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 Review Video
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At a glance

New price £12,820 - £17,195
Lease from new From £184 p/m View lease deals
Used price £7,635 - £13,810
Used monthly cost From £191 per month
Fuel Economy 49.6 - 56.5 mpg
Road tax cost £150
Insurance group 3 - 10 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 Lawrence Cheung on

In the ever increasing SUV-focused marketplace, it's increasingly tough to market a city car like the i10.

As the name suggests, city cars are aimed at city folk who need something small enough to run rings around errant Uber drivers, while also being practical enough for occasional jaunts out of the congestion.

There is a distinct lack of city cars on the market right now. The reason? It's hard to make money on such a small car without charging astronomical prices.

City cars are an especially hard sell for the consumers too, as larger and more practical superminis are generally only a smidge more expensive.

The i10 may once have had more than a dozen rivals to compete with, but now, those are much smaller. First up is the Volkswagen Up - our favourite in this segment. It can also count the ever-popular Fiat 500 and Panda as rivals along with the trio of Toyota Aygo/Citroen C1/Peugeot 108 all based upon the same platform. The mechanically similar Kia Picanto is also strong competition.

So how does Hyundai make its smallest model stand out from this admittedly small crowd? By filling it with technology you’d usually find in much larger cars and adding a healthy dose of style into the bargain.

Despite this it remains amazingly practical for a small car and should prove trouble-free to own. What’s not to like? Read the Parkers full review to find out.

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.

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.

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.

Choice of three engines and two gearboxes

The i10’s available with three petrol engines – a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder unit with 67hp, another 1.0-litre with 100hp (which is only found in the N Line)  and a 1.2-litre four-cylinder offering 84hp.

If you regularly drive outside of the city you’ll be far better served by the more powerful engines. 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.

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.

N Line performance model

Hyundai's full-fat N division puts stonkingly quick engines in humble hatches like the i30, but N Line models are aimed at delivering the looks of the hot-hatch, without the running costs. 

The i10 N Line has a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 99hp. It acts as the sporty halo model of the range, rivalling the likes of the Kia Picanto GT-Line S or Volkswagen Up GTI.

On the outside it's distinguishable from regular i10s in the way of a bespoke N Line front grille with N Line badging, LED lamps, and three red stripes on the front. Red is racy, we suppose?

Inside it gets an N branded steering wheel and gear knob. While the suspension's been played with to make it feel more sporty. Interested? Head to the driving section to see what we think of it.

Does all this endear you to the new Hyundai i10? Read the full Parkers verdict to find out more, or click here to jump straight to our thoughts on its practicality, interior, running costs or driving experience.

Hyundai i10 Hatchback rivals

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