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Old 17th July 2013, 22:47   #1
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Default My Hyundai i10 AT - The story, the car...

Date back 44 months and I purchased this (I give you Pista - My Tata Indica Vista).

The lease ended on my Vista and I decided that I wouldn't want to hang around with the car beyond the lease time. We (my wife and I - she is the expert with the finances) did some quick checks on the maintenance costs for the Tata and it didn't quite make sense to own it.

So then started the research on buying a new car. After umpteen calculations and miscalculations and excel sheets, we shortlisted quite a few cars. Among the shortlisted ones were Alto, Figo, i10, etc. We were mostly in the market for a hatch as we didn't want to burn our pockets too deep.

The wife was in favour of cars whose looks I absolutely loathed like the Beat for instance. We both did agree on cars like Alto, Figo which she liked a lot and I felt were good enough that I could be seen driving in one.

The research process all started when I goofed up the end of lease by mistaking it to be March, whereas it was actually in June. Due to this I had already contacted a few dealers and made TD appointments but the termination of the lease never came. Finally I realized that it was another 3-4 months away and I had to hold the sales advisers at bay.

There was again a lot of confusion about what kind of car to go for. My wife has always been this eco person and she wanted a Reva. She owned a Scooty electric and loved it, though it never loved her back and kept giving us troubles.

On the other hand, my parents suddenly came up with the thought that they wanted a car since they couldn't manage the heavy grocery shopping on the Activa.

I wanted a car, my wife wanted a car, my parents wanted a car. I don't own a farmhouse for heavens sake. I have one car park in my apartment, and I could rent another one out, but 3 was out of the question.

So we decided that wife would get her Reva and I would buy a car that both I and my parents could drive.

So here is my story about the different cars that I shortlisted and my TD experience with them

Alto VXi
My first car was an 800 and I am quite used to the interior space (or lack of it). This was going to blow up in my face after having driven the Indica for so long. The wife was all for this car but was asking me to think whether I could manage society's comments after having downgraded as compared to the Tata.

Anyway, I did decide to give it a shot and here is my opinion

The cost is of course unbeatable. The car is very sprightly and is rightly how everyone describes it - 'pocket rocket'. Awesome pickup and response, steering is very direct and is a pleasure to drive. The seating is low and comfortable and the lack of creature comforts really makes one focus on the car itself. I enjoyed driving this car and literally tore through the roads (safely) during my TD.

I would have gone for this car if it was my second car or a car for only me. But it was not right for my family. After I had adjusted the drivers seat for me, I just could not squeeze in to the seat behind. I can't have a family car when my family couldn't travel in it. Also the car was pretty light and driving over holes and faults on the road were jarring.

But I still needed a car my parents could drive, so what else?

The wife proposed the Beat, but it looks weird (no offense to owners), and I feel it is very cramped inside. So I was not interested at all.

Wife loved the looks of the Figo and I too liked it but the whole decision about a car for parents came out and probably the Figo would be too large a car for them to drive around. My dad has not been driving for 20-25 years now and I didn't not want to risk a largish car.

That was probably about time the new Reva hit the market with its mental price tag of around 7 lakhs ex-showroom. Insane to say the least. We also checked that the older Reva was being called in for exchange and no new cars were being produced. There popped that dream bubble.

We thought and thought about the Reva, or E2O as they now called it. We infact thought that Bangalore to would offer some subsidy like Delhi but that was never to be. The elections came and went and the new govt too did not care to show its eco friendly and consumer friendly face. Slowly the practicality of buying a Reva faded to the background and we went back to the drawing board about our next car.

That's when the Fiesta Classic caught my fancy.

Since the Reva dropped out of the radar, I could go for an affordable car for me and a second car for my parents.
I even toyed with the idea of a Mitsubishi Cedia Sports, but there was no TD car available and the cost did not make financial sense to win over my heart.

I was then pursuing the Fiesta very strongly. It ticked off almost all the boxes on my list and I had almost finalized on it even though I had had no TD of the car. The idea would be that I buy the Fiesta as my car and then get my parents a Nano or an 800 for their use.

Then things started taking a downturn. Wife suddenly brought up the topic of an automatic i10. I had promised her one some 2-3 years back as the next car so that she would be able to drive it. However the plan never materialized back then. Now that she brought it up, and the Reva plan did not work out, it only made sense that we think seriously about the i10 AT.

