The Grand i10 comes with the same 1.2-litre Kappa2 motor as the old i10. Producing 82bhp (3bhp more), it is however the least powerful in this group. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that performance is less than adequate; quite the opposite. Prod the throttle and the Grand i10 simply leaps forward. The motor is very responsive and has a solid tug from low engine speeds, which makes it ideal for city driving. In fact, so good is the pulling power and so strong the initial response to a tap on the throttle, that power delivery often feels a bit too sudden and that takes some getting used to. What this allows you to do quite effectively is use a much higher gear – so where you would otherwise use second gear, the Hyundai comfortably allows you to use third. So, you don’t need to change gears frequently, but if you want to, the crisp and quick gearbox is quite nice to use. This engine spins quite freely too, at least until you get to 5,000rpm. The i10 is very capable on the highway and the 0-100kph dash is executed in a quick 13.40 seconds.
The Brio is powered by a 1.2-litre i-VTEC engine. Making a very healthy 88bhp, it is more than 6bhp up on the Hyundai. Like other Honda motors we’ve experienced, it is free-revving and constantly urging you rev it for all it is worth. It makes the Brio feel light and agile to drive, and it displays a good turn of speed when you ask for some extra performance, even beyond 6,000rpm. However, it does lack some low-speed punch and takes a bit of time to get going. The slightly taller first, second and third gears also mean you have to downshift more often than in the Grand, and this means it doesn’t feel as peppy under normal driving conditions as the Hyundai.
The Swift is powered by the now familiar 1.2-litre K-series engine. Power at low engine speeds is better than the Brio and part-throttle responses are quite good. Like the Honda, it’s an engine that begs to be revved to give its best, so there’s more than adequate power on tap, be it in the city or on the highway. Where the Swift’s motor shines in particular is the smooth and silky manner in which it thrusts you forward. Where the others feel buzzy and raucous when revved, the Swift motor feels composed and refined.
On the fuel efficiency front the Brio is the most economical, managing 12.7kpl in the city and 17.4kpl on the highway. The Swift comes a close second with 12.6kpl and 17kpl for city and highway cycles respectively. The Grand i10 is the least efficient and returned 11.7kpl and 16.3kpl for city and highway. Continued..