As with the previous i10, this new version is built at Hyundai’s Izmit plant in Turkey for European markets and it shares its platform with the Kia Picanto. In its metamorphosis from second- to third-generation form, Hyundai’s smallest model has experienced a bit of a growth spurt, but the changes to its overall footprint aren’t drastic and should improve interior spaciousness.
Overall length has crept up by 5mm, but it’s the fact that its wheelbase has been stretched by 40mm that should have the greatest effect in the cabin.
The roofline has been lowered by 20mm and width increased by 20mm to lend the i10 a more squat, athletic stance than before. In fact, the general consensus among our testers is that this new car’s styling is one thing that Hyundai has well and truly nailed. Where its predecessor was an attractive if largely featureless device, this new third-gen car has all the chiselled good looks, chic visual trinketry and premium appeal to see it confidently mingle with the established class elite.
There’s enough visual aggression about its sharp front end to shake off the ‘cutesy’ image that’s so often attached to cars in this class, but not so much that it appears contrived or try-hard. In any case, Hyundai has long claimed that a healthy amount of its sales stem from customers taking a shine to its vehicles’ designs, and we’ve no doubt the i10 is on a strong footing to see this continue.
From launch, the i10 is available with a choice of two naturally aspirated petrol engines: a 66bhp 1.0-litre triple and the 1.2-litre four-pot that straddles the front axle of our test car. Both powerplants are available with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automated manual transmission, and ours uses the five-speed manual to direct its 83bhp and 87lb ft to the front wheels. A sportier N Line model with a 98bhp turbocharged three-pot will arrive in the summer.
As for its suspension, the new i10 doesn’t deviate from the established class formula. MacPherson struts are employed at the front axle and a torsion beam sits across the rear. The rear torsion bar is now U-shaped as opposed to triangle-shaped to improve stability, while a stronger steering torsion bar and quicker steering gear should help to sharpen steering response.