Hyundai i10 (2014-2020) Review
The Hyundai i10 is a good-value small car with good interior space for its size – its just a shame its engines are a bit weak and rather noisy
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If you’re after a car that will have no trouble squeezing through gaps and parking in the tightest of streets but don’t want to make compromises on passenger space and practicality, then the Hyundai i10 is a great choice.
Okay, the interior doesn’t feel as well-built as a Volkswagen Up, nor is it as fun to drive as the Ford Ka+, but it’s one of the roomiest small city cars out there.
Indeed, what the interior lacks in quality materials it makes up for with space. The Hyundai i10 has roomy back seats – three adults will fit back there for short journeys which is far better than the four-seat-only Volkswagen Up can manage. The boot is quite impressive for a small car too – it’s about as roomy as that in the Up’s and will take the weekly shop no problem.
You can get a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system in mid-range models while sat-nav with live traffic alerts can be fitted to high-spec models. It’s an easy system to use thanks to big icons and logical menus, but you get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard with the infotainment system so you can just hook up your phone and use its own sat-nav apps.
The Hyundai i10 may look small but the boxy body hides one of the most spacious back seats of any city car
Unlike most city cars, the Hyundai i10 feels stable at motorway speeds and its suspension irons out bumps well. The i10 is also available with a four-speed automatic gearbox, which is far smoother than the jerky automatic option in the VW Up. It’s worth paying extra for if you’ll do a lot of town driving, just to save your clutch leg from aching.
If town is where your i10 will spend most of its time then you’ll be fine with the 1.0-litre petrol engine, which will get about 50mpg. However, it struggles to get up to motorway speeds, and you’re better off with the similarly economical but more-powerful 87hp 1.2-litre petrol engine if you do the odd long drive, though you’ll still need to change down a few gears to overtake anything.
Even if you never plan your i10 to leave the city, it’s nice to know that you can have the latest safety assists fitted to it. You can have emergency auto braking which should all but eliminate low speed shunts and you can also have a lane keep assist fitted which gives you a little beep if it senses you drifting off your lane.
The Hyundai i10 has just about enough space for four tall adults and a big boot for such a small car. The Hyundai could do with a bigger glove box but interior storage is still pretty good
It doesn’t look all that spacious on the outside but the i10’s cabin is something of a Tardis – no other city car has this much space for passengers and luggage combined
The i10’s seats are fairly comfortable but they don’t come with height adjustment in entry-level S cars. Neither lumbar support nor passenger seat height adjustment are available on any Hyundai i10 models but top-spec Premium SE versions do come with two heated front seats as standard.
The Hyundai i10 is a five-door model only – unlike some small city cars – so you don’t have to climb out of the front seats to let your passengers get in. The doors open nice and wide and the reasonably high roofline means taller passengers won’t have to stoop too much to climb aboard.
There’s more space in the i10’s rear seats than in almost any other city car. Head and legroom are impressive for a car this size and there’s enough space to easily reach in and fit a child seat – if you can find the well-hidden Isofix anchor points, that is.
It might be small, but there’s just enough room to carry three in the back – for short journeys at least. The central seat is raised slightly, however, and a lump in the floor cuts into the available foot space. Being able to carry five at all is a large feather in the Hyundai i10’s cap – the likes of the VW Up, Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii are strict four-seaters.
You’ll be able to tuck a one-litre bottle of water into both the Hyundai i10’s front and rear door bins and there’s space in the central cupholders for two slightly smaller bottles. The glovebox isn’t particularly spacious but there’s a large tray nestled under the dashboard that’s big enough to hold three or four phones and comes with a handy USB port and a 12V socket.
The Hyundai i10 has one of the biggest boots of any city car. With all five seats and the rear parcel shelf in place you can squeeze 252 litres of luggage on board – that’s ever-so-slightly more than the 251-litre VW Up but just slightly less than the 255-litre Kia Picanto.
When you fold the rear seats down you’ll be able to fit significantly more in the Kia’s 1,046-litre boot than in the 959-litre VW Up. They come with a handy 60:40 split as standard but to get them to lie flat you’ll have to lift the seat bases up and out of the way first. Unfortunately, there’s a step in the floor and a large lip in the boot opening that makes it tricky to slide in heavy or bulky items.
Hyundai doesn’t offer an adjustable boot floor, nor are there any shopping hooks or tether points in the boot to stop smaller items rolling around.
The Hyundai i10 isn’t particularly exciting to drive but, over rough roads, it feels like a bigger, and more comfortable car than its dinky looks suggest
The i10’s nippy enough around town but starts to struggle on motorways. It’s pretty comfortable, however, and impressively quiet for such a small car
You can get the Hyundai i10 with two petrol engines – a 1.0-litre with 66hp or a more powerful 1.2-litre engine with 87hp. Both come with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard but the 1.2-litre version can be fitted with a smooth four-speed automatic for an extra £650.
Pick the 1.0-litre model if you spend more time driving around town. It doesn’t make the i10 the fastest supermini out there but it’s nippy enough to scoot in and out of traffic. Around town it’s smooth and impressively quiet for a city car but on the motorway it’ll struggle to keep up with fast-moving traffic on steep gradients. Hyundai claims it’ll return 60.1mpg but you’ll probably see a real-world figure in the low fifties.
The 1.2-litre engine feels happier on A roads and motorways than the 1.0-litre model and will be a better bet if you regularly travel longer distances. It certainly feels faster, but it makes a loud drone if you accelerate hard. You can expect it to return around 50mpg.
The optional £650 four-speed automatic gearbox feels far smoother than the jerky items you’ll find in a VW Up and Citroen C1 and won’t lurch unexpectedly when you’re trying to park.
A slightly raised seating position, large windows and thin windscreen pillars offer good forward visibility and make the i10 easy to thread through town traffic. There’s a slight blind spot caused by the rear door pillars and the three rear headrests – standard on all models – obscure your view out of the rear windscreen slightly.
The Hyundai i10’s light steering makes it very easy to park but, top-spec Premium SE models come with rear parking sensors as standard if you’re looking for a little extra reassurance.
The fairly soft suspension can soak up an impressive amount of pothole abuse without jarring or bouncing around. As a result, it’s one of the most comfortable city cars around and even feels reasonably stable at motorways speeds. All but entry-level S models come with cruise control as standard, too – providing you pick a model with a manual gearbox.
The Hyundai i10 doesn’t lean too much in corners and grips well on twisty back roads, but it’s not as fun to drive as the Kia Picanto. It feels slightly more relaxing to drive, however, and does a great job of shutting out unpleasant wind and tyre noise.
It received a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating in 2014 before it was updated in 2017. Expect this new model to be awarded a higher score in light of its new standard brake assist system and the collision warning features fitted to high-spec models.
It’s nice to look at especially if you go for the two-tone colour scheme, but build quality is not the best among alternatives