Hyundai i10 hatchback review
"The Hyundai i10 is a city car with as much space and equipment as many superminis, making it good value"
- Spacious city car
- Impressive tech
- Generous warranty
- Petrol only
- Scratchy interior plastics
- Sluggish automatic gearbox
The Hyundai i10 has been redeveloped from scratch for the third-gen model, and now blurs the lines between city car and supermini. The latest i10 is slightly larger than rivals like the Volkswagen up! and Citroen C1, and is now even more practical and sophisticated than before.
From outside, the increased length and width, along with a 20mm lower roof, make the i10 look noticeably more athletic. This is especially true when the car is fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels and a contrasting red or black roof, while sharper headlights and pronounced fog lights add some flair to the i10’s nose. Thanks to a new grille with integrated daytime running lights, a dual-tip exhaust and unique wheels, the N Line version is the most sporty and desirable.
Interior space was generous in the old i10 but now it's even better. Increasing the car’s length between the front and rear wheels by 40mm has given the i10 rear legroom that's on a par with some cars in the next class up. It feels light and airy inside too and there are full-size electric windows all-round. A new dashboard with a large eight-inch touchscreen gives the i10 the modern tech its target audience of young buyers craves. The 252-litre boot is the same size as it was but it’s still class-leading.Sadly, things under the bonnet aren't quite as advanced for most buyers. The 1.0 and 1.2-litre petrol engines have been carried over almost unchanged. There are rumours Hyundai is considering electrified versions, which makes sense when rivals such as the Fiat 500 incorporate mild-hybrid tech and others, including the Skoda Citigo iV, have gone electric-only. Until then, the existing engines still do a reasonable job, with standard stop/start and the i10's small size helping them return over 50mpg.
The upgraded engine in the i10 N Line is somewhat more modern, with a turbocharger giving it a peppy 100bhp. This isn't quite as much power as the Volkswagen up! GTI but it adds a welcome dose of power and excitement to the i10, which also gets well-judged suspension updates and has more standard kit than the VW.
The i10 feels grown up on the road too, with its longer wheelbase and improved steering helping the i10 feel stable at higher speeds. It's still nippy around town but only if you stick with the manual gearbox; we’d recommend avoiding the ponderous automatic.
Two more car-buying boxes are ticked by Hyundai's competitive five-year/unlimited mileage warranty and an impressive roster of standard safety kit, but the i10 could only manage a three-star Euro NCAP safety rating when it's tested. Our pick is the SE Connect trim, bringing enough technology to give the i10 its big-car feel. If your budget can stretch to the N Line, it's also sure to bring a smile to your face.