Suggested Reading: Hyundai i10 – Review in a nutshell
It was about the same time a year ago, my table was flooded with brochures, quotations, price lists and pictures of various cars. Believe me, there is so much of choice available here, deciding on a car to buy is a real task. Maruti Swift, Hyundai Getz, Hyundai i10, Renault Logan, Fiat Palio Stile, Chevy Aveo Uva, Tata Indigo CS and the list continues. Finally, its Hyundai i10 which was the family choice as against my love Fiat Palio Multijet.
The stylish i10 magna cost 4.12 lacs ex showroom. Since we paid annual road tax of Rs. 800, we saved big bucks there. The car has been rather used less and has completed just 5000km in one full year. This included one long trip of 600km and other small trips to Mysore. Having said that, i10 has not been free of problems. There were about 4-5 ocassions where I have made all the way to the service centre to get things fixed up which is a high rate for a new vehicle. Some key points I would stress upon – firstly the negative ones.
Clutch – Clutch and clutch plates are the most vulnerable to wear and tear. i10 surprisingly has a point clutch system which is a bit difficult to adjust for somebody like me who had been driving the old sturdy Premier Padmini for some years. There is no range in which you can release the clutch and it has to be released at the exact point to get maximum pickup and rev. One way its better and its only until you get used to it. Lady drivers and newbies would stall the engine without doubt. Do not use the i10 to learn car driving.
Electronic Power Steering – i10 has one of the best power steerings of all vehicles I have Test driven. The motor driven power steering [MDPS] gives you the ultimate handling experience esp. in crowded city traffic. But then, all of a sudden MDPS ceased to work. It started to feel like I’m driving the old Premier. How on earth can the MDPS stop working within 8 months? The service manager shook his shoulders off by saying that its a small loose connection but then he actually had to replace the whole system. MDPS cost a whopping 25 thousand INR but was covered under warranty. My sincere advice to all – Do buy the 2 year extended warranty, so effectively you get 2+2=4 years of tension free driving. Hyundai has promised to give monetary benefit as compensation. I will let you know once i get it.
Braking – No car will come to a sudden standstill once you hit the brakes and so is i10. Braking in i10 is not a concern in city limits and slow speeds. But, once you zip into the highway and cruising at over a 100kmph, that is when your heart starts pumping more than normal. With the weight of 4 adults and 100kmph i10′s brakes are a drawback. Perhaps the ABS version would be more secure. Its high time that Indian car makers make think that ABS and airbags are no more a comfort/luxury feature, its a necessity. i10′s braking like most recent cars is Power brakes which would mean that the brakes are ineffective when the engine is off. So, when you are in a slope, do not let the car to move without starting the engine or else you might end up bashing someone on the road!
Engine - 1.1L with 63ps? Just not enough. Load it up with four adults and whatever little luggage that fits in the small boot of the i10, this car struggles to climb the slopes. Seriously underpowered is what I can say. Switch on the AC to level 2 and the car barely moves up the slope. Hyundai, give me 1.3 atleast. Wonder how a 600cc Tata Nano would react to such hardships As far as average is concerned, I get 15 in city and 19 in highways with AC off most of the times.
Seating and Comfort – Hyundai wins here. The front seats are very comfortable with the side arm rests at the correct position. The small little gear just below the Dashboard is just at the right place. The rear is pretty spacious too and three medium sized people can easily sit back and enjoy. But, what was Hyundai thinking when they put the Pushback knob to the left of the Driver’s seat? Any child/infant sitting at the back has easy access to the knob and if by any chance the child plays a prank and pulls the knob, the driver is gonna sleep and sleep forever.
Handling and Speeds – Hit Plain roads and i10 is a gem. Smooth as butter is what I can say. The MDPS responds superbly even at high speeds negiotiating curves with atmost ease. MDPS is also handy in city condidtions where steep curves are needed to sneek in between buses With its small but spacious design handling in i10 is not at all a concern. I have reached a maximum of 140kmph and i10 has stayed rock stable. i10 has a pretty good ground clearance. So don’t slow down and jump off small hitches on the road
Finally, Wear the Seat belt. Happy and Safe driving