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Car trim reviews

Hyundai i10 SE

'The Hyundai i10 SE comes with some beneficial creature comforts."

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The Hyundai i10 SE is placed towards the middle of the trim range, as it includes some beneficial extra equipment over the entry-level S version. The SE features air conditioning, front and rear electric windows, cruise control and a height adjustable drivers seat.

Choosing the SE model instead of the basic S trim also expands your choice of engines. Along with a 65bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine, you can also choose from an 85bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine. The smaller engine has a better fuel economy figure and has a distinctive engine noise too. The larger 1.2-litre engine is more than two seconds faster to 62mph, only marginally less fuel efficient and only around £500 more expensive than the smaller engine, though, so the choice is tight. It also helps to transform the i10's driving behaviour on longer distances, as the engine is more comfortable doing motorway cruises. If you do choose the 1.2-litre engine, though, try to avoid the automatic gearbox unless you really need it. It feels like it's sapping power from the engine, which isn't helpful when the car has less than 100bhp anyway.

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Although the i10 has many rivals, few can match it for its value for money, comfortable ride and spacious interior. The i10 saw off rivals like the Kia Picanto, Skoda Citigo and the Renault Twingo to win our 2015 Best City Car award, after winning our prestigious Car of the Year award in 2014.

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Even though the i10 is about low-cost motoring, we'd add the Connectivity Pack. It equips Bluetooth with voice controls, steering wheel controls and four speakers (instead of the standard two) to the car, for only £175.

Good points

Considering the i10 is a very small car, it has a deceptively spacious interior. It can fit four adults with ease, has a few storage spaces for your odds and ends and it has a class-leading boot.In SE trim, the i10 comes with some valuable creature comforts, but still keeps the price low. The cheapest SE version can still be had for under £10,000, which means it remains competitive against its rivals.The i10 is a great little car to drive. It may have slightly firm suspension, but the trade-off is perky handling and loads of grip. The car's accurate setup means it's easy to dart through traffic, while parking is a breeze.

Bad points

Although the i10's running costs are pretty low anyway, the lack of a more frugal diesel engine in the range seems like a missed opportunity for the little hatchback.Interior space may be good, but tall adults can struggle for headroom in the rear and three passengers will find it a tight squeeze.Some of the interior plastics are little coarse and scratchy, which dampens the appeal of the i10's interior quality. You should learn to expect that for a car priced around £10,000, though.

What you get

  • Folding rear seats
  • Tyre pressure sensors
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player
  • AUX stereo input
  • Cruise control
  • Rear electric windows

Recommended optional extras

  • Connectivity Pack

Our choice

To keep costs as low as possible, the 1.0-litre petrol engine will be the better choice. In fact, a 1.0-litre SE is our pick of the entire i10 range.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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