A small turbo petrol engine in a small city car – perhaps the Grand i10 Nios Turbo could be the fun Hyundai we have been waiting for. The last time we got something similarly sized was the Tiago JTP but that was short lived. The Grand i10 Nios Turbo is a lot more upmarket and a lot easier to live with. The only visual differentiator on the outside is the turbo badge on the grille and the bootlid.
Every generation of the i10 has taken the interior design and quality up a notch and the Grand i10 Nios has stayed true to the tradition. The Turbo gets all black interiors with red highlights and while it doesn’t have the visual appeal of the grey interiors and fantastic fabric seats of the regular Nios, it still feels good quality and has an interesting texture. The 8.0inch touch screen is slick though sound quality is quite average. The front seats aren’t the most supportive with built in headrests, but are easy to get on to and offers a high seating position. The rear seats are not wide for three, but have good headroom and a decent sized squab.
The 1L three cylinder engine is from the Aura, Venue and Verna. Unlike the Venue and Verna which have 120bhp, in the Nios Turbo it has 99bhp and 172Nm. The engine is very refined for a 3 cylinder but you can feel the vibrations through the steering wheel and the pedals. The turbo gets on boost from 1800rpm onwards. Though not as powerful as the VW 1.0TSI, it has a strong surge and you can keep up with or overtake fast moving vehicles quite easily. It is quite willing to rev and the powerband is really wide till about 6000rpm.
The Grand i10 Nios was never an accomplished car in the corners and the Turbo variant has the same suspension setup carried over. It is predictable, but the steering is light, the front end isn’t as grippy as we’d like and it understeers when you really push it. We recall driving the Aura, where the diesel variant with its heavier front end felt more planted than the turbo petrol. The Grand i10 Nios Turbo has the sporty engine but not the suspension to match it.
With its 100bhp turbo petrol engine, the Nios Turbo makes for a very good city car. Nippy enough to dart between traffic, the small size has an advantage in the city. The tall stance makes it easy car to get into and see out of while giving it plenty of room inside. The interiors are easily the best in class too.Wish it had the dynamics to match the engine