modifications in terms of styling and new look. The rear bumper has a lot to do with this as it get a completely new shape and curve to it. It has wider, bolder more crisp lines that define it better and make the rear of the car get a much need masculine and more aggressive look. The rear bumper is now lower than before and gives the car a more planted, sporty look and a low profile feel. The bumper also houses rear reflectors which are also new additions to the new Hyundai i10 Kappa2.

The shape of the outer cover of the taillights generally remains the same but it gets a new look as the inside cluster has a round lens which is integrated into it. The taillights are split in the middle with the turn indicators and also wrap around the side of the car making the car feel wider at the back. The rear bumper follows on from the front end and also features reverse parking sensors which are a first for the car and make it stand out in this very competitive small car segment.

There are some new styling badges on the boot lid which help differentiate the Hyundai i10 Kappa2 and the top of the boot lid now get a rear spoiler that features a stop lamp integrated into it. This adds a more sporty character to the vehicle. The boot handle remains the same as before along with the shape of the windshield and the rear windshield wiper is ever present. The Hyundai i10 gets an overall more aggressive look with the crisper, sharper lines and curves that also give it a much more sporty, masculine and aggressive image. The older curvy look has been remodeled really well to now add some much needed character to the vehicle and the paint quality and welding finish are also up there.

The older version of the Hyundai i10 had one of the best interiors in terms of gadget offerings and space and Hyundai have decided not to tamper much with this aspect of the vehicle. The first thing you will notice about the inside of the car is that the dashboard gets a new color scheme with a visually attractive two-tone grey scheme adorning the top, bottom and steering wheel of the car. The new dark and light grey scheme give the interior a better feel that the older beige one. The steering wheel has three spokes and now includes buttons that control the audio system as well as a new Bluetooth connection. This is bound to excite prospective buyers and adds to the international feel of the vehicle.

The addition if the audio and Bluetooth buttons increases the safety standard on the vehicle as well as drivers can now concentrate on the road without getting distracted by the need to look away to change volume or talk on the phone. The steering also get the rake and reach feature that will allow the best driving position for any driver.

The instrument cluster has a new all black background with bluish light scheme that add to the attractiveness of the interiors and also allows the driver to get a clear view of the fuel gauge and other important information. The central console houses the audio system at the top of the dashboard and the climate controls at the bottom. The central ac vents flank the audio system and it gets a silver plated curvy look to it. The audio system now also included a USB port and auxiliary port that should be a big boon to those music lovers that enjoy a ride as much as their favorite song. It is MP3/CD compatible as well. The rotary ac vents at the far corners of the dash now get chrome accents that make it stand out just like the new accents on the central console. The rest of the dashboard is similar to the older model and only the inclusion of the ORVM controls, which are also now electrically heated, are new. The availability of the electrically heated mirrors on the Hyundai i10 Kappa2 should come a big surprise to those in the market for a small car as this feature is even absent on some of the larger cars offered in the Indian market.

The front is also fitted with dual airbags that come with the higher end trim of the vehicle along with Anti-lock Braking System and Electronic Brake Distribution. Another quirky feature of the vehicle is the gear lever position which is reminiscent of the Honda family of vehicles and is positioned below the climate control knobs like the Honda CRV and Civic Hybrid. This takes a few minutes to get accustomed to but once familiar with it you will find the large handle firm to grip and visually appealing as well with well integrated chrome accents.

The front seats of the Hyundai i10 Kappa2 are the same as the outgoing model with assimilated headrests that offer unique look but may inhibit comfort for a few taller drivers. The cushioning of the seats is ample and the support they offer is also very good. The rear cabin of the Hyundai i10 Kappa2 is also spacious and the seats are well contoured to support three passengers quite comfortably. Leg room and head room are comparable to other car in its class and will not disappoint unless you are well over six feet. The fabric used on the seats is of high quality which fits in well with the other durable plastic parts and holders which pepper the car. There are a number of bottle and can holders integrated into the door handles and seats to store lots of miscellaneous items.

Engine and Ride

The Hyundai i10 Kappa2 is fitted with the same 1.2 Kappa engine that is found on the previous model but there are small tweaks that improve its performance. The new 1.2 Kappa engine now integrates a Hyundai patented VTVT engine that works on variable timing valve technology that has helped to increase power by 3 PS.

The new Hyundai i10 Kappa2 feels quite different to drive and this is down to the fact that power delivery is more linear now. There is a refinement and smoothness that is brought on by the VTVT. Handling on the i10 was always good and the new Hyundai i10 Kappa2 is a lot of fun to drive as gear rations are also calibrated to ensure maximum power delivery in all gears. Front and rear suspension also remains the same but the added cushioning of the seats provides a more comfortable ride.

The overall build quality of the vehicle has increased along with braking ability and there is now much less rattle and roll noise inside the cabin offering a smoother, comfortable ride and the only negative feedback could be that the steering wheel feels slightly soft and slow to respond. The car is very steady even at speeds in excess of 130kph and the maneuverability of the vehicle is good. Driving the vehicle on the highway or zipping in and out of heavy traffic should be a cinch in the all new Hyundai i10 Kappa2.

Verdict and Recommendations

Hyundai was always confident with introducing the i10 as its new flagship vehicle and the new Hyundai i10 Kappa2 does justice to that extent. It is one of the best offering in the small car segment in the Indian market today although it faces some stiff competition. Offering more for less is one of Hyundai’s main mottos in any case and they pride themselves on being able to attract customers due to their many features not normally found in small cars or in the same rice range.

The introduction of the VTVT engine helps to improve the drive and performance of the vehicle and combined with the new exterior styling features gives the car a very masculine and aggressive feel. Additions like turn integrated ORVM’s, which are electrically heated, Bluetooth connectivity, reverse sensors, etc all point to the fact that the Hyundai i10 Kappa2 is one feature-packed vehicle.

Hyundai i10 Kappa2 Specifications

Vehicle Category: Hatch
Engines (standard): 1.2 L, Kappa2, VTVT,  80 HP, 11.4 kgm torque
Drive train: 5 passenger, Front engine, 5-door hatch, FWD
Transmissions (standard): 5-speed manual
Curb Weight: 1376 kg
0-100 kph:13 secs (est.)
Mileage city/hwy: 15.5 / 19 kmpl
Base Price: Rs.5.01 Lakh (est)

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