I had planned for a TD of the i10 and then I made my most fatal error ever. One that would haunt me for the days and years to come. I placed a request for a TD of the Polo GT and I got my request fulfilled within a day.

The VW Polo GT is one of the most brilliant cars that I had ever driven. The last time I experienced such a thrill on a car was when I drove the Swift some 6 years ago. I loved that car and it fit me like a glove. The Polo fit me like an inner glove. I was and still am completely in love with the car. However much I tried though, I never managed to convince the wife and finally I gave up on my dream car. I booked the i10 AT and started the leasing process in my office and last week I was the owner of a white i10.

I thought I would at least upgrade the tyres so that there was at least something to keep me happy, but even that was not to be. I started off dropping the alloys, and then I made a lot of plans to upgrade just the tyre to a 175 wide XM2+ and that too was shot down by home ministry and finally I got so fed up that I just took the car stock and brought it back home.

And that was how I landed up with an i10 AT. Watch the next post for pics and other first impressions.
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Old 17th July 2013, 22:49   #2
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Default Buying experience

I had to inquire at multiple places about the buy back offer for my previous car - Tata Vista, but the pickings were very slim. No one wanted to trade for a Tata petrol car.

Trident Hyundai was the lowest offering me a measly 1lac for the car, while Tata itself offered me nothing more than 1.3 lakhs. I used this as leverage with Trident and they offered me 1.15 lakhs as best price. Trident however were unwilling to give me exchange bonus citing funny company policies.

Maruti had never even got back to me with a quote after I showed the car to a Kalyani SA.

Finally I decided to give Advaith a shot and he evaluated the car to 1.5 lakhs and promised me a 20k exchange bonus and that's it, I was sold. I sent a booking confirmation without even waiting. This was too sweet a deal to miss.

The car came to around 5.16 lakhs ex-showroom which included some 6k corporate discount, and around 17k insurance cashback.

Within a week, the car was ready at the stockyard and I went over on a Wednesday to talk accessories. I wanted keyless entry as there was none on the Sportz variant. The wife wanted seat covers as the kid has dirtied the older car a lot.

So I decided to get this fitted at Advaith and I think they made a killing. The seat covers cost me Rs. 5750 and the Keyless cost Rs. 3500. I felt this was a little on the higher side, but I decided to go with OEM fittings. The seat covers came in just one color option - exactly the same colors as the interiors. Have to agree, it does look good on the car and doesn't spoil the interior looks. The keyless on the other hand is as heavy as a rock.

I then checked the tyre prices with the accessories guy. He offered a buy back of Rs. 1800 per tyre and around Rs. 5400 per new Michelin 175/70 XM2+. That was working to around Rs. 19000 for a set of 5. I decided to put it off for a while and checked with "Tyre Empire" after reaching home and they quoted Rs. 2000 per tyre buyback and the final deal worked to around Rs. 11000 for a set of 5 tyres. I committed to this and told Hyundai to go ahead with just the other accessories.

Of course, I had permission from Wife to install only upto Rs. 6000 worth of tyres in which case I would have had to go for 155 XM2s, but by this time I was so frustrated with the whole deal that I just wanted to pick up the damn car and leave it in my garage. So I cancelled the tyre upgrade completely.

Anway, the car came home on a Saturday as promised. The Advaith guys messed up Wifes name in their records - but since the car was wholly on the company's name, I did not car much for it. The last couple of months however, I have been straining at every polo passing by to see whether it was a GT.

I was serviced by around 4 different SAs at different points of the 2 weeks as always one would be there and the other not. However the experience was all very good and each SA took good care of me, wife and the kid.

It was fun to drive to Advaith in my Indica, and drive back home in a brand new i10. Easiest way ever to pick up a new car and get rid of the older one. :P

And that was the buying experience of the i10.

The moment I brought it home however something was amiss, the front driver side door wouldn't close properly and had to be forced shut. Also it would make a heavy rattling noise while closing. I had to survive a week with this and planned to take it for a check on Saturday. However a plan was made that we drive to Chennai on Saturday, so I took it to the nearby service center on Friday.

