Hyundai i10 1.2 SE review

Hyundai's i10 is a class act backed by a confidence boosting unlimited mileage five-year warranty. It's the first small Hyundai to be designed, engineered and built in Europe and it shows. Longer, lower and wider than before it feels pleasingly solid and well built and has features, such as cruise control, you might expect in a bigger car.

Review by Russell Bray


Hyundai's neat, little i10 supermini comes with a choice of two petrol engines; a 998cc three-cylinder producing 65bhp or a 1.2 litre four-cylinder developing 85bhp. There is no diesel option and the Indian-built 1.1 litre Epsilon engine has been discontinued. The 1.0 litre is fine for a town runabout and is used in the economy leading SE Blue Drive model. which costs £10,225. But for long journeys, especially on motorways, most people would get better economy by working the bigger engine less hard. Even then the car is no fireball with 0-62mph taking 12.3 seconds. Maximum power of 85bhp is produced at 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 88 lb ft at 4.000rpm so you have to stir the gear lever fairly quickly at times if you don't want to become a mobile chicane. The even slower automatic is best avoided unless vital to your needs.


Small Hyundais like the Atoz and Getz used to skitter and hop their way round corners, especially if the road was poorly ironed, but the i10 is enthusiastic and competent. The ride is absorbent without allowing too much body lean if you go in a bit too quickly, but the light steering is rather vague. On wet roads it is easy to overcome the grip of the front tyres with cornering force and engine power but easing off the accelerator brings the car back on the chosen line. It's no Ford Fiesta but it will be fine for most people. A tight turning circle and good all-round visibility make parking easy. Stability was good under braking but no emergency manoeuvres were undertaken.


The Hyundai i10's lines are clean, modern and smart, and light years away from the South Korean company's earlier small cars. While not distinctive, the styling shouldn't date badly which will help second hand values. All round visibility from the driver's seat is very good. The doors open wide for easy front and rear seat access. The 252 litre boot is probably the biggest in its class and carrying capacity can be increased to more than 1,000 litres by flipping down the backs of the rear seats. It does have a high sill to lift bags over though. The cabin is surprisingly spacious with room for four adults of more than 6ft tall. Length 3665mm. Width 1660mm.


Hyundai i10 interior

We found the driving position comfortable for long distances but you need the SE model to get driver's seat height adjustment to make up for the lack of an adjustable steering column. All the controls - accelerator, steering and brakes - are light to operate and the instrument panel, in a variety of colours, is clear and cheerful. The five-speed manual gear change is light and precise. More feel would be welcome in the steering if pressing on when roads are wet. The 1.2 litre engine is quite rorty when accelerating but we didn't mind that and at cruising speeds the i10 is exceptionally quiet with very little engine, wind or tyre noise. Often you feel you are in a bigger car thanks to the refinement and spacious interior.


According to official fuel consumption figures the 1.2 litre i10 should manage up to 58.7 MPG based on the combined test cycle. Over a week of mixed running, including a trip to Leeds and back, the car averaged 43 to 45 MPG based on brim to brim fills. This model comes in at road taxation class C, with no first year tax and then £30 per annum. Insurance is group 4A. The fuel figures show the 1-litre’s official combined as 60.1 MPG (108 g/km) but the engine feels underpowered for out of town driving. The low volume four-seat (there is no rear centre seat-belt) 1-litre Blue Drive edition returns 65.7mpg on the combined cycle. To reduce fuel consumption, the four-seat 1-litre model uses automatic engine stop-start (available as an option on other 1.0 petrol models), smaller 13-inch diameter (instead of 14-inch) wheels that minimise rolling resistance and automatic control of air conditioning when fitted.


Nothing exceptional or ground-breaking here, and automatic engine stop-start is not available even as an option with the bigger 1.2 litre engine. The CO2 emissions level for the model tested is 114 g/km, though Hyundai does offer an i10 with emissions as low as 98 g/km CO2. The i10 is quite heavy with a 941kg kerb weight (Citroen C1/Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 107 are 840kg), which costs fuel when accelerating and braking, but the car is fairly streamlined once you are up to cruising speed.
According to our calculations, the tested has a Next Green Car Rating of 36.


Trim levels start with the S model with central door locking (the key feels a bit flimsy), electric front windows, trip computer, a radio and CD player and a USB socket. As its name suggests the S Air version adds air-conditioning but SE is better value and does not cost that much extra. Standard equipment then includes air conditioning, remote central locking, electric rear windows as well as front, driver's seat-height adjustment and electrically adjustable heated door mirrors. Cruise control, power assisted steering, electronic stability control to minimise skids and multiband radio are also standard, helping make this model the pick of the bunch in terms of value for money. The wheels are still steel though. Premium trim smartens the car up with alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, leather steering wheel and Bluetooth phone connection. Satellite navigation and a sunroof are not on the options list.


Hyundai i10 rear

Model tested: Hyundai i10 1.2 litre SE
Body-style: Five-door supermini
Engine/CO2: 86bhp 1.2 four-cylinder petrol / 114 g/km
Trim grades: S, S Air, Blue Drive, SE, Premium

On-road price: From £8,895. Price as tested £10,475
Warranty: Five years / unlimited mileage
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 4.0 STARS

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Russell Bray

Author:Russell Bray
Date Updated:11th Dec 2015

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