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Hyundai i10 review (2014 onwards)
Hyundai i10: summary
Hyundai is targeting the VW Up! with its 2014 i10, offering more space and refinement than before, as well as a new, grown-up look. Starting from £8,345 the result is a smart little city car that’s good to drive, efficient and nicely polished.
What: Hyundai i10
Where: Olbia, Sardinia
Date: October 2013
Price: from £8,345
Available: on sale January 2014
Key rivals: Fiat 500, Kia Picanto, SEAT Mii, Skoda Citigo, Toyota Aygo, Volkswagen Up!
We like: sweet 1.0-litre engine, ride quality, interior space and practicality
We don’t like: infotainment system, some harder plastics
Hyundai i10: first impressions
You only need glance at the new 2014 Hyundai i10 to know it’s a vast improvement on its predecessor. The Korean firm has employed its Fluidic Sculpture design language to create a crisp-looking city car for the second iteration i10 – and it’s worked.
The 1.0 three-cylinder engine is smooth and willing
Scrutinise the details and the i10 stands up, too. The interior is modern, funky and ergonomic (more on that later), and the growth of the car’s dimensions means it feels larger on the inside than its footprint would suggest.
To top it off, Hyundai has carried over the previous i10’s £8,345 starting price, meaning it represents decent value for money. But, there’s an elephant in the room in the form of the VW Group’s trio of city cars: the SEAT Mii, Skoda Citigo and VW Up!.
The question is, then, does the Hyundai stack up in terms of quality?
Hyundai i10: performance
Three engine variants will be available in the UK – a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol making 66hp, a more efficient Blue Drive version of this engine, and an 87hp, 1.2-litre four-cylinder. We sampled both the regular 1.0 and 1.2 on the launch.
The three-cylinder is the one to have, in our book. It’s smooth, surprisingly willing to rev and makes a fairly refined and nicely muted growl.
The i10 is most notable for its quiet and refined ride
It pulls harder than its 66hp output suggests, thanks to a useful 69lb ft of torque produced right in the middle of the rev range, at 3,500rpm. This means 62mph comes up in 14.9 seconds, although it’s at town speeds, between 0 and 30mph where the engine performs best.
The 1.2 isn’t as characterful and produces a drone when revved. It feels more reluctant to pull than the three-pot, too, but delivers adequate performance, accelerating from 0-62mph in 12.3 seconds.
Neither of the units is particularly suited to long, high-speed cruising, but then again the i10 is a city car and for the odd journey owners might make on the motorway, they’re both perfectly fine.
Both engines are mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Light of action and with a longish throw, it’s easy to use but also feels nicely positive when working the lever – it even includes carbonfibre in its construction for greater durability, apparently.
Hyundai i10: ride and handling
The new Hyundai i10 rides extremely well, with a very grown-up, refined feeling to the way it smooths out ruffled ground.
Boot space stands at a roomy 252 litres
But it’s also up for a laugh and can be driven harder without wilting at the first sign of a gradual bend.
There’s not much feel from the steering, but it is easy to judge how much lock you need (helps with manoeuvring, too), and although it does roll a bit, there are surprisingly high reserves of grip to call upon.
The i10 is most notable for its quiet ride, though. It was very comfortable indeed over some scarred Sardinian roads, with the suspension filtering out harsh bumps effectively.
Hyundai i10: interior
The impressive levels of refinement continue inside the cabin – it really is quiet on the move. In fact, Hyundai claims the new car is up to 6dB quieter inside than its key rivals, and we can believe it.
The i10 Blue Drive offers 65.7mpg with 98g/km CO2
Little wind or tyre noise is transmitted through to the passenger compartment, which unfortunately means there is a touch more engine roar present. It’s not so bad with the three-cylinder, but the not-so musical four does grate a bit.
Quality is good, and although the dash and door cards are made of harder plastic, it’s not shiny and scratchy. Ergonomics are nice, as is some of the detailing, while the switchgear feels solid – pretty much what we’ve come to expect from Hyundai’s new range of vehicles.
There’s plenty of space, too. The boot stands at a roomy 252 litres – that’s one litre larger than an Up! – and rises to an impressive 1,046 litres with the rear seats folded. There’s room for five in the back, too.
If we have one criticism of the 2014 Hyundai i10’s cabin, it woud centre on the infotainment system.
In a world of SEAT Miis and Skoda Citigos complete with colour touchscreen sat-nav systems, the simple dot matrix display on the Hyundai is a disappointment – especially when a third-party unit could be so easily integrated.
Hyundai i10: economy and safety
The new i10 is competitively efficient, with the 1.2 returning 57.6mpg combined and emitting 114g/km CO2. It’s the 1.0-litre again that shines brightest here, though.
The standard version will return 61.4mpg combined with 108g/km CO2, while the same unit in Hyundai’s eco-focused ‘Blue Drive’ spec offers 65.7mpg with 98g/km CO2, meaning free road tax.
Safety is improved over the outgoing car, with new features such as a tyre pressure monitoring system fitted as standard across all models. There’s electronic stability control, too, and six airbags.
The body shell is said to be stronger to help protect passengers better in a crash, but the i10’s nose is also softer and more deformable, offering improved pedestrian impact safety.
Hyundai i10: the MSN Cars verdict
The 2014 Hyundai i10 is a vast improvement on the old car. In fact, when it comes to refinement it’s better than a Volkswagen Up! Arguably the segment leader, it equals that car on performance and efficiency, and just pips it when practicality is taken into account. The new Hyundai i10 is a very good car indeed.
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