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Old 14th March 2011, 10:18   #1
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Default Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review

The Hyundai i10 has been launched in India at a price of between 4.19 - 5.26 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

• A well-rounded city hatchback
Best-in-class interior fit, finish and quality
• Refined 1.2L petrol is a sprightly performer. Variable valve timing tech too
• Light clutch, gearbox & steering. Incredibly easy to drive
• Hyundai’s excellent after-sales service quality

What you won’t:

• Unsettled ride on less-than-perfect roads. Rear (especially) gets bouncy
• Narrow width makes it a strict 4 seater. Unwelcome 5th adult
• Missing goodies (No climate control, alloy wheels, dead pedal or adjustable front neck restraints)
• Severely under-tyred. An upgrade to 175/70 R13 is highly recommended
• No diesel variant available yet. Most competitors offer the oil-burner option

Hyundai Grand i10 (2nd-gen i10 launched in 2013):

Review Link (Hyundai Grand i10 : Official Review)


Last edited by GTO : 16th September 2013 at 13:02.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:19   #2
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review





The i10 is to Hyundai what the Alto is to Maruti, the City to Honda or the Innova to Toyota; it's their bread and butter car. Not only does the i10 account for 50% of the company's sales, it is also the 2nd best selling car in India (Link to sales stats (February 2011 : Indian Car Sales Figures)). Simply put, Hyundai cannot afford to get the i10 wrong. Best sellers are usually neutral in nature. They excel in 1 or 2 areas, merely meet the requirements in others and have few, if any, deal breaking characteristics. The Hyundai i10 is no different and, as a neutral hatchback, does a little bit of everything, while excelling in interior quality & engine characteristics (more on that later).

The i10's clothes come from the "please all, offend none" school of design. While the car, overall, will not be winning any beauty contests too soon, Hyundai has done a better job with the i10's facelift than for the Verna. Although the response from many BHPians was that the older i10 looked better, I feel that the new i10 wears a more mature, grown up stance. The facelift also makes it look bigger than its predecessor. The facelift brought with it larger headlamps, the family grille, new bumpers and sharper rear lamps, among other oddities.

Fit and finish are good, and the paint quality is of tall order. On the flip side, open the door and the first thing that strikes you is that the i10 is very light. At 860 kgs, the i10 is amongst the lightest hatchbacks from this segment. The Maruti Ritz, a direct competitor, is a full 145 kilos heavier!

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Our test car - the top end i10 - is on the pricier side. While there is barely a Rs.10,000 difference between the 1.2 Asta and the Swift Zxi on paper, the Maruti is equipped with climate control & alloy wheels, which the Hyundai lacks.

Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review-pricedel.jpg

Hyundai equips the fully loaded i10 with dual airbags, ABS, gear-shift suggesting tool, keyless entry + foldable key, height adjustable driver's seat, 4 power windows, reverse parking sensors, steering mounted audio + phone controls, CD / MP3 System with 4 speakers & AUX / USB / Bluetooth compatibility, rear spoiler, rear wash & wipe and heated ORVMs. An Automatic transmission and sunroof are optional extras. Conspicuous by their absence are split-folding rear seats, climate control, alloy wheels, dead pedal and adjustable front neck restraints.







Similar dimensions to the Santro:


Larger, clear headlamps on the facelift:


The integrated fog lamps:


Sharper tail-lamps. Neat parking light cluster:


Hatch can only be opened from the outside (no boot release lever on the inside). Lift the logo, just like in the VW Polo:


Spoiler with the 3rd brake light looks nice:


Alloy wheels sorely missed. Wheel caps even on the top variant:


Seriously under-tyred (155/80 R13 rubber). Upgrade is a must for any informed owner:


Tight parking space? No sweat:





Last edited by Dippy : 20th March 2011 at 22:07. Reason: Correcting grammatical error
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:21   #3
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review



It’s the sheer interior quality where the i10 indisputably beats its competitors (especially those from the Maruti stable) hands down. Lets start with the well-crafted, leather wrapped steering wheel; it feels much better than even in some C segment sedans! Next in line to catch your eye is the uniquely mounted gear lever. Also leather-wrapped, the small gear knob fits nicely into your left hand and offers slick shifting quality. Of course, the lever's chrome effect (as well as that for the door handles) looks cheesy and out of place here.

