The Grand i10 Nios is the result of a Grand i10 and an Elite i20 being put in a blender with added garnishing. Here are 5 things that best summarise this new hatch.
1. The looks: This is a debatable topic with the car. It certainly does not follow the ‘please all’ philosophy of the previous Grand i10. It may seem aggressive to most and may not cater to all tastes, but there is no denying that it has presence. This stems from the front with a bigger grille and DRLs sticking to the end of the grille.
The headlamps are sharper, there are more lines, and bigger 15-inch alloys, a floating roof effect and more. It gets your attention, for sure, and Hyundai has also ditched boring colours n favour of an interesting palette of choices, including dual-tone ones.
2. Quality: This is what first strikes you when you sit inside. It matches the Elite i20 and beats the current Grand in this aspect. There also a distinct European look with the Kona-like vents, the steering wheel or the pattern on the dash and doors. It looks and feels expensive. Even the small things, like the rear camera display, touchscreen, overall plastics are very good. No complaints here.
3. Features: They may not have thrown in the kitchen sink, like with the Venue, but for the price no other small car has so many features. You now have wireless charging plus rear ac vents, a 4-speaker audio and a cooled glove-box . That said, auto headlamps and six airbags could have been added.
4. Size: The Nios, crucially, has a longer wheelbase and that translates to more space. It is not a huge jump from the earlier Grand but legroom is better than some other rivals.
5.Evolution: The Nios may be an evolution over the Grand but the dynamics are crisper. The petrol is a BS6 one with 83 bhp from its 1.2l. This is a decent motor, but it’s tuned for city driving and is not as free-revving as the Swift petrol. That said as a city commuter the petrol is smooth while clutch/gearbox is light.
The diesel feels better and has more grunt (75 bhp, 190Nm). The big change is in the dynamics. The Nios has a much better steering than the current Grand and turn-in (entering a corner) is eager. There is more agility and while being a Hyundai it is still softer than say, a Swift, and the dynamics are much better.
It rides well too. The petrol will give you decent fuel economy in the teens while the diesel is more efficient. The AMT is Hyundai's own gearbox and save for the AMT quirks like the pause, as a city car it works but the manual is the better option.
Should you buy?
The Nios is much easier to recommend over the Grand and maybe even over the i20. We like the features and the quality. We suggest you get the diesel or petrol manual in their top-spec avatars with all the features.
Yes, the Nios may not be as fun as some of its rivals, but offers better quality, value (cheaper than rivals as it starts from Rs 5.6 lakh) and features . It is not a bad drive, either. As an all-rounder, it ticks all the boxes.