Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS Turbo – Click above for high resolution image gallery

Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS Turbo Review

Car Tested: Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS Sportz 1.0 Turbo GDi; Road Test No. 1224; Test Location: Mumbai

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 8,95,661/-

By offering the infamous Turbo GDi motor, Hyundai has made the attractive and feature-loaded Grand i10 NIOS a fun hatch

Hyundai introduced the Grand i10 NIOS with 1.2-litre petrol and diesel engines in 2019. The hatchback also got the choice of an AMT with both these engines. The Korean automaker has been plonking turbocharged petrol engines in most of their cars. The Aura, which is a compact sedan based on the NIOS also got the 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine from the company’s line-up and it was expected that even the NIOS will get the same engine, and here it is!

The Turbo engine is only offered on the Sportz variant and it gets a dual-tone colour theme

Exteriors – The turbo petrol engine is offered on only one variant of the Grand i10 NIOS, the Sportz variant. Apart from the Turbo badging at the rear and the dual-tone colour theme, there aren’t any cosmetic changes in this hatchback. The NIOS’ design comes across as pleasant without being too in-your-face. Since this is the Sportz trim, it misses out on a rear wiper but does get projector headlamps with LED DRLs and even alloy wheels. The NIOS gets 175/60/15 tyres.

The feature-loaded cabin feels well built and offers a good amount of practicality and comfort

Interiors – The Grand i10 NIOS Sportz gets a decent amount of kit such as a touchscreen infotainment system, reverse camera, wireless charging, automatic climate control, electric ORVMs, steering-mounted controls, dual front airbags and ABS. It does miss out on a few niceties like keyless-go with push-button start. Also, the rear seat gets fixed headrests instead of the adjustable ones found on the Asta variant. The front seat continues with the same non-adjustable headrests. The quality inside the cabin is quite good for a car of this segment and space management has been done cleverly too. The front seats feel a bit compact for well-built people though. The black cabin gets some red accents on the AC vents, AC controls and even on the seats.

After the initial turbo lag, the motor delivers a strong surge of power

Performance – Under the hood is the same 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder engine as the Verna, Venue and Sonet. While those cars get a 120 PS tune, the NIOS turbo makes 100 PS at 6000 RPM and 172 Nm at 1500 RPM just like the Aura. The NIOS gets a 5-speed manual transmission only while the Venue gets either a 6-speed MT or 7-speed DCT. So how is the performance? Most people buy the NIOS because it is easy to drive and is compact in size. It is a good car for driving from Point A to Point B and the turbo variant makes that drive a lot more exciting.

The Grand i10 NIOS is decently frugal too

The turbocharged petrol motor offers punchy performance making daily drives a lot more fun and involving

The car idles at 900 RPM, there is some lag till 1500 RPM, post which the torque surge is really felt and from 1700 RPM, the car just flies. Acceleration is brilliant, so much torque in such a small car does result in some torque steer but the turbo variant to the NIOS is like a human being with an energy drink. The drive experience becomes quite engaging with the manner all the power is dished out.

Grand i10 NIOS Turbo vs Polo TSI

While the NIOS Turbo offers brilliant performance, the fuel efficiency is decent too. Expect 12-14 km/l which is just fine for a 100 PS hatchback. The gearbox has slick throws and the clutch is also very light. You can have a look at the VBOX numbers of the NIOS Turbo vis a vis the Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI. The Polo is a bit quicker but the NIOS is no slouch either.

While ride quality is decent, the vague steering response leaves a lot to be desired

Driving Dynamics – The ride quality is acceptable; it is fine at low speeds but poor road surfaces make their presence felt in the cabin. At high speeds, the ride gets a bit bouncy and there is some vertical movement that can be felt. The steering, though light at city speeds, isn’t feedback rich. A well-weighted steering would have just added to the driving pleasure. The NIOS gets 175 section tyres which are fine for commuting but if you tend to push the car hard, you’ll find them inadequate. I reckon the turbo variant should have got chunkier tyres.

If you enjoy driving and want something fun yet practical, the Turbo variant is a great choice

Verdict – The Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS offers incredible performance and if you would ask me, this engine would be my personal choice out of all the three engines offered with this hatchback. The performance is too good and this turbocharged powerplant has transformed the NIOS from a fuss-free city car to a fun-to-drive hatchback and I think it is a great option for people who seek thrills and yet want to play it safe. Yes, the handling isn’t as good as the Polo’s but the NIOS Turbo is almost Rs. 50,000/- cheaper (on-road).

Slightly wider tyres would have been better but that would have come at the cost of fuel efficiency

What’s Cool

  • Pleasant design and compact dimensions
  • Feature-loaded cabin with good quality materials
  • Turbo petrol mill offers fun performance

What’s Not So Cool

  • Steering lacks feel and feedback
  • Non-adjustable headrests at the front and rear

Alternatives – Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI, Ford Figo, Maruti Swift, Maruti Ignis

While the Asta trim gets adjustable rear headrests, the Sportz trim gets all fixed headrests

Further Reading –

Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS Turbo Video Review

Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS Review

Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS Video Review