Plastic & part quality is consistently good on the inside, while overall fit & finish are easily equivalent to cars from a segment (or two in some cases) above. Even the rear parcel tray's faux-wool cladding feels nice. The interior is now finished in dual-tone colors, with a darker brown dashboard and beige door panels. The old i10’s beige dashboard and its windscreen reflection problem are a thing of the past. However, the current design flavour is all about being sharp and edgy; in the midst of that, the i10's oval theme looks like yesterday. And the air-con knobs really look a decade too old too. Where is the climate control, Hyundai? Thanks to the generous greenhouse, the driver has superb all-round visibility. The steering is great to hold, the gear shift falls right into your hand and all crucial controls are within easy reach. With 16 different positions in the driver seat height adjustment, tall as well as short drivers are easily accommodated. The front seats with integrated headrests offer decent comfort, and thigh support is par for the course. The center console area curves outward towards the driver and the passenger. If you are tall, your knee will keep brushing against it while using the clutch pedal. The leather-wrapped handbrake is long and placed appropriately for ease of access. It's light to operate, much like the other driving controls (especially the clutch and gearshift). Why the i10 is also a hit with the women is obvious. The blue backlighting on the meters looks classy at night, while the XL size speedometer fonts are easy to read. Though the digital display (on the RHS) looks like a multi-information display, it's hardly one! Only a digital fuel gauge and two trip-meters are available. There is no outside temperature information, nor any data on instant / average fuel economy. Display visibility is poor under direct sunlight too. On the positive side, newbies will love the gearshift suggesting display. Of course, it's clearly tuned for economy and is very conservative with its upshift recommendations (redline lovers, make note). The clutch, brake and accelerator pedals are rather closely placed, especially for those with 9+ shoe sizes. No dead pedal either, although there is enough room to rest your foot to the left of the clutch.

As with most tallboy designs, headroom is generous and adds to the airy feeling. Though, at a width of 1595 mm, the i10 is strictly a 4-seater. The occasional 5th will feel unwelcome. Cabin space is marginally better than the Santro (both have an identical wheelbase of 2,380 mm) and rear legroom can be best termed as "sufficient" for passengers of medium height. It is in line with the other tallboy hatchbacks from the market. A tall passenger behind a tall front seat occupant will not be comfortable; don't even think of comparing the rear bench to the Figo, Indica or the erstwhile Getz. Once on the rear seat, you'll find the backrest recline angle to be comfortable while overall back & thigh support are decent. The rear neck restraints are soft and do a great job as comfortable headrests; they are height adjustable as well. The thin door arm rests work well, but only for the slim to medium sized forearms. The rear windows roll down completely, unlike in the Figo or Punto where the wheel arch obstructs the rolling path.

The i10 has a fair amount of storage space up at the front. Odd items can be placed in the storage spot right ahead of the gear lever. You'll find two cup holders around the handbrake area, along with two cubby holes (one ahead of, and one behind, the hand brake). The deep front door pockets run about a foot in length. Shockingly, storage space at the back is minimal. Nope, no door pockets here, and neither are there any seat back pockets. The only place for the rear passengers to tuck something away is in the cubbyhole placed behind the handbrake. The glove box is deep enough to accommodate two 500 ml bottles. Absence of bag hooks on the B-pillars or grab handles is surprising.

The 225 liter boot is about the average for this segment.

Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review-boot.jpg

The i10's basic air-conditioning does the job. Blower speed I is as you'd expect, but there isn’t that much of a difference when you move to speed II. Its blower speed III that you’ll really be using in the hot Indian summers. I didn't find the air-conditioner chilly, and would term the cooling efficiency as adequate on a hot day. Note that our test car did not have any sun film installed.

