First Drive

First Drive: Hyundai i10 N Line

The story:
Hyundai has added a top-spec N Line trim to its new i10 model that arrived at the beginning of 2020, offering a sportier look and more powerful engine
Category:City Car
Key rival:Kia Picanto
On sale:August 2020

The new Hyundai i10 city car arrived in the UK at the beginning of this year, and the brand has now expanded the line-up with a new N Line model, offering some sporting upgrades and the most powerful engine in the i10’s line-up.

Power comes from a 100hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, a step up from the 84hp 1.2 and 1.0-litre 67hp units available from launch.

Offered only in the N Line, the 100hp engine offers 123g/km of emissions and a combined WLTP fuel economy figure of 52.3mpg

First Drive-August 2020-Hyundai i10 N Line-Image 2The range-topper is more than simply bolting on a larger bumper, with a new grille, bespoke LED running lamps, dual chrome exhaust tips, rear LED lamps and red stripes across front and rear bumpers. On the inside there’s a significant improvement to the cabin courtesy of the red stitching across the cloth seats, red detailing on the air vents, new N-branded steering wheel and gear lever and rear privacy glass. The company has even altered the suspension for its sportiest i10 in an effort to increase its dynamic appeal.

The visual changes work well, though it’s questionable whether a sportier version is strictly necessary on such a boxy and upright practical city car as the i10. It’s certainly no sports car to drive, though the 100hp engine is perky enough for the mild sporting pretentions, and despite the upgrades, some of the untouched interior plastics still feel on the cheap side.

First Drive-August 2020-Hyundai i10 N Line-Image 6It’s a touch sportier than a regular i10, but the improvements don’t transform a safe and sensible city car into a hot hatch wannabe.

The N Line comes in a choice of four colours, with a further £500 two-tone option of different roof colour to increase the car’s stand-out nature as the top model within the i10 range, while the £1000 Tech Pack adds sat-nav, wireless charging and Hyundai’s BlueLink telematics system.

At £16,195 it’s certainly not a cheap city car, but the improvements to the looks inside and out give the N Line a lift that draws it apart from the rest of the range.

Paul barker

The verdict

A well-worked makeover adds a new dimension to the sensible i10, though there is a question as to how many people would be looking for a £16,000 Hyundai city car.