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Hyundai i10

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hyundai i10
8/10

Overall
verdict

City car that feels more grown up than its size would suggest. Hyundai has hit on a winner here.

Additional Info

  • Great build quality, fantastic refinement, styling
  • Top Gear wildcard

    MG3. The engine isn’t as nice, plastics are cheaper, it doesn’t come with a five-year warranty, but it is bigger than the i10, and drives better

  • Next steps

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What is it?

It’s Hyundai’s smallest offering in the UK, a little city car that has got plenty to live up to because we loved the last generation version. The new one comes on an all-new platform (no, it’s not a common chassis shared with the Kia Picanto), as well as sharper looks and a sweet new 1.0-litre engine. The old 1.2 motor is still available as well, but with slightly better economy figures now.

Driving

It’s all about quality here - the overriding impression you get from the i10 is one of refinement. This is a city car with a big car feel – wind noise is well-suppressed, the engine note is muted and there’s minimal tyre roar. It’s so good that you wouldn’t think twice about doing a long motorway journey in it. We really mean that.

There isn’t a diesel available in the i10, but the two petrols have got just about enough torque to make decent progress. Our choice would be the 1.0-litre, because the three-cylinder has got more character and feels no slower. One word of warning, though – both engines have long, fuel-saving fifth gears (doing it this way is cheaper than a six-speed gearbox...) so you’ll need to drop it down to fourth on long hills.

On the inside

This is where the Hyundai really impresses. The build quality is superb, and the clean layout and modern look is a world away from cliched Korean cars of 10 years ago. Even the leather on the steering wheel feels real now, unlike the shiny cheap stuff they used to use.

It’s also a practical car. Longer and wider than the last one, it’s no surprise that the internal volume is impressive. The boot’s a decent size, and four adults will easily manage long journeys in it. Just make sure they’re not too, um, big-boned, otherwise the lack of torque and the long fifth gear will make any uphill sections hard work.

There are a couple of equipment chinks. Hyundai is very conscious of costs at this level, so there’s no DAB radio option, and you need to be in a top-spec Premium model to get Bluetooth as standard. Otherwise it’s a £175 option.

Owning

Korean manufacturers pioneered the extended warranty and the i10 is no different – it comes with five-year coverage as standard (drive as much as you want in that time; there’s no mileage cap...). Both engines are pretty economical, too – the claimed figure on the 1.0-litre is 60.1mpg and the 1.2 is 57.6mpg – but neither comes with stop-start, so neither drops below 100g/km of CO2. For that, you’ll need to buy the Blue Drive model, which is £300 more expensive but manages 98g/km.

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Latest road tests

8/10 Hyundai i10 Driven
December 2013
7/10 Hyundai i10 1.2 Style
December 2008

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