Superb leather-wrapped steering wheel. Big horn pad, but meek sounding horn (Stebel horns, anyone?). Audio controls to the left and telephone (Bluetooth) controls on the right:


Big, easy to read fonts. Digital display only has a fuel gauge and two trip-meters. Blue backlighting looks swell at night:


Gear change indicator asking us to shift up to 3rd. Suggestions are based on maximising fuel economy. Newbie drivers will like this feature:


OEM stereo quality is just like any other factory fitted system. CD / MP3 compatible with 4 speakers. We give it a 6/10 for sound quality as the stock speakers are too basic. Stereo is positioned higher up on the dash, hence you don’t need to take your eyes off the road...not for too long anyways. Note that only FAT formatted USB drives will work:


The very-welcome USB & AUX ports. About time other manufacturers start providing the same:


Rudimentary A/C knobs & switches. Good quality though:


Chrome tipped gear-knob. Tch Tch! Gear shift quality is amongst the best:


Comfortable front seats with sufficient thigh support:


16-step Driver seat height adjustment:


Comfortable for two passengers. Don't punish the third:


Soft, height adjustable neck restraints / head rests:


Limited space at the back with a tall front passenger:


Rear window rolls down completely. Nice:


Superb electric mirror adjustment knob. Outer ring controls the direction, whereas the central switch is to select the mirror. Electric mirrors are standard on the base 1.2 variant too!


Door pockets do the job. No bottle holders though:


Heated ORVMs could have been a size larger:


Lots of cubbyholes around the handbrake:


Decent sized glovebox. Could fit two 500ml bottles:


Closely placed pedals. No dead pedal, yet sufficient room to rest your foot on the left:


225 liters of boot space. About the average for the segment. Wide opening bay and practical layout:


Rear seat folds down 80% of the way. Unfortunately, they don't split in a 60:40 or 50:50 ratio:
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:22   #4
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review





The best part about the i10 facelift is the added technology; the DOHC 1.2L petrol now gets variable valve timing treatment, and is rated at 79 BHP @ 6000 rpm & 112 Nm of torque @ 4000 rpm (similar to the pre-facelift). The real difference is in the way the car drives, and the overall refinement levels. The older 1.2 Kappa’s Achilles heel was poor low end torque; the 1.2 VTVT vastly improves on that factor and you won't be complaining about driveability anymore. Torque delivery at low rpms, and within city driving conditions (where a typical i10 will spend 90% of its life), is satisfactory. You can even pull away smoothly from 10 kph in 2nd gear itself. I did not observe a single flat-spot in the entire rpm-range. Even on the highway, there is plenty of mid-range torque from 3,500 rpm to pull the car from double to triple digit speeds. The engine is surprisingly revv-happy, right up to its 6,700 rpm redline where the limiter kicks in. Refinement levels are excellent too. There is absolutely no noise or vibration at idle (nearly Chevrolet Beat like). The engine feels refined when high-revving, though it can get fairly vocal over 5,000 rpm. The new-found vigour of the Hyundai 1.2 engine, coupled with the light kerb weight, makes the i10 amongst the quickest hatchbacks on sale in India (power / weight = 92 BHP / tonne). Fact is, the i10 1.2 can give some 1.6 liter hatchbacks a run for their money.

The engine is only one side of the coin. What completes the picture is the super smooth 5-speed gearbox. This is definitely amongst the best gearboxes this side of 10 lakh rupees. Period. The short-throw gearlever has an extremely light, slick shifting action. The gates are well-defined as well. The first 3 ratios are tuned to aid driveability, while the tall 4th & 5th ratios are so obviously chosen for highway fuel economy. On steep ghat sections though, you are reminded of the engine's small capacity. For instance, on the old Mumbai – Lonavla ghat section, we had to make judicious use of the gearbox and keep the engine on the boil. Work the gearbox and you can easily manage quick highway progress. While engine & drivetrain refinement are satisfactory, we encountered significant tyre noise at speeds over 90 kph. The insulation around the wheel well area needs to be improved.