The service guys quickly checked and found the problem. They opened up the plastic cladding on the door and the translucent cover inside and found a few loose bolts and metal plates which they tightened. They also used some double sided tape to hold a vibrating wire in place. Still upon banging there seemed to be some noise, but after the cladding was replaced, the noise seemed to have disappeared, or at least gone to a bare minimum. But I am surprised how this happened. Was it a assembly problem, or did the accessories guys do something while fitting in the keyless.

Another interesting thing with the door was how the last door will not shut easily unless pushed or pulled completely close. I was going to report a fault to have it checked up when I realized that the last door wouldn't close because of the air trapped inside the car. When standing out and pushing it close, I could feel the air being pushed out from the sides of the car. When I opened another door, the door where I found the problem closed smoothly. Incidentally it looks like for some reason the rear left door is always the last to be closed in my car, no matter what. But, is this the way it should behave, or do you think there is still a problem?

Got the entire thing done and back in office in about 45 minutes. The service boys are however extremely reckless with the cars and I'd feel scared if I had to leave my car there for service when due. This is the Whitefield service station of Advaith near Graphite India signal that I am talking about.

A stark difference when I came in from the Tata was the quality of the switchgear. The power window switches, the levers etc was top notch. That has probably come to be expected of a hyundai, but I loved the feel. The turn indicator was a bit soft however, maybe I'll ask them to check it the next time.

Driving impressions coming up next.

Last edited by herculesksp : 17th July 2013 at 23:08.
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Old 17th July 2013, 22:53   #3
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Default Initial driving impressions

Of course, now that I had the car, I had to make my peace with it. The car is definitely great in the city. I love the feel of the leather gear knob and the leather wrapper steering wheel. The seat covers probably messed up the seat ergonomics, and I had to keep fidgeting around every 5 minutes with the car to get into an ideal position.

But all in all, I guess the car still has better ergonomics than the Indica. First impression was also that I was sitting much taller in the car than the Vista. At least I felt that way.

Driving the car over the next few days, I really tried to understand the AT and how the car rides and works the gears. It is very easy to control the gear shifts and all you need is a keen ear and sense of vibrations. I found I can preempt when the car is ready to up-shift and can feel it when it gets ready to downshift.

On the previous car I went on just 2 long drives over a matter of 4 years, however in the new car within a day of purchase, I drove it to the Airport for 100 kms and then drove to Chennai and back over the weekend. So that is 1000kms almost done already. Within the first 7 days.

The drive started off very eventfully to the senses as well. We had left home and were on the outer ring road when what do you think pulled in view of my rear-view mirror? A Polo with the GT badging. My dream car came in to taunt me just when I was out on my first drive that would have really let me enjoy the GT had I bought it. And when I hit the Hosur highway, my next choice blazed past me - a plaid and extremely fast Ecosport. Man that car has awesome road presence and looks very well planted at speed.

Anyway, the drive to Chennai was pretty nice and smooth. It would pull well when I plan an overtaking move, and each time I had to ease off and let it upshift in order to keep the revs within acceptable limits during the run-in period. The car did not feel strained until speeds of 100kmph, however when I moved just over 110, it felt strained and turned growly and harsh. It was as if it dropped into a lower gear at 110. However I don't think this could have happened as the RPM meter didn't flinch between 100 and 120. But 120 was the max I would take the i10 on the highways.

The car drove smooth, but it did feel very jumpy at unsettled at speeds. The car is definitely not very confidence inspiring and I was really straining to observe the road and traffic and clutching on to the steering after crossing 80 on the highways. Small grooves in the road or potholes would cause it to weave and the rear was thrown up violently on some occasions.

Also what I noticed was that the steering felt sort of 'sticky' and I don't mean this in a nice way. It was like there was a few degrees of dead zone around the centre point and the car would start responding only after I moved it past that. This meant I had to put in real effort and concentration while doing small lane changes or while pulling off close overtaking moves. This tended to drain quite some energy out of me.

The AC chilling was pretty strong and the passengers at the rear would start saying it is cold even before the driver's seat cooled down. I felt this quite funny.

Now that the long drive and initial ownership is past me, I will try to make my peace with the car. At least if the wife begins to use it and gets the confidence to drive, then the purpose for which it was bought will be served and I will feel a bit happy for having bought this car.

