From £10,0308
Well-equipped city car is composed and even (whisper it) entertaining on UK roads
Tom Morgan, deputy digital editor
6 February 2020

What is it?

Hyundai’s humble city car enters its third generation considerably less humble than the version it replaces. But then it had to be.

In the seven years the previous model has been on sale, the entire concept of what a small car needs to be has evolved. Small, nimble and affordable isn’t enough; now customers expect active safety aids and technology that puts their smartphones to shame. Oh, and if it could not look like a boring econo-box, that’d be great.

So the i10 has grown up, with more eye-catching styling that borrows just as much from Hyundai’s larger cars as it does from the outgoing model. The distinctive front grille still hides the foglights as before, but the wheelbase has been stretched and body widened to give it a more purposeful look. 

It also affords front and rear passengers a bit of extra room in the modernised interior, which has filtered down from higher up in the range. An 8.0in touchscreen is standard on mid-spec SE Connect cars and above - the biggest you’ll find in any city car, according to Hyundai. Navigation is only included with the optional £1000 Tech Pack, which also adds goodies such as wireless phone charging and traffic sign recognition, but with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, it doesn’t feel like a necessity. Elsewhere, our top-spec Premium model gains heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and LED daytime running lights.

The one thing that hasn’t evolved is the engine. While the Volkswagen e-Up, Skoda Citigo-e and Seat Mii have all embraced electric motors, the i10 is sticking with a choice of two combustion engines. This 1.2-litre four-pot is the most powerful - at least until the i10 N-Line arrives later this year with a turbocharged 1.0-litre triple.

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What's it like?

It's perfectly happy in the environment for which it was designed, and refreshingly capable away from it.  Unlike the lesser-powered 1.0-litre car we spent time with on the Continent earlier this year, the more potent 1.2 doesn’t feel out of place once you find faster roads away from the town centre. Overtakes still take planning (and a downshift or two), but motorways aren’t the no-go zones they can feel like in some city cars.

The 1.2 feels more relaxed at slower speeds, as you don’t need to thrash it quite so hard to keep up with the flow of traffic, and for the most part it doesn’t make its presence felt inside the cabin. Stop-start traffic does highlight the rather high clutch bite point and a need to feed in more revs than you’d think to avoid stalling, though.

Light steering and a tight turning circle are par for the course for any city car, but the i10 manages both without compromising higher-speed stability. Things weight up progressively and respond directly to your inputs, but push on through corners and the chassis isn’t quite as eager to play as more focused superminis. It’s still an improvement on the outgoing car and isn’t short on fun when you find the right roads. 

More impressive is the ride, which is easily among the best of any city car. Even on 16in wheels, it copes well with pockmarked roads and uneven surfaces. While it can’t claim to best the comfort of superminis such as the Vauxhall Corsa, it does give some other cars in the class above a run for their money.

Should I buy one?

Anyone looking for a capable and well-equipped city car would be wise to put the i10 on their shortlist. And while Hyundai may expect the 1.0-litre models to sell in bigger numbers, this 1.2 feels more at ease outside of city limits.

It looks the part, handles well enough for the class and makes fewer interior compromises than its rivals. But then you’d expect as much, given the price. At £14,995, it’s already nudging close to supermini territory, and that’s before you include the £1000 Tech Pack that adds much of what makes the cabin such an upgrade over other city cars.

You should still be able to put one on your drive for less than £200 a month. Just keep in mind that stepping up to the class above isn’t going to set you back a huge amount more.

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Hyundai i10 1.2 MPi Premium specification

Where Surrey, UK Price £14,995 On sale Now Engine 4 cyls, 1197cc, turbo, petrol Power 82bhp at 6000rpm Torque 87lb ft at 4200rpm Gearbox 5-spd manual Kerb weight 932kg 0-62mph 12.6sec Top speed 106mph Fuel economy 51.4mpg CO2 108g/km, Rivals Volkswagen Up, Kia Picanto

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Comments
13

6 February 2020
It's refreshing to see a new car with a manual gearbox, proper physical heater controls and a simple yet functional cabin, long live the city car. £15k seems a bit steep though.

6 February 2020

The 1.2 engine is not a turbo. It is the same engine as the previous generation.

Facts should be checked before publishing.

6 February 2020
No one said the 1.2 has a turbo! The car will be available with a 1 litre triple with a turbo.

6 February 2020
This or a £6999 Dacia?

Hardly the same thing of course, but if you are going to have a small car, should it be cheap?

6 February 2020

Bear in mind this is the top very well equipped model in a new range, which pretty much matches a VW up or Toyota Argo price. Of course you don't have to buy the dearest model and if you wait 6 months, I'm pretty sure that Hyundai will be offering £1k discounts as they always do.

Let's rejoice that the small car is alive and well and with the prospect of a small turbo engine to come!

6 February 2020

I paid £7.5k after discount for a 1.2 SE in 2014. I accept in many ways this generation is a far better car (although I think the engine is very similar to the one I had) but that's a heck of a price rise in six years! For anyone looking to buy a car outright this can't really make sense against something like a nearly new Fiesta.

6 February 2020

Well equiped with just about enough pace 5dr, show's how expensive yesterdays 500 reviewed car was!  Funny thing is the mpg figure is about the same as the smaller lighter,slower 500 Hybrid, so much for hybrid tech!  

6 February 2020
xxxx wrote:

Well equiped with just about enough pace 5dr, show's how expensive yesterdays 500 reviewed car was!  Funny thing is the mpg figure is about the same as the smaller lighter,slower 500 Hybrid, so much for hybrid tech!  

Agree the price is about right, the 500 is slightly heavier and as yet we don't know it's co2 figures which should be lower, that is the point of the hybrid after all, to meet EU emissions targets, performance wise I doubt there's a massive difference in how they feel on the road. They always make a big deal of city cars not being suitable on faster roads test my son's 60bhp 09 twingo is fine at motorway speeds as is my wife's 74bhp Mii. In fairness though the Mii does feel quicker so you may notice that difference between the i10 and 500

6 February 2020

The 'priced from' value of £9216 at the top of this item is very wrong - it's much more than that.

This is the smallest class of car on the market, built to a cost that reflects compromised, supposedly cheap, motoring.

Regardless of the good qualities of the new model, and that includes a lot of tech and options that some people don't want or need as it's just something else to go wrong, the car isn't substantially bigger, the boot is the same size, the interior (whilst redesigned) is still constructed of cheap plastics and the engines are exactly the same! So why are people saying it's good value?! Hyundai don't even offer attractive servicing packages any more either!

Also, pushing the 'well equipped" top spec model to one side (that still demands you pay a lot extra for tech that the car is advertised with, and things like metallic paint as usual) the base model has increased by over £3000 from the outgoing model, and no amount of trim level renaming is going to hide that - 'S' becomes 'SE' but it still has steel wheels for example.Comparing to prices of cars from the class above is ridiculous too - as not only are they much bigger, more powerful and drive better, they have undergone a ridiculous leap in extortionate pricing too. It's like deciding to pay £50 for an apple as it looks good value when comparing to someone selling melons for £100.

Maybe quite a few people who work at, or own, car dealerships are posting here.

6 February 2020
Didn't say good value, just priced about right, which is compared with its competitors, ie up etc. Agree all cars have had a massive price rise over their predecessors. My wife's Mii is a top spec mango and is very plush for a city car with alcantara and faux leather upholstery embossed with its brand etc, but its new price wouldn't even get a base up now and the Mii is ev only. So I agree all cars seem more expensive but this i10 is priced about right compared with others in its class.

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