Hyundai is extremely excited about the new i10. “It’s an ENORMOUS leap from the old one,” emoted the Korean company’s European boss Allan Rushforth.
This of course is just as well. If it wasn’t, we probably wouldn’t be talking about it here. But even amid all the Frankfurt Show razzle-dazzle, it shows up as a worthy and fairly cheery little car.
It’s a five-door, about the size of the Up and Panda. Hyundai is punchy about its claims. This i10 is measured as quieter than an Up, bigger in the boot than the Up, roomier than the Up, longer in its warranty than the Up, and higher quality than, er, the Up. See a theme here?
Having pored over it, we’re not quite convinced about the interior quality thing. The Hyundai is very nicely screwed together, true, but it doesn’t quite have the individuality to make it really desirable.
There are also big claims about quietness and ride comfort, with better engineering to support it. (Offset crankshaft in the engine, nearly 30 percent high-strength steel in the body, repositioned dampers in the suspension.) But the real test will be when we drive it. It comes with a three-cylinder 1.0 of 66bhp or a 1.25 four of 87bhp.
Still, we already know it’s packed with kit. You can even specify heated seats, part-leather, LEDs and climate control. Unsurprisingly this is going to edge the price up a bit when it comes to the UK in spring, but Hyundai reckons it’s earned it.
Remember, there are a lot of people out there who bought small Hyundais as their first new cars during the scrappage scheme. The challenge now is to keep these people loyal. A little known fact is that the five-year warranty is one very good tool for this, because it means owners must visit the dealer at least once a year for a check. And that’s when the dealer gets the chance to buttonhole them and tell ’em about the lovely new i10.