Hyundai i10 hatchback
Price £8,595 - £11,465
- Very comfortable
- Spacious interior
- Fun to drive
- Interior quality poor in places
- No diesel option
- Overly-sharp brakes
At a glance
"The new Hyundai i10 has what it takes to be the best city car on the market, thanks to stylish looks, a spacious interior and low running costs."
The Hyundai i10 is a model we rate extremely highly, so much so that it took Carbuyer's Car of the Year award in 2014. Nothing shows off the improvements that Hyundai has made to its cars in the past two decades better than the Hyundai i10. Just like the old models, it's competitively priced, but now gets a stylish and well-built cabin.
You get the choice of two petrol engines – both of which are cheap to run, although it's the 1.0-litre engine that is most frugal of all. It would be our pick, not just because of the cheap running cost, but also because of the characterful noise it makes.
Even though the i10 got a four-star rating when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP, unlike the five-star rating of arguably its three biggest rivals, it's only fair to point out that the other cars were tested before more stringent rules were introduced in 2014.
All i10 models get decent levels of equipment, for what is a cheap small car, but the basic S model does without air conditioning. That would tempt us to go for the next model up.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Efficient engine line-up means it’s cheap to run and tax
The i10 will appeal to people looking for a frugal city car thanks to its extremely low running costs. The basic 1.0-litre engine returns 60.1 mpg and emits just 108g/km of CO2, so road tax is £20 per year. Go for the Blue Drive model, which gets stop-start technology as standard, and economy improves to 65.7mpg, while road tax is free. Going for the 1.2-litre petrol engine buys you some extra performance, but it’s still capable of 57.6mpg and emissions of 114g/km for road tax of £30 per year. We would avoid the automatic gearbox if possible though because it causes higher CO2 emissions and worse fuel economy.
One of the best parts about buying the i10 is the five-year/100,000 mile warranty, which comes as standard with the car and means you’re covered for breakdowns. Hyundai will also sell you fixed-price servicing, with plans starting from just £349 for three-year/30,000 mile cover.
Engines, drive & performance
Surprisingly fun to drive, with capable engines and a smooth gearbox
Although in real terms no i10 is particularly fast, the model’s small dimensions make it feel nippy, particularly when threading through inner-city streets. The smaller engine is of course slower, and does require an element of anticipation when preparing to overtake or when tackling steep inclines. The 1.2-litre car is the better model to go for if it will be used regularly on the motorway.
We would advise against the automatic gearbox, which dents the i10’s performance, but the manual box offers smooth changes and makes the i10 more fun to drive. Excellent brakes and light steering complete the i10’s impressive city car attributes.
Interior & comfort
Comfortable, quiet and relaxing around town
The Hyundai may be small, but it’s pretty good for travelling long distances. Suspension that does a good job of soaking up the worst bumps in the road is most deserving of praise in this respect, but the interior is also well insulated from road and wind noise. Having said that, the i10 still doesn’t feel at its best at motorway speeds, and the lack of a sixth gear means the engine can get quite loud.
The i10 gets height and reach adjustment for the steering wheel, so getting comfortable behind the wheel should be simple.
Practicality & boot space
Spacious interior, class-leading boot and five doors make it a winner
With a class-leading boot and plenty of passenger space, the Hyundai i10 is roomy for such a small car. Space in the back was always going to be compromised by the car’s short length but two adults should fit on short journeys. Where the i10 gets a distinct advantage over rivals such as the Skoda Citigo is in its five-door only body shape, which means getting in the back will be easier than in a three-door rival.
Boot space is also better than you’ll get in the Skoda, although only by 1 litre, for a total capacity of 252 litres with the rear seats up, which extends to 1,046 litres with the handy 60:40 split-rear seats folded down.
All i10s get a decent-sized glovebox, cupholders and a USB plug in the dashboard, but only SE models and above get a height adjustable driver’s seat.
Reliability & safety
Tried and tested equipment and a lengthy warranty mean the i10 is solid
The Hyundai i10 didn’t feature in this year’s 2014 Driver Power survey and Hyundai dropped by four places in the manufacturers’ rankings, to finish in 18th place out of 33. Despite this result, the company was still praised for its cars’ excellent reliability and low running costs.
The i10’s engines are also brought over from the old model, so have been extensively tried and tested, and the car gets Hyundai’s five-year warranty plus breakdown cover that lasts for the same period.
The new i10 is one of the first cars to be tested under more stringent Euro NCAP rules, which helps to explain why it only got four stars rather than the five achieved by the Skoda Citigo in 2011. The i10 comes with six airbags, electronic stability control, and tyre-pressure warning buzzers.
Price, value for money & options
Competitively priced with a generous equipment list
Almost every aspect of the old i10 has been improved in the new car, but it is still great value for money and this is one of the main reasons it won our 2014 Car of the Year award.
The range starts from £8,345 for the entry-level S specification model. It comes with electric windows, central locking, a USB port and six airbags. Go for the SE model, though, and you get useful additions such as air-conditioning, rear electric windows, electric and heated door mirrors, and remote central locking. The top-spec premium model, meanwhile, gets a Bluetooth phone connection and voice recognition controls.
Hyundais still don’t hold their value as well as some mainstream manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, but should do better than cars from Peugeot, Vauxhall and Renault.