This stylish little five-door hatch is perfectly formed to deal with all the rigours of city life. It’s small on the outside, but big on the inside with room for five occupants. It boasts excellent economy figures and a competitive price tag that will always stay within budget. The N Line version adds really sharp stying and dynamics to the mix.
The goodGreat value and very low running costs
The badRide can be a little bouncy at times
Hyundai i10 1.0-litre T-GDi turbocharged N Line (2020)
For anyone who believes city cars lack true character and are best suited for boring day-to-day driving chores then think again and check out Hyundai’s latest i10 model in exquisite N Line trim.
That’s because this addition to the popular five-door hatch line-up takes its inspiration from Hyundai’s renowned N performance division and features bold, athletic styling with performance credentials to match.
Admittedly it’s not quite in hot hatch territory, but nor is the price-tag of £16,195. And for that outlay you get a beautifully designed, generously equipped model that’s not only great to drive but also offers the practicality of five seats – many city cars only carry four people.
Powering the i10 N Line version is a new three-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDi turbocharged petrol engine with 100PS and 172NM of torque mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. It can sprint to 62mph from a standstill in 10.5 seconds (it feels quicker) and has a top speed of 115mph, while delivering combined fuel efficiency of 52.3mpg under WLTP testing with carbon emissions of 123g/km.
The model is definitely a head turner when viewed from any angle thanks to lots of N Line-specific design cues. For example, there is a bespoke N Line front grille with integrated LED daytime running lights, dual chrome exhaust tips, rear LED combination lamps and red stripe finishing to the front and rear bumpers.
There is N Line badging on the front wings, along with a black roof that contrasted really nicely with the bright red paintwork, rear privacy glass, plus N Line 16-inch alloy wheels to complete the dynamic look.
Step inside and that sporty theme continues with N Line cloth seats with red stitching, a branded steering wheel and gear stick, red air vent details and black roof liner. The car is loaded with technology and boasts an eight-inch colour touchscreen mounted high on the dashboard, full smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a DAB radio, Bluetooth with voice recognition, air conditioning and plenty more besides.
If you need a navigation system that can be added as part of an optional pack costing £1,000. But these days many drivers use the sat nav on their phones and that works well on this i10.
When it comes to performance, the i10 N Line is really entertaining to drive. It’s a car that can cruise at maximum motorway speeds, although the volume from the little three-pot engine does get quite loud under heavy throttle, and it also likes to show off on the open country lanes with good acceleration through the five gears and plenty of power on tap for overtaking slower vehicles.
The road holding is ultra-grippy and, although the N Line model has a different chassis and firmer suspension set-up to the rest of the line-up, most of the bumps and dips are smoothed out along the way.
My only slight gripe was the lack of a sixth gear and also a slight lag in power at about 50mph, but those minor gripes aside, the car was fun, fun, fun all the way and back again!
In busy city centre settings, it proved agile and easy to handle thanks to fairly light steering and a turning circle of just 4.86 metres and the unobscured all-round visibility is a real bonus when parking this compact vehicle.
Comfort levels for occupants within the i10 are high and there is ample space in the back for a couple of adults provided the front seats are not pushed back too far. A trio of youngsters could sit comfortably on long journeys without too much fuss or complaining
Storage options are also impressive for the sector with a boot that can swallow 252 litres of kit – a limit that increases to 1,050 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped down. And there are a number of convenient cubby holes scattered throughout the cabin too, including a glovebox, front and rear door pockets, cup holders and a handy tray.
The i10 secured a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating which is fairly high for this type of vehicle. Safety kit, as standard, includes the likes of forward collision warning system with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, driver attention warning, high beam assist and eCall which can dial the emergency services should the car be involved in a serious accident.
All in all, the Hyundai i10 N Line model is a superb little car that’s very big on character, style, performance, technology and practicality. Factor in the enjoyment factor too and it is certainly one to watch in the small five-door hatch segment.
Hyundai i10 Premium SE (first drive – 2017)
Hyundai’s i10 could just be the perfect city car with bags of personality. It’s practical, stylish, fun to drive and packed with techno treats to explore along the way.
Now in its second generation, the i10 is a true testament to the small city car segment thanks to its dimensions. It’s short, tall and features five doors as standard. And with prices starting from £8,495 it is also a very affordable option.
Hyundai has sharpened up the car’s design with a new cascading grille, revised bumper, round LED daytime running lights, round fog lights and redesigned rear lights with a darker housing for a sportier look.
