Thursday, 23 April 2009

Driven: Hyundai i10

I felt a little rushed to word this piece together – that reminder of a phone call and all. Nevertheless, I believe all things happen for a reason and this may be a blessing in disguise for my excessive procrastination of late. Also, I shall be out of town for a hopefully nice drive and to attend an off-coast medical seminar. Honestly I am looking forward to more of the former, what with a rather iconic roadster.

It has been ages since I actually drove a micro-mini. That was when my then girlfriend – and subsequently my missus - had a Perodua Kancil 850EZ. It was a bumpy, shaky and buzzy little box of steel, rolling on four puny wheels. Imagine my enthusiasm when I picked up the Hyundai (aka Inokom) i10 from Hyundai Sime-Darby just last weekend. Nothing at fault with this Korean marque or its reputation, it’s just that I thought I had outgrown such sub-1000cc hatch for close to decade now.

Not knowing the exact engine capacity and the class it belonged to, I just drove it out of Malaysia’s Hyundai HQ in Glenmarie. The first thing that impressed me was the supportive, firmer than average seat with adequate (just) thigh support too! (Front seats better than the ‘T’ marque a few classes up). This little thing also rides with aplomb, with a damping and suspension rebound finesse that even puts the ever-popular Myvi to shame. Well, I must admit was getting hooked there and then. It even take to corners more planted than what you’d expect from a car of this class, with reasonably good feel and weight to the steering. My, how mini hatches have improved over the generations. In fact, this is actually Inokom Atos replacement model but the i10 is more akin to the one-size-up Getz in chassis & platform et al.

There is even a more appealing frontal visage that’s simply neat, cute and modern. What impressed me even more is the dashboard and the centre column mounted gear lever. While the dash may a little drab in monotonous grey, I absolutely like the triple layered execution with different textures materials. Albeit hard plastics, the end defect is far from bargain-basement or el-cheapo. Nice.

The i10 is also spacious for its dimunitive size. You can sit three abreast at the back and it is far from being a tight squeeze. Elbow room at the front is adequate even for my ‘petite’ built. On the go, the i10 feels more Conti-esque than Korean and that’s a good thing considering that some of the local and even Japanese marquees don’t convey such feedback, yet.

Hyundai’s 12-valve SOHC 4-pot engine here may be vocal when stretched and the i10 may be mostly left lane mover - especially if you have slowed down on the way up a gradient - but that’s to be expected from this1086cc lump worth a 66bhp and 99Nm combo. Overall, I find the i10 more convincing than any of the mini hatches from Perodua. Pity that the i10’s RM47k price tag will likely lead to early elimination from many potential buyers’ shortlist.

1 comment:

sandeep kumar said...

Hyundai i10 is an ultra spacious premium hatchback model that has the seating capacity of five passengers.The new Hyundai i10 is blessed with a luxurious features- and powerful engine.