The i10's suspension hardware consists of an independent MacPherson strut layout at the front, and a torsion beam axle with coil spring rear. The front feels noticeably firmer than the softer rear. Ride quality is compliant enough when puttering about town. Not plush, but acceptable. On less than perfect roads however, the i10 gets bumpy. And yes, large potholes will send a loud thud (in feel & sound) to the inside. Road undulations taken at speed (say, on the highway) lead to noticeable bounciness (vertical movement) for rear passengers. The i10 feels most at home on cleanly paved roads, but you should take it easy on the broken patches.

The small turning radius of 4.7 meters is a boon within the city. This, coupled with the ultra-light controls and great all-round visibility, make the i10 effortless to drive within crowded urban confines. The i10 feels very agile and you can literally jump in and out of gaps within traffic. Out on the highway, the skinny 155/80 R13 tyres give up way before the suspension does. Simply put, for a power to weight ratio of 92 BHP / tonne, the i10 is severely under-tyred. The thinner footprint of the car might deliver on fuel efficiency numbers, but we highly recommend an upgrade to 175/70 R13 tyres. Other than the tyres, the car's behaviour is as expected for a hatchback. It's safe & predictable enough to suit the driving style of its target market. Being a tall boy, body roll is noticeable in fast sweeps & turns. The i10 is a family hatchback; keep that in mind, along with the taller stance, and you'll be alright. The EPS (Electric Power Steering) is light and accurate within the city. On the highway, it has a mind of its own and keeps providing artificial feedback, and center-back action, in a very annoying manner. For instance, in a straight line, the steering would firm up at 75 kph, and strangely would do the same thing while tackling corners at speeds as low as 40 kph. On the positive side, it sufficiently weighs up at an expressway cruising speed of 120 kph and doesn't feel nervous.

The brake pedal feels spongy, and takes some getting used to. There is no issue with the stopping capability as such, and braking distances are about the same as other hatchbacks. But it's the pedal feel that requires improvement. There is noticeable dead play in the pedal and sometimes, a harder push than expected is required.

Last edited by Stratos : 14th March 2011 at 15:18.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:23   #5
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review

Other Points:

- 5 year warranty available : Click here for more information (Indian Car Warranties : The best, the average and the worst!). Hyundai also offers 3 year “cashless” ownership programs : Click here for more information (Hyundai offers cashless ownership on Santro / i10. And rolls out 3,000,000 Indian car).

- India is the sole production & export hub of the i10.

- Addition of a diesel variant could shoot the i10 sales sky high. If priced right, of course.

- The only car below the Honda Jazz to feature Variable Valve Timing Tech. This engine, along with the Maruti 1.2 K series, makes everyone else's 1.2s (Tata, Ford, Chevy, Fiat) feel outdated.

- Steering rattle is a commonly reported problem by i10 owners : Click here for more information.

- Well-controlled NVH levels. Super silent drivetrain. Very refined car.

- Also available with the cheaper, 68 BHP 1.1L iRDE Santro engine.

- WRT the rubber upgrade, you could get 14 inch wheels & tyres too. However, that won't do anything for your ride comfort.

- The i10 AT is quite the convenient city commuter. Hyundai was the first to offer a 4 speed AT hatchback in the Indian market (at a time when Maruti only had 3-speed Automatics). The i10 AT is still the only 4 speed, 4 cylinder AT hatch in the Indian market (chief competitor, the A-Star, has a 3 cylinder engine), other than the i20.

- The Santro gets a proper dead pedal, but the more expensive i10 doesn't! Shocking.

- The li'l rubber bushings (on which the rear parcel shelf rests) are nicely made, unlike the flimsy, cheap ones of the Maruti Swift.

