The i10 offers a slightly confusing engine range, where the smallest engine isn’t actually the cheapest. So there’s the 68bhp 1.0-litre Blue model, which sits above the 84bhp 1.2-litre engine in two of its three combined trim options on the basis that the three-cylinder Blue model throws in a load of fuel-saving technologies to boot.
If you’re in the majority of i10 buyers who’ll go for the 1.2 engine, you can expect peppy performance around town. For the most part the i10 delivers with that particular engine, serving up more power and flexibility than many rivals. The three-cylinder 1.0-litre car, by contrast, seems a little strained and compromised in its quest for low emissions.
Accelerating up to the 30-40mph maximum speeds of town and city driving, the i10 1.2 feels immediately lively and agile. This is partly thanks to a pleasantly light and smooth clutch action, and to well spaced gear ratios. Mainly, however, the i10’s feeling of urban agility comes from the action of the gearshift itself. The five-speed ’box’s throws are nicely judged and the lever moves with a satisfying, well oiled ease.
The true benefit of picking the 1.2-litre i10 is not its performance figures, rather its dramatically improved refinement. At idle you can barely hear the engine, and although it starts rasping under full throttle, it’s always a civilised performer.