Outsiders Perspective: What's So Grand About You?

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Ladies and Gentlemen, what you see above these words is the current Hyundai I10. A small hatchback that’s not sold in the United States because nobody in their right mind would buy one Stateside. As usual for a modern Hyundai it’s very well screwed together, very economical, and not terribly exciting to drive. It’s at least competent though, and has quite a lot going for it.
And even better than that, this is not a Hyundai I10 this is the Grand I10. So circling back to answer the question asked in the title… not a damn thing.

You see, the Hyundai I10 is sold as the Grand I10 in developing markets to make space for a couple of vehicles. One of them is the horrid little Hyundai EON, a cheap cheap cheap car whose only selling argument is how very cheap it is, and it’s supposed to compete with the likes of the Suzuki Celeiro (Nissan Pixo/Suzuki Alto elsewhere) for the coveted “I’m as broke as a 1930 stockbroker but I have to get a new car” market. Cheap plastics and sub 1.0-liter displacements are the norm here. Having said that you can order a very racy 998-cc EON with 68 raging horses at your disposal. The other vehicle is this…
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That’s the old Hyundai I10, the Stig’s personal car if some people are to be believed. It’s really the latest in a proud tradition in developing markets to introduce the new model with a slightly inflated price to get a cash boost while keeping the old model around for the people that can’t afford the current one. I’m sure that people that buy the old I10 will be perfectly pleased with it. It’s not like they have particularly high expectations to begin with, but I can’t help but feel that they’re being screwed over and denied the advantages of a half-decade or so of new technology and developments. Hyundai is not the only one to do it. Mitsubishi sold the current Lancer as the Lancer EX for a couple of years while keeping the previous model around. Same thing with the Nativa (Montero Sport).
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Chevrolet? Well you can buy a Spark Lite, which is the previous generation spark imported from Vietnam or you can spend more money and get a Spark N300. This is, of course, not counting the many re-skinned and rebadged old models they’re (in)famous for in Latin America. Again, the average buyer suffers no more detriment that he would if he had chosen to buy their car a year earlier but for someone that knows a little more about the market, it smells of wallet-padding nonsense.
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There has only been one case that I can recall where using these silly price-upping names that has made sense and it’s from the brand with which I started this article. Hyundai decided to get rid of the Hyundai Veracruz name when redesigning their crossovers and have its replacement fold into the Santa Fe name. So the real Santa Fe replacement was branded Santa Fe Sport and the Veracruz replacement was simply the Santa Fe. Not so here, instead of confusing everyone selling the new model as the Grand Santa Fe sport, they stopped sales of the old model and ditched the “Sport” moniker, which doesn’t fool anyone anyway. The seven passenger was simply renamed the Grand Santa Fe. And that one actually has an extended wheelbase and two additional seats to back up the “Grand” bit on its badge.

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  1. dukeisduke Avatar

    If you were cross-shopping a TATA Nano, this would seem pretty grand.

  2. crank_case Avatar

    The current i10s not bad as small cars go, it’s eh…grand.

  3. zardoz711 Avatar

    What’s the point of this article aside from
    “Manufacturers Sell Shit Cars In Developing Countries”?

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      To give you an… outsiders perspective … on different markets

  4. danleym Avatar

    I drove an i10 rental while on vacation in Iceland. I found absolutely nothing redeeming about it. It was purely awful. A lot of small cars can still be fun, easy to toss around, somewhat quick (or at least it makes you feel like it’s quick). The i10 was none of those. The suspension made me worry about putting any kind of lateral Gs on it, it had zero quickness to it, it just plain wasn’t fun. It did it’s job, which was to get me from point A to point B without breaking and with some level of comfort (the heater did it’s job well). That’s all I can say for it.
    On the same trip, while in the U.K., my cheapest available rental was a Fiat 500. Now that was a fun, cheap car. I thoroughly enjoyed my time driving the Fiat. But not the i10.

  5. quattrovalvole Avatar

    Hyundai seems to have a knack for doing this. For the past 2 generations, the Accent has been sold as the Grand Avega in Indonesia.
    Also, let’s not forget the grandest Hyundai of all… (side note: this is called the Hyundai Grandeur outside of North America)

  6. rustylink Avatar

    Ha,I was in Barbados last week and rented a Spark “Lite” – a buzzy, no frills, basic 4 seater POS. Drove it for a week (with a slusher) got good mpgs and was pretty competent for a car that never had to go past 80 kph. It came in handy when I went to a street festival and parking was limited – I put that little sob in to one of the tightest spaces left on the street with room to spare…but I digress – I would never own one..

  7. HighLineSpecial Avatar

    The picture in this article is of a i10. The Grand i10 is a separate model whit a 10cm/4inch longer wheelbase. The Grand i10 is literally grander than the regular i10 and is sold in Asia and South America AND is available as a sedan…

  8. Hellkitty Avatar

    What’s the point of this article?

  9. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    chevrolet is also (in)famous for “many re-skinned and rebadged old models” in the USA, so we understand that.