This is probably the i10’s strongest suit. Most impressive (and certainly most important) is the Hyundai’s ride around town. It’s controlled but compliant enough to cushion you from sleeping policeman and the like; it deals with urban surface scars and potholes very well, rather than heaving and pitching over them as a more softly sprung car would, or allowing them to jolt into the cabin as a firmer car might.
The steering is also exceedingly well judged for busy urban traffic. The electrically assisted rack is light, direct and relatively quick (3.0 turns from lock to lock), and the car has an impressively tight turning circle of 9.2 metres. Best of all, however, it feels very much like a hydraulically assisted system; it’s free of the judder that often mars a rapidly twirled electrically powered wheel, and provides a fluent and feelsome sense of control.
Out of town, the taut but comfortable ride translates into impressive country-road composure. The i10 manages to flow over undulating, lumpy B-roads almost with the aplomb of a large family hatchback. You can certainly feel what speed you’re doing, just as you would expect of such a small, short car, but the car's handlng and ride always feels measured and controlled.
Through corners the i10 stays flat, neutral and safe, with progressive but controlled body roll and keen turn-in. There’s limited traction from the skinny tyres, though, and the chassis doesn’t feel the most adjustable once you’re settled into a corner. But the i10’s mid-corner behaviour is certainly predictable; it’ll either stay on line or drift into benign understeer.
In almost all of these respects, however, the 1.2-litre i10 seems significantly more impressive than the 1.0-litre Blue-spec car. Lower-resistance tyres and shorter-travel suspension hobbles the 1.0-litre car's dynamic performance a little, and turn an outstanding act into a merely acceptable one.