Hyundai is hellbent on targeting Maruti and is ramping up its product range at an aggressive pace — something which has never been seen before. After launching the Venue and taking the SUV sales crown, it is now setting its sights on the hatch space.
Its new weapon is the Grand i10 Nios — an all-new hatch (basically the new-generation Grand i10) that is placed bang in the middle of the current Grand i10 and the Elite i20. The current Grand i10 will not be discontinued so the question is, how different would the Nios be from the current Grand i10?
The Nios is much more aggressive to look at very extroverted and not restrained at all in appearance, like the Grand i10 is. The design language is edgy and bold. You cannot miss the DRLs on the edges of the grille, nor the shape of the headlamps. This shows the new side of this Korean giant. The design is more contemporary and stands out from the crowd. There is more sculpting around the sides and you also see that it has a floating roof effect.
Also, the Nios is longer and wider than the Grand i10. Crucially, the Nios sports a range of new colours and a set of 15-inch alloys, while the Grand i10 has 14-inch ones. No doubt the Nios is a step up in the design department. It looks more like a premium hatch.
Here, the jump in quality is even bigger. The earlier Grand i10 offered a big change in quality over its rivals. The Nios take it a notch higher. In fact, the quality is better than even the i20’s interiors.
There is a distinct European feel to the design and the AC vents and the steering wheel are taken from the Kona and Venue. Also, unlike the current Grand i10, the gear lever sits a bit lower. While the Santro has been panned for putting the window switches in the middle, the Nios is a big push towards the premium end adn gets conventional ones. The instrument cluster is part digital too and there is a bigger 8-inch touchscreen along. There is also the Bluelink tech with some additional features borrowed from the Venue.
The current Grand i10 set the benchmark in terms of features (such as rear ac vents). The Nios gets all these and much more. With a longer wheelbase, the Nios would be more spacious over the current Grand i10 and also have a much wider rear seat.
The Hyundai will debut its BS6 compliant engines in the form of the 1.2 petrol and diesel for the Nios. This is a first move, but we expect power figures to stay the same as compared to current Grand i10. But BS6 would mean that the mileage might be a bit lower or Hyundai might just tune it to offer more.
The current Grand i10 has a fuel sapping 4-speed torque converter automatic, but thankfully that is not the case with the Nios, as it has Hyundai's own AMT. However, unlike the Santro, the Nios will have an AMT on both the diesel and petrol engine options. AMT means it would be cheaper and crucially more fuel efficient —something which you cannot say about the Grand i10 Auto. We also expect crisper dynamics, this being the new-generation model.
The current Grand i10 starts at Rs 5.6 lakh while the i20 starts at Rs 6.2 lakh. We expect the Nios to start around the middle, from around Rs 5.9 lakh. This would make it good value for money and poised perfectly to take on the likes of the Swift. This also means that the current Grand i10 sales would be cannibalised as no doubt the Nios is just way better and worth waiting for. The new design and the new feature-laden interior looks set to disrupt its space, much like the Venue has done for its segment.