I have had the unpleasant experience of having a bootlid smack me in the head far too many times when I'm shooting out of the boot of a sedan. And that's why hatchbacks are ideal - their hydraulic struts keep the lid away from my head when on the move. That obviously made hatchbacks my default long-term cars and the Hyundai Grand i10 has been a very good one. I've been driving the Grand i10 for nearly a year now and besides the photo shoots it has also doubled up as my daily commuter for my 40km drive to office. By now, its features have spoilt me. Especially the keyless entry, electric ORVMs, reverse sensors, gear indicator etc. Hyundai set the benchmark so high, even for their entry level cars, that I find myself missing them in other, often more expensive machines. I'm already missing never having to take the key out of my pocket to get in and start my car.
The online community tends to be hard on the Grand because it comes with a three cylinder diesel engine but let me tell you, this little car isn't wanting for much. It was a joy on the highway when we went to Delhi for the Auto Expo earlier last year although I will admit that the engine can get a little loud and that road noise creeps into the cabin post 100kmph. It's also a very good city car, with enough torque on offer and good suspension to handle Mumbai's roads. I do wish the clutch was a little less springy. You can end up with a painful left leg if you're stuck in traffic for too long. Apart from this, I didn't have any issues with the Grand i10 and was very pleased with the consistent indicated 19kmpl it used to return in the city.
I regret that I couldn't return the car in good shape. The Grand collided with a milk tanker that also seemed to think it was a bus and had at least 15 people in its cabin. The driver didn't see me as we merged onto the highway. The Grand took some deep scrapes to the side and also lost her right wing mirror. Despite these battle scars, she served me well right till her last day with OVERDRIVE.
Total mileage: 29,200km, date acquired: Oct'13, this month mileage: 4,886km, fuel: 298 litres, efficiency: 18.9kmpl