Hyundai i10 Review

Find out more about the Hyundai i10 in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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  • Pros
  • - Good equipment levels
  • - Lively engines
  • - Quiet and refined
  • Cons
  • - Not as good value as its predecessor
  • - Performance could be better
  • - Steering lacks feel
  • MPG
    47 - 60
  • CO2
    117 - 141 g/km
Model Review

 

The very first i10 was a hugely successful car for Hyundai, being launched at the same time as the government-backed scrappage scheme, which propped up new cars sales during the global financial crisis.

 

It was the car that was partly responsible for making Hyundai a household name, with the i10 going more-or-less overnight from an also-ran to one of the UK’s top 10 selling cars. All first generation i10s were built at Hyundai’s new Chennai plant in India.

 

The model had a facelift in 2010, and was replaced by the second-generation i10 in 2014, which this time was built in a factory in Turkey alongside the Indian plant.

 

The 2014 iteration was a larger, more mature car than its predecessor, yet it still offered great value for money in a compact city car package. The difference this time was that it offered a level of quality to match that offered by most European and Japanese brands.

 

A revised i10 appeared in the summer of 2018 as a facelift of the second-generation model.

Latest model

 

The 2018 facelift saw the i10 take on a new family look, with a drooping nose (or cascading front end, as Hyundai’s marketeers would like you to believe). The jury is out on whether the new look is an improvement or not, but along with the facelift came a number of other features that definitely brought the car more up to date.

 

These include a new dashboard layout, with an integrated touch screen that offers smartphone mirroring for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-enabled handsets.

Other features that bring the i10 up to date include LED daytime running lights, revised cabin upholstery and a raft of driver assistance safety features, such as a lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking.

 

The revised range has seen prices creep upwards and the i10 is no longer any cheaper than any of its rivals in the city car sector. Though good equipment levels and a decent warranty still make it an attractive option.

 

Value for money

 

There’s no denying that the entry price point of £9,895 for the i10 looks very attractive, but that gets you the 64bhp 1.0-litre S model, which is an extremely basic means of transport.

 

You’ll need to spend a further £1,300 to get the SE, which comes with a liveable level of standard equipment that won’t leave you feeling short changed every time you get behind the wheel. It’s an additional £2,500 to have an SE with the much better 1.2-litre engine, which is the best all-rounder and least compromised car in the i10 line-up.

 

Head further up the range and the Premium models are inarguably well-equipped, but the price you pay for such luxury is the same as you’d be spending on bigger models from rivals and also from Hyundai itself. There’s a sweet spot in every model range and unless you get a huge discount, the top-of-the-shop i10 Premium models aren’t it.

 

That said, all i10s have an impressive 100,000-mile or five-year warranty. Couple that to a 60-month finance package and it’s a good way of capping your monthly motoring costs with no nasty surprises, which is exactly what many i10 buyers are looking for.

 

Looks and image

 

The i10 doesn’t really say a huge amount about its driver other than they’re someone who is extremely practical and pragmatic in life. It’s not a car you buy for its dashing good looks, as it doesn’t have them.

 

Nor is it a car you buy to be different, because it isn’t.

 

But as a no-nonsense car that’s simple to own, cheap to run and easy to handle and park, the i10 is a perfectly acceptable urban companion. The 1.2 models are capable of making things work outside of the city limits, too.

 

In all other respects, the i10 is a car that’s largely inconspicuous, quietly getting on with the job that it does perfectly well without drawing attention to itself. That’s something that many people will like about it, which keeps costs, insurance, and risks down.

Space and practicality

 

No city car is going to be a paragon of practicality, but the good news about the i10 is that it’s a far better option than many, with five-door practicality and impressive leg room for passengers both front and rear.

 

Indeed, the rear legroom is among the best in class—four adults can travel in comfort, whilst parents of young children will find more room in the back of the i10 for a bulky car seat than they will in some of its most direct rivals.

 

You can squeeze five in at a push, but only if they’re extremely familiar with each other.

 

For the driver, things are a big improvement over the outgoing i10. Despite the car being much the same beneath the skin, the fascia is much more harmoniously integrated, with a far better quality touchscreen that doesn’t look like a glue-on iPad unlike some cars in its class. All of the major controls are clear and logically laid-out.

 

The boot space, meanwhile, is quite generous for such a small car at 252 litres.

 

Engines

 

Under the bonnet, you’ll find either a three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine or a 1.2-litre with an extra cylinder that develops quite a bit more power.

 

The 1.0-litre has been around since the original i10 came along over a decade ago and it’s a reliable enough unit, but it’s also not the most powerful, with just 64bhp on tap.

 

While the smaller engine held its own in the original i10’s lightweight city car, the unit struggles in the latest, heavier example— feeling gutless under acceleration and lacking in torque at motorway speeds. It’s adequate around town, and that’s where many an i10 will spend most of its time. But, if you tend to venture out onto the open road fairly frequently, then you should be looking at the 1.2-litre model instead.

 

The four-cylinder unit is shared with the i20, as well as cars from Hyundai’s sister brand, Kia, and is one of the most potent naturally-aspirated 1.2s in its class, with 85bhp.

 

The difference in power delivery between the 1.0 and the 1.2 is notable, as the car with larger engine feels much more peppy from a standstill and far more comfortable at the legal limit—for a little car it’s extremely composed at motorway speeds.

 

Things to look for

 

Overall, the i10 has an excellent reliability record through all of its iterations, particular in terms of mechanical reliability.

 

Some early cars have shown up early signs of body corrosion, so it’s worth checking this out if you find yourself looking at an i10 of any age on the second-hand market.

Rivals

 

There are some extremely competent rivals in the city car class, including from Hyundai’s sister company, Kia, whose Picanto has a lot in common with the i10. Other key competitors include the Citroen C1, Peugeot 108, Vauxhall Adam, Skoda Citigo, Volkswagen Up!, SEAT Mii and Renault Twingo.

 

Depreciation

 

With a relatively low starting price, depreciation for most city cars is fairly slow compared to larger models and the i10 is no exception. It should retain approximately 40-45 per cent of its value after three years, depending on model and engine. Higher spec ‘Premium’ models will depreciate more quickly, as used city car buyers tend to shop on price rather than specification.

 

Which i10 to Pick

Trims Explained

Trims explained

Entry-level S models come with most of the essentials but no air-con. However, they do get electric front windows, remote locking, USB and auxiliary inputs, an MP3-compatible CD player and split-folding rear seats.

SE is the most popular spec and also the one that makes the most sense, with air conditioning as standard, electric rear windows, cruise control and an upgraded four-speaker stereo with an MP3-compatible CD player, DAB digital radio and steering-wheel controls. You do have to edge further up the range to get the touch-screen though.

That appears first in the youth-oriented Go! SE model, which also gets privacy glass and gloss black body trim, along with a leather-covered steering wheel and gear knob

Summary

  1. 1. Refined and smart cabin
  2. 2. Good ride and handling
  3. 3. Overly light steering
  4. 4. 1.2 16v offers good performance
  5. 5. 1.0 three-cylinder engines struggle in latest model
  6. 6. Go! SE and Premium SE models have touchscreen and sat-nav as standard
  7. 7. Neatly integrated touchscreen
  8. 8. SE models offer the best balance of specification and value for money
  9. 9. All models get a five-year warranty as standard
  10. 10. Room for four adults to sit in comfort