Monday, July 15, 2013

Used Car Review - Hyundai i10 (2008-2013)

This week, Myk Belmonte would be featuring a duo of Indian made hatchbacks, and first we have something from Hyundai on this page.

2008-Current Hyundai i10

Just like the Japanese, Indians have a soft spot for hatchbacks and sedans with a short length. This is because some of them are first time buyers (read: those who previously own a motorcycle) and their streets are narrow so buying one makes sense to them. One of the cars popular in the curry loving country is the Hyundai i10.

Using the code name Hyundai PA during development, it was launched in 2007 as a replacement to the Atos in some markets, the i10 targeted the Indian market due to their preference to those types of vehicles. All i10s (save for the ones made by Inkom for the Malaysian market) are made in Chennai, India for local and export consumption.

It was of great timing that the i10 was launched in 2008 when fuel prices went wild, and it was speculated that it will replace the Getz, but rumors are just rumors since the two complemented one another until its (Getz) 2011 discontinuation. Despite the discontinuation of the MT models with the introduction of the Eon, they were returned back months later. Variants made available include the base GL (no airbags, and in 2011 it was distinguished by its black bumpers and made do with rear manual windows) only available with the 1.1 and the volume seller GLS that can be configured with either engine.

Value and Costs
Nowadays, a second hand i10 in good condition can be had for between P240,000-P420,000. Just remember that in early vehicles manual models have airbags (a P40,000 option back then) while matics have a rear folding seat. Do check the model thoroughly if you are eying for these features.

Fuel economy for the manual is decent, but not to the level of the Suzuki Alto or Celerio while the auto gets a bit lower. So if you are concerned with fuel, go with the stickshift and give your legs some exercise. Parts aren't a pain with Korean specialist shops being an assistance to you.

Exterior and Interior
Small does not mean boring, as it has some lively cues like the smiling grille and the headlights styled upwards. One clever idea is the Hyundai badge that doubles as a handle to open the rear hatch, just like how Nissan did with the Exalta models whose key opener can be accessed through a flip of the Nissan badge. Steel rims come standard, so don't expect too much.

Hard plastics abound the interior but they are solidly built and not rejects from a toy factory. Finding your comfortable position behind the wheel is possible since the steering wheel can be adjusted and the shifter is located in the middle console, freeing space in the middle that is occupied by the parking brake and an ashtray (that can be detached). Space is good for four, but squeezing a fifth person is a violation of human rights. If all seats are up, only a few bags can be placed but fold it down and its good for your groceries. While the standard audio system is a conventional 1-DIN, controls for the aircon are blocked by the shifter but you won't be changing the settings all the time, which makes sense.

From launch, you get the sole option of the G4HG 1,086cc shared with the Picanto that carries 66hp at 5,550rpm and 99Nm at 2,800rpm. Added in 2009 and discontinued in 2012 is the 1,197cc from the Kappa engine family which has 75hp at 6,000rpm and 121Nm at 4,000rpm. While both engines are efficient, let's see how do they stack up in daily tasks. The 1.1 while it is disappointing at launch, it gets things going when at speed but it lacks flexibility and may not cope up on the highways. For more power, go with the 1.2 since it can give you more if you need it.

Driving Impressions
Despite the tall profile, the i10 feels solid even at speeds above the triple digit mark. Steering is light thanks to the electric power steering but understeer can occur when one corners fast. While other rivals transmit road bumps to their occupants, the i10's suspension absorbs it. Thanks to the wide windows and tall headroom, visibility is tops. Braking is OK, but lacks some biting ability since ABS brakes do not come in the equipment list.

For the less cash, you get more with the Hyundai i10. There are shortcomings present but if you really want a set of cheap wheels that does not dent the wallet, the i10 is one great pick.

The Good:
  • Small shell reveals big cabin
  • Affordable
  • Practical
The Bad: 
  • Not much safety kit
  • 1.1 engine lacks flexibility
  • Equipment discrepancy
The Pick: 1.2 GLS

Engines: 1,086cc G4HG and 1,197cc I4 gasoline
Power: 66hp @ 5,500rpm (1.1), 75hp @ 6,000rpm (1.2)
Torque: 99Nm @ 2,800rpm (1.1), 121Nm @ 4,000rpm (1.2)
Fuel Consumption: 10-14km/L (city), 12-15km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear rigid axle with torsion beam

Price (New): P500,000-P599,000
Price (Now): P240,000-P420,000
Rivals: Kia Picanto, Suzuki Celerio, Suzuki Alto, Chevrolet Spark, Chery QQ
On Sale: 2008-2013

Hyundai Quezon Avenue - (02) 374-3911
Hyundai E. Rodriguez - (02) 727-6396
Hyundai Pasig - (02) 672-3801

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