The Hyundai i10 is the company’s smallest model, and is a great example of a car that makes you question whether you need anything bigger. It doesn’t have the outright style of some rivals, but the i10 offers great practicality and value for not a lot of money.
Light controls, excellent visibility and compact dimensions make the Hyundai i10 a breeze to thread through crowded city streets, yet it feels equally composed and assured out on the open road. The handling is safe and predictable, while on the motorway road, wind and engine noise are kept in check.
There’s space for four adults, and Hyundai’s five-year warranty is a real selling point for new and used buyers. A round of updates in 2016 served to improve the recipe even further, although there were no radical changes.
Which one should I buy?
- Best Hyundai i10 for families: 1.2 SE
- Best Hyundai i10 for low costs: 1.0 SE
The original i10 of 2008 was a big success for Hyundai, especially in the UK, which accounted for over a third of the 110,000 sales the city car notched up in Europe in the six years it was available. After the below-par Amica and Getz, the i10 was a revelation. So when the second take on the formula was unveiled late in 2013, expectations were high.
Car group tests
Used car tests
We weren’t disappointed, either, because here was a model that looked smart, was surprisingly spacious for such a small car and was well equipped; time has proven that the i10 is also very reliable and extremely cheap to run.
The second-generation i10 arrived in time for the new registration on 1 March 2014. Buyers could choose between 1.0 or 1.2-litre petrol engines, both coming with a five-speed manual gearbox. The bigger engine could also be bought with an optional four-speed automatic.
Trim levels were S, SE or Premium, but in March 2015 a Premium SE was added with 15-inch alloy wheels, an electric tilt/slide glass sunroof, rear parking sensors, keyless go and climate control, while the front seats and steering wheel were heated.
At the end of 2017 a facelifted i10 appeared, with a fresh grille, a much-improved infotainment system plus new driver aids including lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning.
Two-thirds of the i10s available feature the smaller (1.0-litre) engine, which is fine if you never leave the city. But if you have to undertake long-distance drives, even if it’s only occasionally, we’d say go for the more muscular 1.2-litre unit.
The entry-level i10 S comes with steel wheels, electric front windows, central locking and USB/auxiliary inputs. Moving to SE trim brings cruise control and a speed limiter, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, powered rear windows and remote central locking.
The SE Blue Drive gets climate control and steel wheels, and the i10 Premium adds 14-inch alloys, Bluetooth, hill-start assist and a multifunction steering wheel.
What are the alternatives?
Kia’s Picanto is closely related to the i10. It’s also very good value and has an even longer (seven-year) warranty. The Citroen C1, Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo trio are all worth a look because they’re plentiful and good value, but they have only a 1.0-litre engine, which is better suited to shorter trips.
Perhaps the toughest competition is from the SEAT Mii, Skoda Citigo and Volkswagen up!, despite the fact that they came out in 2012. They’re also available only with a 1.0-litre engine, but they can handle longer journeys. Two left-field city car options worth considering are the Suzuki Celerio and Vauxhall Viva.
Hyundai i10 vs Kia Picanto vs Renault Twingo
This trio of tiny cars proved that small can be beautiful when we brought them together in May 2015. The Renault was the most fun and the recently facelifted Kia offered plenty for your cash, but neither could match the grown-up and all round ability of the Hyundai. Read the full test here…
Hyundai i10 vs Vauxhall Viva vs Suzuki Celerio
It was another victory for the impressive i10 when it met the box-fresh Viva and Celerio in November 2015. The last-placed Suzuki was cheap, while the Vauxhall packed decent tech, but neither could hold a candle to the big car dynamics and practicality of the Hyundai. Read the full test here…
Hyundai i10 vs VW up! vs Kia Picanto
By June 2017 the i10 was starting to get on a bit, despite a facelift the year before. As a result it couldn’t fend off the advances of the new smart new Picanto from sister firm Kia, which was more refined and better equipped. Top tot in this test, however, was classy and hugely capable VW. Read the full test here…