First Drive

First Drive: Hyundai i10

The story:
Hyundai has replaced its i10 baby hatch with an all-new model offering better tech, efficiency and a grown-up driving experience
Category:City car
Key rival:Kia Picanto
Hyundai i10 1.2 MPi 84hp Premium
On sale:Now

The sales of city cars are on the wane as people flock to SUVs, which makes it harder for firms to make a profit from them. Buyers want the latest tech and luxury kit, plus better refinement, but still want to pay city car prices, and the numbers don’t add up for many.

However, Hyundai still sees a benefit in the segment, so has come up with this, the all-new i10. Admittedly the car tested is the range-topping Premium spec, but it’s fair to say that Hyundai has flung everything at it. Heated seats? Oh yes. Four electric windows? Easy peasy. Reversing camera? Nice. Heated steering wheel? Wait, what? Yup, it has a heated wheel, plus automatic lights with high-beam assist. Lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist are both present, too. And all that’s before you get to the colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are executive cars that don’t have all this stuff.

It looks modern and grown-up, while space is good, too, with plenty of room for the front-seat occupants, and reasonable space for adults behind them, as long as those up front are prepared to make a little compromise on legroom. The 252-litre boot is handy, too. It’s just a shame that the steering adjusts for height only.First Drive-March 2020-Hyundai i10-Image 3

The 1.2-litre engine is reasonably smooth and quiet in its in-town comfort zone, but feels a bit short of get-up-and-go just when you need it on faster roads. Having said that, it also offers an average of 54.3mpg and emissions of 104g/km, putting it in the 25% Benefit-in-Kind band. However, if you buy your i10 after April 6, it’ll sit in the 24% BiK band. Still, the gear lever is slick to shift, so keeping the engine in its sweet spot is easy.

The steering, meanwhile, is light and accurate in town, if a little too light on faster roads, although the firm-ish suspension keeps the body under control on corners and roundabouts.

However, as we said, people want to pay city car prices, and here’s the rub. This i10 has a P11d of £14,790, which some might baulk at, though lesser models start from £12,495.

euan doig

The verdict

Genuinely nice to drive and with decent space plus an enormous amount of standard equipment, but top-spec car looks a touch pricey.