- As good as the Hyundai 1.2 VTVT is, the Maruti 1.2 K-series feels that much better at high rpms.

- Provision of two 12v power sockets, including one behind the handbrake (for rear passengers).

- The i10 scored 4 stars out of 5 in the Euro NCAP.

- You can retrofit a luggage lamp to the i10’s lower variants too. Thanks to Misquita's excellent post here : Click for more information (Snow I-te(n) and the five 'dwarfs' : Detailed review of my 2010 Hyundai i10 1.2).

- On the fully loaded i10, the doors unlock automatically in an accident.

- The boot lock / unlock is linked to the central locking system. When the doors are locked, so is the hatch (and vice versa).

- Senior Mod Mpower & Samurai's excellent i10 ownership reports can be found here (Hyundai i-10 VTVT Automatic) and here.

- Thanks to GTO for additional points and pictures.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:23   #6
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review

The Smaller yet Significant Things:

High quality flippy (foldable) key:


Surprisingly, no seat-belt height adjustment:


Pre-facelift i10's antenna was sleeker than this one:


Reverse parking sensors on the rear bumper. Total of 4 installed:


3-holed windshield washer nozzles are effective:


ORVMs have integrated turning lights, even on the base 1.2 variant:


Microphone for the Bluetooth located in the roof.


Exhaust pipe is neatly tucked away and is barely visible:


The front seat recline adjustment is nice to use. Can be adjusted by rear passengers as well:


Useful boot lamp:

Last edited by Stratos : 26th March 2011 at 16:57.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:51   #7
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review

Stratos, brilliant report, straight-forward and highly detailed. Great photographs too! Rating it a well-deserved 5 stars.

The older i10 was one of my top recommendations for a petrol city hatchback; the new one is a definitive step ahead. The engine is a jewel and an equal match to the Maruti 1.2 K series (these two are the absolute best petrol powerplants amongst hatchbacks). The engine, refinement and interior quality are areas where the i10 wins over customers. The gearshift is incredibly slick as well; I actually had a lot of fun piloting this nippy li'l hatchback. On the flip side, I found the ride quality jittery over some patches, but wouldn't consider it a deal breaker. Though, the Chevy Beat & new Wagon R have a more comfortable suspension over typically Indian roads. I found the fake steering feedback really weird when turning at speed.

Thanks for sharing this review with us. The i10 is an important car, and your thread will greatly help many members & guests.

Last edited by GTO : 14th March 2011 at 10:52.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:02   #8
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review

Finally, the first official Hyundai review, and a brilliant one at that. Rated 5 stars.
As an owner of santro which will near 1,00,000 kms soon, the overall quality is intact and the 1.2 kappa 2 VTVT in the i10 is an absolute blast to drive. But somehow I personally feel that the santro is a more consistent handler (hydraulic power steering?) and feels more rigid though overall space, ride and handling combo is better on the i10, and to top it all, packed with features (why no dead pedal which my car has?).

Now all the virtues make the i10 a strong seller and approx 15-16,000 cars are sold every month, despite the controversial price band. But will I upgrade from the santro XO to i10 1.2? No, just simply because its not exactly a quantum leap ahead for everyday use as an average commuter. Yes, the i10 has overtaken the santro in sales which is now positioned against the alto. But the i10 desperately needs that 1.1, 3 cylinder CRDi motor with 163 nm torque. If that car is made in India for export, why can't we get it? Granted there may be pricing issues, but for me, it would be a perfect car for Delhi driving conditions.

And I also hear about average AC and steering noise on the i10s, none of which has plagued my santro.
Will Hyundai do something about it ASAP?

Last edited by sidindica : 14th March 2011 at 11:03.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:05   #9
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review

I think this is the first official Hyundai review here
The pictures you taken are excellent and a very nice report too.
Have you got any chance to ask about the 'rattle issues' to the concerned persons.

Last edited by wildon : 14th March 2011 at 11:08.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:12   #10
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review

Nice review!

