Hyundai i10: car review

Posted on August 20th, 2014 by James Luckhurst

Practical, safe and a blast to drive.

Hyundai i10: car review

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What is it?

A four-door gem of a compact car that is perfect for city life but doesn’t compromise when it comes to longer journeys, comfort or refinement.

How safe is it?

The i10 was just awarded four stars in the latest Euro NCAP tests and offers many standard safety options, including six airbags as standard. So not too shabby.

Who should buy one?

If you are in the market for a very practical small car but don’t want to skip on refinement, equipment or the joy of driving, then the i10 is for you.

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
Hyundai i10: car review

It would be easy to scoff at someone who tells you that a 998cc, three-cylinder Hyundai is a blast to drive, but you’d way off the mark making that assumption. Yes it takes around 15 seconds to gets to 62mph but you’ll have a great time getting there. It’s light but stable and handles surprisingly well thanks to the well-balanced suspension and minimal body roll. You also get very responsive brakes and a sporty five-speed gearbox. Any complaints would be directed towards the loose feel in the steering that gives you the sense that the car is understeering at times, but the only other small cars that come close to this are the VAG threesome: consisting of the VW Up, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo.

The 1.0 litre engine is surprising sprite and very capable in any of the journeys we took it on. It’s perfect for the city but also performs very well on the motorway and has no issues cruising at motorway speeds and doesn’t let you down when overtaking. It also sounds pretty good – perhaps a little noisy at times but you get a nice growl from the tiny engine. It’s also refined and solidly built with very little wind noise at speed and not much road noise from its tiny 14-inch wheels. Its no sports car, but it isn’t meant to be and Hyundai should be congratulated on producing a car that puts joy into the experience of driving.

SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Hyundai i10: car review

For a small car, it certainly feels big inside. This is partially thanks to the ample headroom and anyone, even those well over six feet, will find it a very comfortable place to be and should find it easy to get into a comfortable position for driving. As well as a decent amount of space in the front for the driver and passenger, you can easily get two adults in the back, and the doors also open quite wide so you don’t have to shoehorn your friends in.

Boot space is limited as you would expect but is still a usable 252-litres and the 60/40 rear seats do fold down. There’s enough room for the shopping or for a couple of bags on a short trip, but you wouldn’t want to squeeze the family dog in. There are also lots of handy storage compartments throughout. Overall, and in the context of it being a city car, you couldn’t ask for much more in terms of space or practicality.

SAFETY
Hyundai i10: car review

The i10 was just awarded four stars in the recently released Euro NCAP test results and has a commendable amount of standard safety features. These include six airbags, anti-lock braking, a brake assist system that delivers extra power to the brakes in an emergency, electronic stability control, and a tyre pressure motoring system. You also get five years of worth of annual vehicle health checks.

EQUIPMENT
Hyundai i10: car review

This small car is fitted with many big car features and is extremely well equipped. For well under ten grand you get exterior items like remote central locking, body coloured door handles and mirrors, and a slick-looking rear spoiler with an integrated brake lights. Inside is air conditioning, electric front and rear windows, electric heated door mirrors and a basic but usable trip computer. More surprisingly, you’re also provided with USB and AUX connections and steering wheel controls. Not bad at all.
Should you want more, the Premium package will get you alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and gear knob, and Bluetooth connectivity.

COSTS
Hyundai i10: car review

For under £10k you get a quality build car with excellent levels of equipment. That is pretty aggressive pricing, especially when you throw in low insurance and tax costs. It’s relatively economical too but we were unable to come within 80% of the claimed 60.1mpg, reaching an average of the high 40’s over the week we had the car. Emissions are low at 108g/km but if you opt for the Blue Drive model this figure drops below 100g/km. Also worth a mention are the five-year unlimited mileage warranty and roadside assistance.

WE SAY

Practical, safe and a blast to drive.

AT A GLANCE:
Price: from £9,295
Performance: 0-62mph in 14.9 seconds
Economy: 60.1mpg combined
Insurance: Group 1
Tax: Band B £20