Top Gear's big budget car track test
Stig hammers the Sandero, Citigo and i10 on a rallycross course. Will any survive?
Posted: 11 Jun 2014
It's doubtful that Stig is an aesthete, but, if he were, he'd agree that the Hyundai is the car here that tickles up the city-car thing best while dodging the one-foot-in-the-grave bullet. Back in 2011, the inaugural TG Nan Prix featured the previous i10, the Suzuki Alto, Chevrolet Spark and Renault Twingo - a quartet with barely an ounce of visual inspiration between them. With its oversized grille, daytime running lights and neat graphics, even a Shoreditch app designer might deem the latest i10 acceptable. (Besides, isn't Seoul the new Tokyo?).
Design isn't the only area in which huge progress has been made. Historically, my cheap-car criteria - mainly based on holiday-hire-car field research - has focused on a facility for handbrake turns and whether you can go from third to fourth gear without using the clutch. As Stig sets off in the Dacia, I try to keep up in the Skoda. A difficult prospect at the best of times, the Citigo's 59bhp triple is outpointed by the more powerful Sandero, although this is a reasonably fun little car to punt along.