I still keep ogling at very Polo that I come across and strain to notice the GT badging on the C-pillar or the front grille. Maybe one day, I will get to own this beauty of a car.

The stereo is very good on the car. I wouldn't consider myself an audiophile, but I look equipment that gives good reproduction of sound. It works as long as it makes me enjoy the music that I love and I am able to hear all nuances. Of course, I am a bass person and like that little punch, without it being too boomy. Compared to the Tata, this one is a Bose. I played with the Bass/Mid/Treble and Powerbass and have a real nice balance on the car. The drive to Chennai was made all the more pleasant thanks to the music setup.

I am missing the front tweeters though. Though it was not great on the Tata, it did have some impact on the soundstage.

Finally I leave you with some pictures of the car. :-)
Attached Thumbnails
My Hyundai i10 AT - The story, the car...-car1.jpg  

My Hyundai i10 AT - The story, the car...-car2.jpg  

My Hyundai i10 AT - The story, the car...-car3.jpg  

My Hyundai i10 AT - The story, the car...-car4.jpg  

My Hyundai i10 AT - The story, the car...-car5.jpg  

My Hyundai i10 AT - The story, the car...-car6.jpg  

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Old 17th July 2013, 23:22   #4
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Thumbs up re: My Hyundai i10 AT - The story, the car...

After all the Hyundai i10 is not a bad car at all in the automatic iteration. It still has the best quality of interiors in this size of vehicle, much better than the A-Star. Micra CVT & Brio both are a tad wider and lengthier and have nearly identical engine power output to the i10. The A-Star gets a 1.0l 3 cylinder engine which is less powerful than the 1.2 units of the Brio,Micra or the i10. So i10 has the size of an A-Star with a bigger engine. So not a bad decision at all. Polo GT Tsi is a different league altogether. But IMO Hyundai has better service than VW. So enjoy your ride and don't regret.
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Old 18th July 2013, 07:40   #5
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Default re: My Hyundai i10 AT - The story, the car...

Enjoyed reading your report and congrats on the new car.
It is not that bad a car and till you manage to get your GT, you can enjoy this since it is an Auto box as well .
I am sure the auto tranny is a plus point in your buy and if it was me, I would try enjoying that not thinking of rest of the car.
I am an anti-Hyundai person only because of the measly handling of all their cars except for the old Getz and the new Elantra .
The tires , I think was something you should have done whatever it was. It makes a big difference in ride quality and comfort.

I liked the way you put down your interactions with the GT and how you finally gave up changing stock parts on your car.
That is like the car which I want so much too, but I need to work for it and at the end, the result is sweet. I suggest you keep that as your long term plan and go for it when you can and I am sure, prices may drop over time.
In the meantime, a new car is a new car in whichever way you look at it and from a Vista , it is a big step forward and I am sure you will make peace soon.

Regards

Last edited by tharian : 18th July 2013 at 07:45. Reason: typo
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Old 18th July 2013, 09:05   #6
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Default re: My Hyundai i10 AT - The story, the car...

Congrats on the choice. How were your comparisons and thought process on Brio/Micra AT versions compared to i10? With Micra coming in, the hatch AT space feels much better now with buyers having options to look across.

Congrats again.
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Old 18th July 2013, 10:22   #7
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Default

Thanks guys. Somehow the posts above seem to be a sort of rant, but it is not fully so.

Yes, I would have liked a Volvo S40 too for that matter, but the i10 is the best car that fit my and my family's needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Congrats on the choice. How were your comparisons and thought process on Brio/Micra AT versions compared to i10? With Micra coming in, the hatch AT space feels much better now with buyers having options to look across.

Congrats again.
The Brio is a great manual car. It is fun and has great driveability, but honey who shrunk the boot? This could definitely not be my primary car, so I never considered the Auto.

The Micra on the other hand was a lot more appealing choice. The car is spacious, though I am not particularly fond of the circular interiors. I did not go for this however since there was no launch date announced and I wanted a new car asap.

The i10 AT is really very driveable. The lower gears are short and the higher gears are tall, so you get the sudden burst of speed you need and also at highway speeds the car doesn't run out of breath.

It is a very peppy car but could still do with one additional gear.
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Old 18th July 2013, 23:18   #8
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Default A-factor

Nuts!!, I had typed so much and it all got deleted due to a Firefox crash. Let me try to reproduce all that I had put down. Grrrrr....

