Johannesburg - Hyundai quietly added a new cut-price 1-litre version of its Grand i10 in December last year, but waited until now to formally announce it because it was still formulating the rest of the plan - which was to rejig and add value to the rest of the range.

In what is evidently one of the first signs of motor industry value adding on the back of a stronger rand, Hyundai is now bringing in a Grand i10 1.0 Motion at R149 900, while the 1.2-litre models have undergone a significant spec enhancement for a minimal price increase.

In fact, the new Grand i10 1.0 Motion comes in at R5000 less than the previous-generation i10 1.1 Motion, which after enjoying an extended life as an entry model will now be discontinued completely. 

The 1.0 Motion doesn’t skimp on equipment, with standard air conditioning, front electric windows, audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, multi-function steering wheel, height-adjustable driver’s seat, dual front airbags and ABS brakes.

The previous entry-level model, the 1.25 Motion has been discontinued, but the better-specced 1.25 Fluid derivative (which previously cost R202 900) has been repositioned and now sells for just R3000 more than the previous Motion (R189 900 versus R186 900) and there’s also a 1.0 Fluid, priced at R169 900, to fill the gap below that.

Over and above what the Motion offers, Fluid models add a touchscreen infotainment system, keyless entry, electric mirrors, rear electric windows, alloy wheels and a two-year/30 000km service plan. An SD card for navigation can be added for an additional R2500.

At the top of the range, Hyundai has added a 1.25 Glide derivative, which for exactly the same price as the previous Fluid - R202 900 in case you weren’t concentrating - treats you to fancier alloys, rear park assist, new LED daytime running lights as well as black and red partial leather seat upholstery with matching red trim on the dashboard.

Yet the 1.0 Motion is the one that’s looking set to fly off the showroom floors the fastest, at least if January’s sales figures are anything to go by - where the entry model alone accounted for 636 of the 1134 Grand i10s sold. But does it have the power to cope with fast-paced South African driving conditions, particularly at altitude?

Its outputs of just 48kW and 94Nm don’t sound particularly promising, and unfortunately the three-cylinder model was not available to test drive on Thursday’s launch event in Gauteng - although we are trying to secure one for a road test.

We did however get a 150km spin in the 1.2-litre four-cylinder Glide, which produces 64kW and 120Nm. This one offers decent performance by class standards, and we were also impressed by its general refinement and noise insulation, as well as its rock-solid build quality. The ride was a touch firm, but by no means uncomfortable.

While we can’t tell you how adequately the 1.0 Motion performs in the real world, on paper it does appear to offer excellent value, particularly considering what a solid product it is and not forgetting that seven-year/200 000km mechanical warranty.

That said, Hyundai would do well to consider bringing back the 1.25 Motion - within the lower model-year-2018 pricing scheme it would certainly hit the sweet spot in the range - although it would mean taking flak from existing customers that bought at the higher price..

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Hyundai Grand i10 prices

1.0 Motion 48kW/94Nm R149 900
1.0 Motion Auto 48kW/94Nm R169 900
1.0 Fluid 48kW/94Nm R169 900
1.2 Fluid 64kW/120Nm R189 900
1.2 Fluid Auto 64kW/120Nm R206 900
1.2 Glide 64kW/120Nm R202 900

Grand i10 pricing versus rivals

Hyundai i10 1.0 Motion 48kW/94Nm R149 900
Kia Picanto 1.0 Street 49kW/95Nm R152 995
Honda Brio 1.5 Trend 65kW/190Nm R159 300
Nissan Micra Active 1.2 Visia 56kW/104Nm R159 900
Toyota Etios 1.5 Xi 66kW/132Nm R165 500
Renault Sandero 0.9T Expression 66kW/135Nm R169 900
Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL 63kW/113Nm R172 900
Toyota Etios 1.5 Sprint 66kW/132Nm R174 300
Kia Picanto 1.2 Style 61kW/122Nm R179 495
Fiat Panda 0.9T Easy 63kW/145Nm R184 900
VW Move Up 1.0 55kW/95Nm R185 800
Ford Figo 1.5 Trend 82kW/136Nm R187 900
Hyundai i10 1.2 Fluid 64kW/120Nm R189 900
Kia Picanto 1.2 Smart 61kW/122Nm R199 495
Hyundai Grand i10 1.2 Glide 64kW/120Nm R202 900
Ford Figo 1.5 Titanium 82kW/136Nm R205 900

* Note that the Volkswagen Polo Vivo has been omitted from this list as it is due to be replaced later in February.

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