£8,995 - £13,045 Price range
4 - 5 Seats
45 - 65 MPG
If you are looking for a practical and spacious city car then the Hyundai i10 should be top of your list. It’s more expensive than rival city cars – including the SEAT Mii, Skoda Citigo and Peugeot 108 – but comes with good standard equipment levels and an excellent five-year warranty.
One of the biggest selling points of the i10 is its practical interior. It has the biggest boot in class and the back doors give excellent access to the rear seats. Cabin quality is also decent, with plenty of soft-touch plastics.
Buyers can choose from 1.0 and 1.2-litre petrol engines. Both are very cheap to run, but the 1.2’s extra power makes it the better choice if you regularly use motorways.
The Hyundai comes into its own in town, where its tiny dimensions make it easy to manoeuvre. Although the i10 is a city car, it still feels safe and secure at a 70mph cruise and is quiet enough for long journeys, too.
All models come with central locking, a USB port and electric front windows. SE trim is worth paying extra for, though, because it adds air-conditioning as standard. All i10s come with a warranty that covers the car for five years or 100,000 miles – only the seven-year plan offered by Kia is better.
Read our colour guide to see all the Hyundai i10’s paint options or check out our Hyundai i10 dimensions guide to see if it’ll fit into your life. Hyundai has recently revealed a facelifted model that will go on sale in 2017 – read our dedicated guide for full details on this new i10.
The i10’s interior has taken a big step up over its predecessor. Where once uniform grey plastic dominated, the new car has a splash of colour and a more interesting design. Testers say it doesn’t quite have the minimalist charm of the Volkswagen Up and its siblings, but quality is high. Like the previous car, the gear lever has a useful high-set position for snappy changes.
Hyundai i10 passenger space
There’s considerable cabin space and critics describe the interior as “airy and comfortable”.There’s also good visibility and even a decently-sized rear bench, with its own pair of doors (the i10 is five-door only), not always the case in cars with tiny exterior dimensions.
Hyundai i10 boot space
With 252 litres of space with the seats up, rising to 1,046 litres when you fold them away, the i10 has the biggest boot in its class. The only downside is that the seats do not fall flat on the floor and the high load lip makes loading long and heavy items trickier.
Here too the i10 does well with the critics. Several go as far as saying the i10 is fun to drive, with “light and direct” steering and good levels of grip. There’s plenty of body roll but not enough to catch you by surprise, and the tradeoff is a comfortable ride. It also has a tight turning circle, which’ll prove handy in town driving. It’s not as fun as an Up, but it’s more than respectable.
The effective brakes are also praised, one tester saying the pedal has great feel. And as for refinement, it scores well too – the i10 is hushed at speed, and a low drag coefficient for the class ensures wind noise at higher velocities is kept to a minimum.
There are just two engines available in the new i10, both designed to sip petrol. The first is a one-litre unit with three cylinders and a modest 66hp output. That doesn’t sound a lot and on paper, it only gets to 60 mph in 14.9 seconds, but testers are actually quite positive about it.
It’s both characterful and refined and on the road, feels a little sprightlier than the figures suggest. With a top speed of 96mph, it’s not as suited to motorway travel as the brawnier 1.2 though – the four-cylinder unit makes 87hp and knocks almost three seconds from the 0-60 sprint. It’s even more refined but not quite as economical – 57.6mpg compared to the 1.0’s 60-65mpg.
Hyundai i10 automatic
The manual gearbox is described by reviewers as slick and easy to use, but for even less hassle in city traffic, you can opt for the four-speed automatic. Unfortunately, there are drawbacks. Fuel economy for the auto sits at 47.1mpg and 45.6mpg for the 1.0 and 1.2-litre models respectively. If you opt for the automatic gearbox be ready to pay more for road tax, too – £130 a year for the 1.0-litre and £145 for the 1.2. In manual form, they cost £20 and £30 respectively.
Refinement is pretty good - more than once it's described as being quieter than the VW Up, the current class-leader, and while the larger 1.2 is more refined the 1.0 is still very good in this respect. Throw in economy up to 65.7 mpg in the Blue Drive and you've got a frugal, fun, affordable engine.
It’s reassuring to know the i10 still scores four stars in Euro NCAP’s crash tests, with good protection for both adult and child occupants – actually a little higher for the children – and suitable pedestrian protection too. It’s worth noting the VW Up scored higher though, with five stars.
In terms of safety assistance, the i10 has the equipment you’d expect – seat belt warnings, stability control, and an optional speed limiter. You also get braking assistance (the car increases brake pressure in an emergency for a shorter stopping distance) and a tyre pressure monitoring system, too.
Pricing is more or less as expected for this class. The VW group trio does sneak in a little cheaper, but only by a few hundred quid at the most. It doesn’t stray much above £10,000 either, while each trim level has enough equipment to justify the outlay.
Some rivals are a little more economical, but the i10 should still be cheap to run – virtually all models get within sniffing distance of 60 mpg (several do more), tax is low to non-existent and insurance isn’t too scary either – starting at group 1A. There’s also a huge, five-year, unlimited mileage warranty.
The most common recommendation from reviewers is to go for a 1.0-litre car with a mid-level trim grade – the performance will be more than enough for most and you’ll get the important equipment such as air-conditioning and driver’s seat height adjustment.
Several testers have given the i10 top marks – not something you’ll see too often in this class. It’s not hard to see why though – the i10 drives and looks better than ever, yet remains practical, easy to drive and inexpensive to run. That’s pretty much everything you’d want from a city car.
Until now, the city cars we’d have recommended were the VW Up, Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii trio. Now, the i10 is well worth a look too.