The i10’s is a functional, robust and relatively spacious cabin that is just about appealing enough to escape the impression of workmanlike dowdiness you might have taken from its predecessor. It’s nothing special, but it's entirely pleasant.

Hyundai is playing by the book and risking very little here. If there’s any deficiency worth significant criticism, it’s a glaring lack of charm of the sort that you respond to in, say, a Fiat Panda.

Rear-seat passengers aren't second-class citizens in the i10

But the equipment count is quite generous, the materials stout, the switchgear feels ready for a decade of use and abuse and you don’t feel short-changed on passenger space. For the i10 – albeit perhaps not for its newly competitive class – this is steady progress. Sitting slightly higher and more bent-legged than you would in some rivals, you’ll recognise this as a more classic, upright city car than a VW Up.

One or two ergonomic niggles present: you can’t adjust the seat height without opening the driver’s door and there’s no reach adjustment on the steering column. But both headroom and kneeroom are good up front, equally so in the second row, which swallows adults more comfortably than most city cars.

It’s also pleasing to find so much oddment storage in such a small car: good-sized cupholders, bottle holders in the front doors, large centre tunnel cubbies for both rows and a good-sized glovebox.

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Your immediate needs are catered for very well, in other words – but they’re met with unpretentious directness, and little convincing style or warmth.

Equipment levels are good with six to choose from. The entry-level S models feature electric front windows, USB and aux connections, a trip computer and tyre pressure monitoring. Air-con is standard on S Air, while upgrading to SE adorns your i10 with cruise control, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, and height adjustment for the driver's seat.

Those interested in the SE Blue will find climate control and start-stop technology fitted, while the mid-range Premium models gain 14in alloy wheels, Bluetooth, hill start control and a leather clad steering wheel. The range-topping Premium SE comes with climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, keyless entry and rear parking sensors.

The facelifted i10 in range-topping trim readdresses the issue of no sat nav as an option by including a built-in 7.0in touchscreen display complete with sat nav and smartphone integration as standard.

Nor does Hyundai even make it particularly easy to mount your smartphone for navigative use. Which means it’s sucker-mounts – together with the ringmarks they leave behind on your windscreen – or nothing.

The Hyundai's stereo system is simple but does the job. Audio quality is adequate in the standard setup – the premium one gets extra speakers for the back doors – and connects with your iPod via USB very neatly.

The big monochrome screen makes it easy to negotiate your music library, too, and the no-nonsense dials are equally easy to tune in to an AM radio station. Which, without DAB even offered, represents the standard of entertainment you can expect in this car.

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