I have always been an advocate of Automatic gears. I believe they are more efficient than a human, and can really extract the best out of the car. Being a machine, obviously the AT can perform with high precision. It can shift exactly when needed, without delays, or flaws. It has minimal reaction time. It can keep the engine in the powerband to extract the best juice, or it can keep it in the economical zone for best mileage.

But all this is theory. Practically, ATs boxes are no fun to drive, they suck fuel and people in general hate it unless they are looking for an easy way out (than a bike) in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Practically ATs are guzzlers and mileage conscious buyers don't go within a mile of an AT car. This could be because of various reasons - like sub-optimal configuration of the shifter, mismatch between the engine and the gearbox, low number of gear ratios, or just driver not knowing how to use an AT gearbox.

One of the key things that is always in discussion is that an AT box is not fun to drive. I was grinning wide on the Polo DSG, but the i10 is not too bad either. Once you learn how to modulate the throttle you can control when the gear holds and when it shifts. Of course you cannot really redline it like a manual, but hey it does a decently good job that I am satisfied with.

The aspect of not having control while upshifting is really not a concern for me. This is what fun-to-drive translates to and this is what everyone complains indirectly about.

What I found matters to be is really the downshifting aspect. I am not in control of when the car decides to downshift. When I am taking a turn at a high speed I might lift my foot off the accelerator. The car has obviously started decelerating, and after a point the car decides that I am probably slowing down, so downshifts to the lower gear. When I step back on the pedal the car revs up and I have to quickly pulse the pedal to get the right gear selected.

Many times I've noticed this during instances when I am coasting that the car decides to change gear when it doesn't need to.

The difference in the first case is that the car holds a gear and I can urge it to change to a higher or lower gear by pushing down or pulsing the gas pedal. But when the car decides to change the gear when I am not expecting it to, then the problem occurs when I have to resort to tactics to coax it back into the gear.

Probably with practice this will come, but for me with an automatic, the problem is not with getting the car to keep high revs, but to get it to keep low to mid revs without shifting.

Meanwhile I leave you with a lit up interior shot of the car. It looks pretty nice when lit up, I must say.
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Old 18th July 2013, 23:47   #9
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Default re: My Hyundai i10 AT - The story, the car...

Quote:
Originally Posted by herculesksp View Post
The i10 AT is really very driveable. The lower gears are short and the higher gears are tall, so you get the sudden burst of speed you need and also at highway speeds the car doesn't run out of breath.

It is a very peppy car but could still do with one additional gear.
Thanks for the comments. Basically I wanted to understand the thought process between the AT hatches. I have the same views about Brio. Micra seems to bring quite many things to table. Hence I am interested.

As regards to i10, apart from FE it seems to be a perfect city car. I have it for more than 3 years and really like its AT utility. (I have the Kappa 1 vesion). Extremely satisfied.
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Old 7th August 2013, 00:40   #10
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Default Re: A-factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by herculesksp View Post
:
Practically ATs are guzzlers and mileage conscious buyers don't go within a mile of an AT car.
Thanks for the review, what is the current mileage you get both in the city and highway tankful method?
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Old 7th August 2013, 07:47   #11
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Default Re: A-factor

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Originally Posted by bharatbs View Post
Thanks for the review, what is the current mileage you get both in the city and highway tankful method?
It wouldn't be fair to put a mileage figure on the car yet since I just bought it. The first highway run at 500kms gave me an average of 13kmpl. But I'm waiting until after the first service to put a figure on the mileage.
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Old 7th August 2013, 08:21   #12
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Default Re: A-factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by herculesksp View Post
It wouldn't be fair to put a mileage figure on the car yet since I just bought it. The first highway run at 500kms gave me an average of 13kmpl. But I'm waiting until after the first service to put a figure on the mileage.
Thanks for sharing the experience herculesksp. I'm myself looking out for a small hatchback with a auto box mainly for family and city commute. Was comparing A Star, Brio and i10 versions. Veering towards A Star since that's the cheapest of the lot and being a second car, does not really want to doll out more than necessary. Did you look in the A Star also in your comparo?
Do share your long term experience also once you are done with some more driving.
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