First Drive Review: Hyundai i10

Independent review by David Ward

5-minute read

Red Hyundai i10 Exterior Front Driving

First Drive: Hyundai i10

Explore the key features of the Hyundai i10 in our expert first drive review

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The Hyundai i10 made strong first impressions and is a car that means serious business in the city car segment with its handy gadgets and nimble drive.


  • Enjoyable to drive
  • Good range of equipment
  • Stylish
  • Five doors and five seats
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Just when everyone was thinking that small, city cars were dead in the wood because of changes in consumer tastes and prohibitive emission rules, up pops Hyundai to confound the doubters with an all-new version of the little i10 hatchback.

The third generation i10 is completely new, having been re-engineered from the ground up, resulting in a more spacious and practical 5-door, 5-seat supermini that’s extremely comfortable and, crucially for buyers, affordable.

At first glance it may not seem to look much different from its predecessor, but it's with a more sporty and even more muscular body style, and it’s just 5mm longer, sits 20mm lower, and is 20mm wider.

The key though is that it has a 40mm wider wheelbase which means inside there’s more legroom, noticeably for rear seat passengers who also gain electric windows, and all versions have loads of safety and high-tech equipment on board as standard.

Driving Experience

There are three trim levels starting with the SE (the old S trim model has been dropped), on to the SE Connect and the top spec Premium with all offering exceptionally good value for the money.

The surprise package is the 1.0-litre with an automatic gearbox in SE Connect trim. It will certainly appeal to those drivers who spend most of their time journeying through congested town centre roads.

The gearchange, even left in automatic mode without touching the manual option, is smooth, really responsive, and exceptionally quiet. This is a break from the norm for city cars, which in the past have been renowned for being sluggish and noisy.

On the road, the latest i10 is much more impressive than before. It's quieter all round, although the smaller of the two petrol engines has to be worked more when accelerating.

The ride is comfortable, more stable than before, and the car’s ride is less fidgety too, certainly when driving around twisty country lanes.

Overall, it delivers a far more competent ride and drive than some rival bigger hatchbacks.
David Ward

It’s also more of a fun car to drive, with a satisfying 0 to 62mph acceleration in around 12 seconds and a claimed top speed of 106mph for the 1.2-litre manual driven here.

Naturally for any city car decent fuel consumption is imperative, and the figures are impressive with the 1.2-litre manual returning an average of 55.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 105g/km.

Both petrol engines seem to be frugal enough on fuel consumption and again running costs are low – important for drivers who opt for a city car.

For those more enthusiastic drivers wanting a sportier drive in this new i10, the i10 is also available in a sportier N Line model.

Equipment and Technology

All versions of the i10 come with an impressive list of standard kit such as autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, tyre pressure monitoring, leather steering wheel, cruise control, and air conditioning.

The SE Connect versions have an easy to use 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and sit on 15-inch alloy wheels. Spend a little extra, and you can move into the Premium range with 16-inch alloy wheels and there's built-in sat nav, speed limit warning, a telematics app, and heated front seats.

Design and Practicality

The dashboard has a touch of Hyundai's bigger Kona model about it, but sensibly the Korean carmaker has kept the raised gear level position.

There’s lots of hardy but strong feeling plastic trim in the cabin, but overall the interior has a far more airy feel thanks to that wheelbase.

Boot space at 252 litres remains as before, but again it’s around the best in class.


The new i10 is clearly bucking the trend and showing that the city car is by no means dead. This latest incarnation is highly impressive and comes with a variety of equipment across the whole range.

There's a variety of models to choose from to suite a range of budgets, but whichever variant you go for, you can be sure your i10 will be fantastic around town and inexpensive to run on a daily basis.