4.2 out of 5 4.2
Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

Hyundai’s smallest car is pretty as well as pretty practical

Hyundai i10 Hatchback (20 on) - rated 4.2 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £12,270 - £16,270
Lease from new From £174 p/m View lease deals
Fuel Economy 49.6 - 56.5 mpg
Road tax cost £145
Insurance group 6 - 11 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Exceptional interior space compared to rivals
  • Classy, easy-to-use dashboard
  • Lots of safety equipment

CONS

  • Optional automatic gearbox is atrocious
  • Higher trim levels are pricey
  • Not as good to drive as VW Up

Hyundai i10 Hatchback rivals

Volkswagen
Up
4.4 out of 5 4.4
Toyota
Aygo
3.9 out of 5 3.9

Written by Tom Wiltshire on

The first-generation Hyundai i10 became incredibly popular during the government’s car scrappage scheme in 2009, as the cheapest car on sale in the UK at the time. Its spacious interior and easy-to-drive nature carried over to the second-generation car, introduced in 2013.

For 2020’s third-generation car, Hyundai’s upped the ante once more, making the i10 stylish and customisable, as well as filling it with sophisticated technology, the likes of which you’d usually find on much larger cars.

It’s also being introduced at a rather fraught time for little cars – several manufacturers have removed their cars from the market as they struggled to sell them. Casualties such as the Suzuki Celerio, Vauxhall Viva and Renault Twingo all suggest that Hyundai’s going to have a harder job selling the i10 in a market that doesn’t seem to want a car this small any more.

It goes head to head with some of Parkers – and indeed, buyers – favourite cars, such as the Volkswagen Up and Fiat 500.

Bold new design is bound to turn heads

You can’t really miss the new i10, as Hyundai’s made sure that this new model is every bit as eye-catching as its predecessor was anonymous.

2020 Hyundai i10 side profile

Features such as honeycomb-shaped LED running lights in the front grille, lots of creases and bulges in the bonnet and an optional two-tone paint scheme, plus loads of bright, vibrant colours mean that this is one small car you’ll struggle to miss in a crowd.

The interior’s similarly stylish, albeit a bit more grown-up. It features one single enclosure over the dials and the infotainment screen to give it a more cohesive design, resplendent in gloss black – great for looks, though not so good for hiding fingerprints. Elsewhere, you’ll find a honeycomb pattern that effectively disguises fairly cheap plastics into looking more premium than they actually are.

Amazingly practical inside

Despite its tiny size, the Hyundai i10 truly offers as much practicality as many a larger supermini. There’s genuine room for four six-foot adults to travel in comfort, without suffering the bent necks and sore knees that usually accompany a drive in a small car.

There’s even a middle seatbelt on the rear bench, making it a rare five-seater – though unless you have particularly skinny friends, we’d treat it much more as a four-seater with the occasional capacity to carry a fifth passenger for short trips.

The boot, too, is a great size – at 252 litres in capacity, it’s not much smaller than the Ford Fiesta’s, a car from the size class above. That means plenty of room for a big weekly shop and, if you fold down one or both of the 60/40 split rear seats, enough capacity for a trip to that well-known Swedish furniture store.

2020 Hyundai i10 interior

A big glovebox and lots of storage for odd bits and pieces around the cabin cements the i10 as a truly practical option. Compared to a smaller model such as the Toyota Aygo, the difference is night and day – you could truly use the i10 as a small family’s sole transport.

Choice of two engines and two gearboxes

The i10’s available with a pair of petrol engines – a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder unit with 67hp and a 1.2-litre four-cylinder offering 84hp.

Neither is especially fast, though if you regularly drive outside of the city you’ll be far better served by the more powerful of the two. The entry-level 1.0-litre is fine at town speeds, but it feels strained on the motorway, requiring a lot of throttle input just to maintain a cruise. The 1.2-litre feels more relaxed, and is better suited to overtaking, too.

Neither engine has a turbocharger, so they need to be worked hard in order to get the best out of them. A new 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 99hp is on the way, and will act as the sporty halo model in the range, rivalling the likes of the Kia Picanto GT-Line S or Volkswagen Up GTI.

As far as transmissions go, you can opt for a five-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automated manual. Badged as AMT, the latter is a cheap way of offering an automatic transmission – instead of replacing the whole system, Hyundai simply robotises the clutch and gearshift mechanisms. But it’s laughably bad, bucking and bumping around like a learner driver on their first lesson. It even makes the already-quite-slow i10 even slower – in fact, the 1.0-litre AMT is one of the least-accelerative cars you can buy in the UK today.

Lots of entertainment and safety equipment

Hyundai’s filled the i10 with loads of kit, some of which you might not expect on an entry-level model such as this. As a result, you’ll find the likes of a wireless charging pad, connected navigation with real-time traffic updates and even a companion app that can remotely lock, locate and check the car’s status.

More important is the safety equipment, with lane-keeping aids and autonomous emergency braking as standard on every model. It’s even possible to specify all-round parking sensors and a rear-view camera. You might not think you need it with such a small car, but it’s super-useful to have nonetheless.

Does all this endear you to the new Hyundai i10? Read the full Parkers review to find out more

Hyundai i10 Hatchback rivals

Volkswagen
Up
4.4 out of 5 4.4
Toyota
Aygo
3.9 out of 5 3.9