If you are looking for an easy-to-drive urban hatchback, the new Hyundai Grand i10 Nios is an option worth considering. The Nios builds on the strengths of the original Grand i10 and offers even more, in a sophisticated package. Buyers also have plenty of options of versions to go for, with the Nios available with petrol and diesel engines, each offered with manual and AMT auto gearboxes. Add in the trims and variants, and it can be quite daunting to zero in on the right Nios for you. We break it down to help you find the best version for your needs.
What are the engines on offer?
It may seem like the Grand i10 Nios carries the forward the first-gen model’s motors as they are the same 83hp/114Nm, 1.2-litre petrol and 75hp/190Nm, 1.2-litre diesel. However, the former is now BS6-compliant (the latter will be upgraded before April 2020). Both engines get a 5-speed manual gearbox and a 5-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) as options, and both motors are more than adequate for urban use, but do feel a bit underpowered for the highway – our review indicated that the switch to BS6 seemed to have sapped some of the 1.2 petrol engine’s pep, requiring more frequent downshifts. The AMT gearbox is smooth-shifting, but the typical ‘head-nod’ on shifts is noticeable.
ARAI-rated fuel efficiencies for the powertrain options are as follows – the petrol-manual delivers 20.7kpl, the petrol-AMT is rated at 20.5kpl, while the diesel in manual and automatic form has a figure of 26.2kpl.
What are the variants on offer?
While there are a total of four variants to choose from, the petrol-AMT and diesel-AMT aren’t offered in all trims. The petrol-AMT is on offer in the lower-spec Magna and the mid-spec Sportz, while the diesel- AMT is solely on offer with the Sportz variant.
The base Era variant (Rs 4.99 lakh) is exclusive to the petrol-manual and is equipped with safety kit such as dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and rear parking sensors. Features and creature comforts on the inside are limited to a dual-tone interior, manual AC, front power windows, a power outlet at the front and a tachometer.
The Magna variant (Rs 5.84-6.70 lakh) is available with petrol-manual, petrol-AMT and diesel-manual options, and adds a decent amount of features like central locking with keyless entry, follow-me-home headlamps, LED daytime running lights, wheel covers for the 14-inch steel wheels, 2-DIN audio system with AM/FM, USB and Bluetooth, steering-mounted audio controls, front and rear speakers, tilt-adjustable steering wheel, rear AC vents, rear power windows, power adjustable ORVMs (the AMT version gets power folding wing mirrors with integrated turn signals too), driver seat height adjust, front USB port, rear power outlet and the iBlue audio remote app.
Next in the Nios range is the well-equipped Sportz variant (Rs 6.38-7.85 lakh), which is on offer with petrol-manual, petrol-AMT and diesel-AMT options. The Sportz petrol-manual is also the only variant to get a dual-tone exterior colour option for an additional Rs 30,000. The Nios, in Sportz trim, also gets safety kit such as front fog lamps, a rear parking camera and a rear defogger, along with features such as 14-inch alloys with gunmetal finish, roof rails, shark-fin antenna, 5.3-inch part-digital multi-information display, 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and voice recognition, Arkamys sound system, automatic climate control and a cooled glove box. The dual-tone and AMT versions are also differentiated by their kit – the latter adds projector headlights, while the former gets 15-inch alloys, all-black interiors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and wireless charging.
The top-spec Nios Asta (Rs 7.14-7.99 lakh) is only available in petrol-manual and diesel-manual options and adds a push-button start/stop system, adjustable rear headrests, a rear wiper and a luggage lamp to the Sportz Dual Tone’s equipment list.
Which is the variant to buy?
Hyundai is one among the few carmakers that’s set to continue with its small diesel engine in the BS6 era. While that should give confidence to buyers, the i10 Nios diesels only make sense for buyers who routinely cover large distances. Of the two gearbox options, we’d stick with the manual. Do note, if you are looking for a good highway cruiser, the Grand i10 Nios isn’t the best car for you.
Typical urban buyers will do just fine with the petrols. The petrol’s 5-speed manual is light and easy to use. The 5-speed AMT isn’t perfect but buyers looking for an added dose of convenience will find a good buy in the Nios petrol-AMT. It’s a pity that Hyundai doesn’t offer the petrol-AMT in top-spec Asta form. But even as is, the Nios petrol-AMT in Sportz trim is a car that you’ll be happy with.