Hyundai i10 review
The Hyundai i10 brings sharper-than-ever looks to the city car party along with a healthy amount of standard safety kit and a practical boot. Shame about the sluggish entry-level model though.
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The Hyundai i10 is a stylish city car with good interior space that’s easy to thread about town. It’s not short of alternatives, mind – cars like the Volkswagen Up, Toyota Aygo and Kia Picanto.
The i10 is sportier to look at than those cars, though, even if it’s dinky dimensions mean it’d be more at home on a Scalextric track than Silverstone. Still… it’s good enough to pick up the Best Small Car award in the 2021 carwow Car of the Year Awards.
Even the old i10 looked a bit edgier than other super-small hatchbacks, but this new version goes further with a set of pointed headlights and a pinched grille that look more like they belong on a dinky hot hatch than a cost-cutting city car. High-spec models even come with a sporty-looking (but entirely fake) rear diffuser, while the sporty N Line version has various tweaks including N Line badging, chrome exhaust tips and red pinstripe highlights.
The Hyundai i10’s cabin makes a good first impression, too. You get some cool textured trims on the doors and the air vents look like Hyundai’s engineers found them in a box marked ‘Mercedes’.
The infotainment system’s pretty easy-on-the-eye too, and it’s mostly pretty simple to use. The built-in sat-nav system is a bit clunky, but you’ll probably just connect your phone and use its maps instead.
There isn’t much you can do about all the scratchy plastics on the Hyundai i10’s dashboard and doors, however, but then most small cars feel pretty hard inside and at least the i10’s textured trims give you something to file your nails on while you’re stuck at a set of traffic lights. Again, N Line models feature sporty tweaks, such as an N-branded steering wheel and gearlever, plus red stitching on the seats, rear privacy glass and a black headlining.
You might struggle to give your hair-do a once over at the same time if you’re very tall, but there’s enough space for six-footers in the front and just enough space behind for equally tall passengers to get comfy – on short trips at least. There’s enough room for a weekly shop in the boot, too, and it’s all fairly easy to load.
Go for the turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol in N-Line trim – it looks and feels the sportiest. Head to our deals page for the best prices!
Speaking of shopping, the Hyundai i10 feels right at home pottering around town. Its dinky dimensions and light controls mean it’s easy to squeeze through tight gaps and into narrow parking spaces and the large windows give you a really clear view out. However, even small SUVs such as the Hyundai Kona will loom menacingly over the tiny i10.
The entry-level car with its 67hp engine feels especially swamped in traffic – you’ll be much better off going for a 1.2-litre four-cylinder or turbocharged 1.0-litre model instead.
These 84hp and 100hp models let you take in the odd dual-carriageway or motorway trip without feeling like a Dachshund trying to keep up with a pack of greyhounds. Once up to speed, the Hyundai i10 is pretty quiet for such a small car and you get loads of clever safety tech to keep you safe, including lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking.
The N Line version features a 100hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine, which gives the i10 a pretty spirited turn of pace.
Sure, the suspension is a little on the firm side, but the i10 will soak up potholes and manhole covers fairly well and its slick gearshift and confidence-inspiring steering make it surprisingly fun to drive on a twisty road. The N Line has even firmer suspension setting for even quicker, more entertaining responses.
That said, you won’t be having much fun in the entry-level 67hp model, but go for one of the i10’s perkier engines and you’ll have a great all-round city car that’s practical enough to live with, comes with a decent amount of equipment and is even pretty good fun to drive.
See how much you can save on your next new car by heading over to our Hyundai deals page