As you have mentioned, the rear spoiler is undoubtedly good but there's one thing I didn't like about it. The wire for the bulbs inside the spoiler are taken externally inside the car. So, as you open the hatch, you can see the exposed wire. (The i10 I saw this on was the mid-variant where the spoiler was fitted later so I'm not sure if this is the case with factory-fitted spoilers too).

I must add though, the centre console looks way too different in the top variant; it is quite the usual dull one in the low and mid-variant. This one looks nice!

The steering of this car is quite soft so that's nice. The tyres sure need an upsize.

About the key - is that only for the top-end model?

Having a Corsa, I know the pain of not having a button to open the hatch from inside. Wish they could do something about that.

Apart from this, i10 is sure one hot pancake!

PS : Just remembered, the way the windshield is, the visor comes almost on to your face. You cannot have a clear view if you unfold the visor so driving when the sun is completely on to you is a problem.

Last edited by Stratos : 26th March 2011 at 16:57. Reason: Corrected.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:14   #11
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
And I also hear about average AC and steering noise on the i10s, none of which has plagued my santro.
Will Hyundai do something about it ASAP?
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildon View Post
Have you got any chance to ask about the 'rattle issues' to the concerned persons.
The Air-conditioning in the i10 was above average. It provided a comfortable feel even with crystal clear glass (no tints) on our test car. So that suggests its above average but lacks the chill factor ofcourse.

I did read about the rattling issues from the steering, but we did not encounter any such noises during our test.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post

What is the emergency sun-roof winder?

About the key - is that only for the top-end model?
- The foldable key comes only with the top-end 1.2 Asta

Last edited by Stratos : 26th March 2011 at 16:58.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:19   #12
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review

Great review and awesome photographs. The first Hyundai review had to be special and this one really is.

PS: Could you let us know which camera/lens combination was used for these pics?
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:21   #13
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratos View Post
- The boot lock / unlock is linked to the central locking system. When the doors are locked, so is the hatch (and vice versa).
Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Having a Corsa, I know the pain of not having a button to open the hatch from inside. Wish they could do something about that.
If you unlock the doors ( Driver side or passenger side - in the case of i20) the boot also gets unlocked. so i don't think an additional boot release switch is required.

But in the case of an i20 a separate boot release switch is provided near the driver seat also in the foldable key fob too.
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:34   #14
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review

Thank you Stratos for an excellent review!

I must say all the points are well said and well covered. Cannot differ on any of the points except one!

Mine is a pre-face lift i10 bought in Nov 2008. I must say the AC is a chiller! Not sure about the AC in facelift version though

Regarding steering rattle, not many i10 owners have reported steering rattles(not as much as i20 owners). As for me, my car suffers from the same disease Steering rattle is very much persistent!

A note on fuel economy:
Driving the way it is expected to be, the pre facelift i10 should give about 14-15 kmpl on routine city drives which i believe is excellent. Can we expect more on the VTVT one?

A note on the gear shift indicator. It is pretty useful and intelligent i must say. I tried that on my father's i20. On flat road, generally at 2000 rpms it asks for an upshift. However, it doesnt advise so blindly! On ramps/elevations it waits for the car to have a more than satisfactory pulling capability before asking for an upshift, meaning even after 2500 rpms you may not expect an upshift if the climb is too steep.

Rated 5 stars! Kudos to you. Our Team-BHP database is more complete now!
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:58   #15
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Default Re: Hyundai i10 Kappa2 : Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildon View Post
If you unlock the doors ( Driver side or passenger side - in the case of i20) the boot also gets unlocked. so i don't think an additional boot release switch is required.

But in the case of an i20 a separate boot release switch is provided near the driver seat also in the foldable key fob too.
Wildon, I am not sure if there is a boot release switch in i20. Atleast I haven't noticed it in my Asta. There is only a fuel lid opener. If its really there, then I must stupid in not noticing it in my 15months of ownership.
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