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NEW Hyundai i10 review


1. So what's new about the i10?

The most obvious change to the i10 is that it's been given a facelift. The Hyundai corporate grille seems force-fitted at the front while the tail-lamps are larger. Inside, there are a bunch of improvements, especially with regard to the instrument console, upholstery and the shade of the plastic panels. Plus, the top-end versions are comprehensively equipped with new features  like heated external rear-view mirrors with turn indicators, reverse assist, Bluetooth/USB port/Aux-in, steering mounted controls, driver's seat height adjuster, ABS/airbags/seat-belt pretensioner, keyless entry and more. The other important change is what you don't see immediately - the two engines, the 1.1 and the 1.2 Kappa, have received a raft of improvements.

2. Why has Hyundai introduced it?

While we didn't drive the iRDE2, we sampled the Kappa2 between Chennai and Pondicherry. The perky performance from the 1.2 motor is undiminished and now it feels a bit liberated. Driving the i10 on Chennai's chaotic roads, the car's dimensions are just perfect for the cut-and-thrust while the easy arrival of torque from the engine only aids it. The gearbox is snappy and allows for quick shifts, while the gearing is also in tune with a city commuter application. This animal thrives best in the urban jungle. On the highway of course the i10's motor feels a bit wanting; it runs out of breath beyond 120 kph. But keep it between 80 and 100 kph and it comfortably cruises. It doesn't like high speed directional changes, though.

5. How does it match up to the competition?

The prices are right here:

7. Is the car worth it, then?

The i10 is a very good car, there's no doubt about that. It is a high quality car and is brilliant for city applications - the option of an automatic gearbox makes it all the more so. Hyundai has packaged more features in it and that makes it all the more irresistible.

(The writer was invited by Hyundai to drive the new i10 between Chennai and Pondicherry )