6.3.2012 Hyundai i10 Blue review
Hyundai's economy champion is good fun to drive despite its sub 1-litre three-cylinder engine, in contrast to its dowdy appearance. But it tips the price scales at £1,000 more than the 22 bhp more powerful 1.2 litre car which feels more grown-up and capable. And because you don't have to work the engine so hard a lot of the time you could get very similar fuel figures I suspect. Not paying the London congestion charge is the only reason I can see in the real world for buying the more expensive Blue version.
Review by Russell Bray for nextgreencar.com
Classic case of don't judge a book by its cover. The i10's dull looks mask a city car that's actually great fun to drive despite only a humble three-cylinder 68bhp 1-litre engine in Blue drive format. Granted 93 mph isn't land speed record territory, and neither is 0-62 mph in 14.8 seconds, but at least the i10 feels and sounds willing with a snappy gear change that lets you make the most of what's on offer.
This i10 reminds me of the original Mini before it was reincarnated as a bloated caricature. It loves darting into corners and nipping round roundabouts. Cornering balance is responsive without being nervous or treacherous. The welcomingly weightier than small car average steering gives a good feel for the grip of the tyres, and the test car's skinny Hankook low rolling resistance rubber didn't have a lot of grip on wet surfaces.
Not a great looker to my eyes; the Kia Picanto's uglier brother in fact, with hints of some earlier 'blobby' Nissans. Take the badge off the front and it could be almost any make. The cabin isn't inspiring either. The plastics on the doors and the dash look cheap, though there's no reason they shouldn't be long wearing. And if you have children you will appreciate their wipe clean texture surfaces. Thankfully the seats are quite plush and the front ones pretty well shaped even if you are over 6ft tall. It is 3565 mm in total length and 1595 mm wide.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
The seats are okay but the driving position is a compromise because the steering column only tilts and doesn't telescope. Instrumentation is sparse with only a speedometer, rev counter, mileage recorder and fuel gauge.
You have to manually adjust the door mirrors, but the front windows are electric and there's air conditioning now as standard. Outside a city environment noise levels in the i10, mainly from the tyres, can become tiring. Ride comfort falls into the broad category that most people would find acceptable.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Resist the willing nature of the three-pot engine and according to the official figures you should get near 56 mpg round town and 67 mpg overall. The test car did nearer 55 mpg overall based on brimming the tank. The snag is that this isn't much different to the official figures for the 1.2 litre i10 Classic (urban 50 mpg, 61 mpg combined) and that car costs £1,000 less to buy than the Blue. At 99 g/km CO2 emissions the Blue escapes road tax (and the London congestion charge compared to £20 a year road tax for the 1.2 after the first year on the road. Insurance is three groups lower for the Blue (at nine) than for the Classic. The i10 warranty is for five years. The mileage is unlimited unless the car is used for taxi or private hire work when it drops to 100,000 miles.
An intelligent start-stop system to save fuel when stationary in traffic, combined with an alternator management system and low rolling resistance tyres all contribute to automatically save the driver fuel. An 'Eco Drive' indicator arrow on the instrument panel says when changing up a gear would reduce your fuel consumption for those who are distracted or lack mechanical know-how. A rear spoiler helps improve the car's slipperiness through the air to reduce drag. Combining these attributes has led to the i10 achieving a Next Green Car Rating of 29.
Central locking, air conditioning, electric front windows, temporary spare wheel, split folding rear seats, rear spoiler with integral brake light, storage tray under front passenger seat and automatic engine start-stop system to save fuel in traffic. A stereo RDS radio and CD player with MP3 connectivity is standard but not Bluetooth for your phone. There are sockets for USB memory sticks and auxiliary connections. A fuel consumption read-out is a frustrating omission. Metallic paint is £425 extra.
Model tested: Hyundai i10 Blue
Body-style: Five door 'supermini'
Engine/CO2: 68bhp 998cc three-cylinder petrol / 99gCO2/km
Trim grades: Classic, Blue, Active, Style
On-road price: i10 range starts at £8,345. Test car £9,345
Warranty: Five years/ unlimited miles
In the showroom: Available now
Review rating: 3.5 STARS
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