City car or supermini? The latest third-generation Hyundai i10 is a noticeable step up from its predecessors, having been rebuilt from the ground up. It’s now slightly larger than before, straddling that fine line between a nippy and nimble city car and a rather more sophisticated supermini. It’s also noticeably more practical and better equipped than previous models.
Hyundai’s designers have looked at the original model and thought, we need a bit more of this. So they increased the width and the length of the i10, as well as lowering its roofline, in order to give it a sharper, more athletic look.
Redesigned headlights, which work in conjunction with a striking set of fog lights, give the car’s front end a distinctive presence on the road. Cars fitted with the optional 16-inch alloy wheels look even sportier, while the top-of-the-line N Line version is the most desirable.
Hyundai’s designers have looked at the original model and thought, we need a bit more of this.
What’s it like to drive?
Thanks to its lower and wider stance, the Hyundai i10 makes for a far better driving machine than before. The steering is weightier, giving you more feel when you’re pressing on along twisty country roads, while the suspension gives a surprisingly supple ride, even over rougher surfaces.
The i10 works just as well in town, its compact dimensions perfect for negotiating narrow urban streets and manoeuvring into the tightest of parking spaces. Thanks to its lightweight and peppy petrol engines, the i10 is a fun car to drive, and in the range-topping N Line form it becomes even sportier, with its 1.0-litre turbocharged engine and tuned suspension giving the Volkswagen up! GTI a run for its money.
Thanks to its lower and wider stance, the Hyundai i10 makes for a far better driving machine than before.
All versions of the Hyundai i10 benefit from a class-leading driving position, with good all-round visibility. The interior is comfortable and relatively well-appointed for a supermini. The steering wheel is height-adjustable, as is the supportive front driver’s seat. The textured black plastics and tactile switchgear lend the i10 a quality feel that can so often be missing from cars in this class.
Hyundai hasn’t skimped when it comes to packing the i10 with the latest gadgetry. Even in the basic SE spec, you’ll be treated to DAB radio, Bluetooth, air-conditioning, cruise control and a leather steering wheel and gear lever. SE Connect adds an 8-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a rear-view camera. Top-spec models feature wireless smartphone charging and built-in sat-nav.
Thanks to its bigger dimensions, the latest i10 has considerably more passenger space than before, especially in the rear compartment that will take a trio of reasonably-sized adults almost comfortably.
There’s plenty of storage space in the cabin too, with a large tray in front of the gear lever that’s the perfect place for your phone and wallet, and another above the glovebox. There are also door pockets that are actually useful and a couple of cup holders upfront for the early-morning coffee.
Boot space is the same as in previous models - impressive and class-leading with enough room for three carry-on suitcases or your weekly shopping. Should you need to carry more, the 60/40 split rear seats drop down at the touch of a button.
Running costs and reliability
Hyundai is well-known for making good, reliable cars – and we don’t expect the i10 to be any exception to this. Its available petrol engines – 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre – are largely the same as those used in previous generations and have proved themselves to be extremely dependable.
The i10 is very affordable to run, with the 1.0-litre engine delivering 56.5mpg and emissions of just 114g/km – in line with the competition. When you bear in mind the levels of equipment that come as standard, the i10 represents a lot of car for the money, with strong residual values just an added bonus.
What we love
We love the i10’s sharp sporty exterior and its impressive interior space. Here’s a city car that will take five adults in comfort. Very few of its rivals can make that claim. It’s perfect for small families living in town and has enough big-car refinement to take trips out of the urban jungle comfortably in its stride.
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The Hyundai i10 offers more room, more standard equipment and a better driving experience than most of its rivals. It offers impressive levels of safety as well, with even the entry-level 1.0-litre SEcoming equipped with lane keep assist and automatic emergency braking. As a small affordable package, the i10 is hard to beat.
This review was