6.1.2011Hyundai i10 Comfort 1.2 review
A great leap forward by the Korean manufacturer compared to the Amica, the Indian-built i10 is a refined enough city car for users needing affordable transport and a strong challenger to most European badged rivals. Cheap to buy and run it ticks all the ease of use boxes without breaking any new ground. A sensible small car purchase backed by one of the best warranties in the business.
Review by Russell Bray for nextgreencar.com
Town cars don't need to be fast but sometimes a little eagerness is useful to grab a place in traffic etc. With 77bhp (at 6,000rpm) from its 1248cc petrol engine and 87 lbs ft of torque at 4,000rpm I thought the i10 felt barely adequate, even though there are 1086cc petrol versions with only 65bhp too. Rev the engine hard to extract the power and it gets quite noisy and hectic. Acceleration to 62mph takes 12.8 seconds. Top speed is 102mph.
A welcome surprise. Around town the i10 felt fun and lively to drive with a slick, light action five-speed manual gearbox and quick, light, electrically power assisted steering. I thought the Hyundai's handling was very safe unless you made a huge error of judgement, or possibly hit black ice, but you can add an electronic stability system for an extra £355. Front disc brakes easily cope with the car's weight and performance and whether heavily or lightly laden the ride is very good. The i10's Amica forerunner used to lean like a sail boat if you cornered quickly but the i10 stays nearly as level as Ford's Fiesta.
Compared to the previous Amica model, which was reliable but odd looking with tall, top hat styling, the i10 looks mainstream European. It hasn't got the cute or distinctive looks of a Fiat 500 or a Mini but there's a choice of Classic, Comfort and Style trim levels. All have alloy wheels and body coloured bumpers. Pick the Style and there's a roof-mounted rear spoiler. Being relatively narrow the i10 can dive through gaps in traffic that have other drivers beaten and slots easily into parking spaces. Length 3565mm. Width 1595mm.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
The i10's surprisingly spacious with room for four adults, and five for short journeys, and it's more practical than the Citroen C1/Peugeot 107/Toyota Aygo family with their tiny boots. Driver's seat height adjustment and a split/fold rear bench are standard. Controls are simple, light to operate and logical with particularly large buttons for the radio and CD player. Power steering, air conditioning, remote control central locking and electric windows are standard. Rear parking sensors are a dealer fit option.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Low, but perhaps not as low as you might expect. Fuel economy is 44.8mpg urban, 65.7mpg extra urban and 56.5mpg on the combined test cycle. This works out at a fuel cost of about 10.1p per mile. Service intervals are 10,000 miles then 12,500 miles. Carbon dioxide emissions of 119g/km slot the i10 into band C with zero first year road tax and then £30 per year. Insurance is group 11. The warranty is a confident five years/unlimited mileage.
Nothing exceptional here, just the virtues of a small car with a small engine. For the model tested, although the Next Green Car Rating is only 32, the sub-120g/km carbon dioxide emissions won't let you escape London's £10 a day Congestion Charge. However, if you want to push the emission down a bit further, there is a 1.2 litre engine which emits 108 gCO2/km, or even a 1.0 litre model with only 99 gCO2/km for which the 100% Greener Fuel (Congestion Charge) Discount is all yours!
Lack of reach adjustable steering was an irritation for me, but all models get central locking, air-conditioning, side airbags, and an MP3 compatible CD player. Comfort trim adds features including 14in alloy wheels (in place of steel on the Classic), front fog lights, driver's seat height adjustment and electric rear windows. Style versions have heated front seats, an electric sunroof, bootlid spoiler with high level brake light and 15in alloy wheels.
Model tested: Hyundai i10 Comfort 1.2
Body-style: Five-door supermini
Engine/CO2: 77bhp 1248cc petrol / 119 gCO2/km
Vehicle class: Five-door supermini
On-road price: From £7,890. Price as tested £8,520
Warranty: Five years/ unlimited miles
In the showroom: Available now
Review rating: 4.0 STARS