Hyundai i10 Evolution | History of the Santro Successor

Hyundai i10 history in India

To be successful is not easy, to carry on the mantle is difficult on another level! Same is the case with the Hyundai i10. South Korean automaker’s first car in India, the Hyundai Santro is one of the most successful hatchbacks in the country. So, when Hyundai launched the i10, it had to at least replicate the success. And we all know how well it went! Let’s take a look at the journey of the BIG small car.

2007 – Hyundai i10 Launched In India

Before we look any further, let’s take a look at the dimensions of the BIG small car.


Specifications Hyundai i10
Length (mm) 3,565
Breadth (mm) 1,595
Height (mm) 1,550
Wheelbase (mm) 2,380

The main purpose of showing the dimensions in the first place is to show you how compact the car was. It is clear that the car was made to make the city drive easy. But, this not at all means that the Hyundai i10 was a compromise on space and comfort. The long wheelbase, especially for this segment, is what made the room inside the cabin. And this is not the end yet, the car came equipped with features like airbags, ABS with EBD, power windows, sunroof (yes! a sunroof in a hatchback) and much more. Hyundai never ceases to amaze with the plethora of features it can offer.

Hyundai i10 2007 – 1st Generation

Coming to the powertrain front, it had two engine options to offer, 1.1-litre I4 iRDe and 1.2-litre I4 Kappa. The 1.1-litre engine was capable of producing 65.7hp of power and a peak torque of 99Nm. The 1.2-litre Kappa engine is known to be one of the best in the segment. It was introduced in 2008. It had a power output of 78.9hp and a peak torque of 112Nm. One of the best things is, along with the 5-speed manual transmission, Hyundai offered a 4-speed automatic transmission too.

Hyundai i10, within a year of launch, won the “Car of the Year 2008” by Indian Car Of The Year (ICOTY). Shahrukh Khan also unveiled the Hyundai i10 Electric back in 2010 at the Auto Expo. Hyundai is yet to launch the EV.

2010 – First Gen – Facelift Hyundai i10 Launched!

Hyundai’s fluidic design was introduced in the second generation of the i10. The i10 became sleeker and stylish. Now, the i10 featured solid lines with optimum curves, making it one fo the most stylish hatchbacks in the country. The front grille and the air dam were now integrated into a single hexagonal fascia, giving the front a whole new look.

Click on the image!

Both the engine offerings were equipped with Hyundai’s Variable Timing Valve Train (VTVT) tech. Very few cars were equipped with this tech at that time. It had heated ORVMs, a feature that is missing in the majority of cars even in 2020. The second-generation Hyundai i10 is still one of the most feature-loaded hatchbacks in the country.

By 2012, over 3lakh units of Hyundai i10 were rolling on the roads. People were just loving the feature-loaded powerful hatchback.

2014 – The Second Generation Arrives!

The length decreased by 20mm, the height decreased by 30mm and the width increased by 55mm. This made the driving dynamics of the Hyundai i10 one of the most pleasurable among the segment due to the lowered centre of gravity. The wheelbase increased by 45mm, which meant more cabin space. You must remember the second generation by the name of Grand i10!

Hyundai Grand i10: 2014

The features offered: airbags, ABS, power windows, power steering, electric ORVMs, parking assist, keyless entry and start-stop and much more. The car scored a 4-star rating at the Euro NCAP crash testing.

And the best part is, along with the petrol engine, there was a diesel engine at the offer, for the first time. The 1.1-litre U2 CRDi produced 70hp of power and a peak torque of 160Nm. Such an engine in a small hatch, the sales skyrocketed.

2020 – BS6 Era Hyundai Grand i10

The BS6 era came, and the Hyundai i10’s 12-litre Kappa Petrol engine upgraded to meet the norms. It now produces 78.9hp of power and 113.7Nm of torque. The diesel engine was not able to make into the new era.

Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS

Hyundai also launched the Grand i10 NIOS with new design and a new engine at the offer. Along with the 1.2-litre Kappa and 1.2-litre CRDi, Hyundai has offered the 1.0-litre turbo GDi with the NIOS. This small turbocharged petrol engine can produce 98hp of power and a peak torque of 172Nm. You can just imagine the acceleration with such an engine in such a small car!

So, this is all about the history and the present of the Hyundai i10. The Hyundai i10 replaced Santro. But you can still buy Santro in India. Is it better than the rivals such as Maruti Suzuki Alto? What are your views about the hatchback? Let us know in the comments section below.

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