Buyers can choose from five richly-equipped trim levels called S, SE, SE Blue, Premium and Premium SE. And, depending on the grade selected, creature comforts include the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to keep you connected on the move, along with features such as climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen with sat nav, a good sound system, Bluetooth connectivity and privacy glass.
The spacious interior is well designed with all controls, dials and instrumentation perfectly positioned for driver usability. And the car is deceptively spacious too with ample room for a couple of adults in the back (three with a bit of a squeeze). In fact, the i10 is one of the best city cars on sale today when it comes to cabin space.
In addition, storage options are impressive with a boot capacity of 252 litres which can be increased to 1,046 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. Elsewhere there are a number of handy compartments scattered throughout the car.
There are two petrol engines to choose from – a three-cylinder 1.0-litre or a four-cylinder 1.2-litre, but there are no diesel options available. Transmissions include a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.
I tested out the i10 1.2-litre 87PS Premium SE model priced at £12,800. It could reach from 0-62mph in 12.1 seconds and topped out at 109mph. According to official figures the test car could deliver combined fuel economy of 57.6mpg with carbon emissions of 114g/km.
The first thing to be said is how exceptionally comfortable the i10 is. It certainly doesn’t feel like a compact city car when you take your seat behind the steering wheel. It’s light, bright and spacious with excellent visibility.
It weaves through busy city centre traffic with ease, but also has the power to cope with motorways and dual carriageways. The acceleration, whilst not blistering, is certainly adequate and the five-speed gearbox is smooth and responsive. And due to the car’s compact dimensions, parking never poses any problems.
Another factor worth noting is the ride quality – few city cars offer such a composed feel. A little engine, road surface or wind noise filters through to the cabin, but it’s not particularly bad and the highly-effective suspension irons out most of the unexpected bumpy road surfaces.
When it comes to safety, the i10 has a comprehensive list of features, including a front collision warning system, lane departure warning system, hill-start assist, vehicle stability management, brake assist and lots more.
All in all, the i10 is a fabulous little car that’s very big on character, driving dynamics and value for money.
The city car segment is a fiercely competitive place to pitch for customer’s attention with the likes of the Skoda Citigo and VW Up vying for sales, but the Hyundai i10 is certainly worth adding to the list. It does everything a city run-around should do and plenty more besides.
Hyundai i10 Blue 1.0 Petrol Manual
Hyundai took on the city car market when it launched its compact i10 model, but now the South Korean manufacturer has upped the stakes even further by updating the popular car with a facelift and even introducing an ultra efficient model too.
The three-cylinder i10 Blue boasts emission figures of just 99g/km and combined fuel efficiency figures of 67.3mpg – that gives you some idea of just how efficient this car is.
And the hidden beauty is the fact that this 1.0-litre petrol driven engine just loves to perform and show off. It buzzes around the streets with real attitude and the more you push it the better it reacts – quite an accolade really for a car that will set you back just £9,195.
Out on the faster country roads it hugs the surface and in more congested city centres, it nips through the crowds with ease.
The general all-round visibility is excellent and there are plenty of top notch gizmos to keep you entertained too… and they are all included in the asking price – another tick for Hyundai.
For example, the i10 Blue which is roughly based on the entry level Classic trim, boasts stop/start technology, an eco drive indicator to help you change gear at the right time, low rolling resistance tyres, air con, an audio system with CD and MP3 compatibility, central locking and plenty more besides.
The dials, complete with blue illumination, are very neatly set out for readability and all the main controls are easily operated from a central console.
And the 5-door model is no slouch from the outside either with its 13-inch steel wheels, body coloured bumpers, rear spoiler with integral brake light and neat light clusters – these are just a few of the eye-catching features.
The interior is very spacious and rear seat passengers have a fair amount of leg and head room too. The boot is reasonably sized for a city car and can quickly and easily be enlarged thanks to the split folding rear seats. Elsewhere there is a large glove box, cup holders, an under seat storage tray and a number of other smaller compartments for all your knick knacks.
And Hyundai has packed plenty of safety features into the i10 Blue including anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, reinforced body structure, numerous airbags and lots more.
So the i10 Blue has really stamped its mark on the highly competitive city car market. It may not be the fastest kid out the blocks with 0-62 stats of 14.8 seconds, but the amazing fuel efficiency, low emissions, great starting price and that five-year, unlimited mileage warranty package is certainly going to leave a few competitors feeling blue.