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Slicker in the city. Image by Alisdair Suttie.

Slicker in the city
Hyundai's i10 city car is further evidence that the Korean firm is shaping up to be a serious threat to its European rivals.

   



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| A Week at the Wheel | Stirling, Scotland | Hyundai i10 1.1 Classic |

Inside & Out: star star star star star

Hyundai has abandoned the gawky looks of its previous city car efforts in favour of a smoothed out and surprisingly stylish appearance for the i10. The simple monobox five-door shape works well and does a fine job of hiding the tall sides that assist so much with interior headroom. A near-vertical rear tailgate also helps with space for the boot and the i10 is certainly one of the better cargo carriers in the city car class.

Inside, Hyundai has also pulled off a decent job of making the i10 attractive without going overboard on frills. The simple instrument pod is lifted above the humdrum thanks to a cream-faced speedo, while the simple stereo and ventilation controls are idiot-easy to work. We're also fans of the high-mounted gear lever and decent driving position. Manually adjusted door mirrors may seem stingy in this day and age, but they work with the i10's no-nonsense approach. It's the same story with unlocking the car by key rather than remote plipper and reminds drivers that not everything has to be automated.

Space for the driver is good and all-round visibility just what it should be in a city car - clear and uninterrupted to make driving and parking easy. Rear seat passengers also have reasonable space for heads and limbs, while the boot is more than up to the job of swallowing a week's shopping bags. It's just a shame Hyundai has not used a more sturdy plastic finish in the boot as we found it was all too easily scratched, which instantly does away with that new car feel.

Engine & Transmission: star star star star star

The 65bhp 1.1-litre four-cylinder engine in the i10 is not going to win many plaudits for performance, turning in 0-62mph in 15.6 seconds and a top speed of 94mph. However, judging the i10 purely on performance is a false start. It's nippy enough in town and the five-speed gearbox has a light action, but there's more engine noise than is comfortable if it's worked to its limits. Road and wind noise are not intrusive though, even on the motorway, and the i10 is one of the more refined cars in its class.

Ride & Handling: star star star star star

Soft suspension does a great job in town of brushing away poor road surfaces and the ride remains ably controlled once you head on to faster stretches of road. Roundabouts and corners introduce some lean to proceedings, but it's not excessive or lurch-prone, so children should remain car sick-free in the i10. Just as importantly as its handling, the i10 is very easy to park and the power-assisted steering, short overhangs front and rear, and good visibility all combine to make parallel parking something to look forward to rather than dread.

Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: star star star star star

The Hyundai i10 in its most basic form may have a low price, but that doesn't mean compromising on some of life's creature comforts. No, it doesn't have electrically adjusted door mirrors and central locking, but these are easy to live without. Instead, Hyundai supplies electric front windows, a CD stereo, air conditioning and four airbags in the starting price, which puts it ahead of most of the competition. There's also the reassurance of a five-year warranty as standard.

Fuel consumption of 56.5mpg is good without being stand-out special in this sector, while emissions of 119g/km of carbon dioxide qualify the i10 for low-rate road tax this year and next. The only bugbear here is that the tiny 35-litre fuel tank means stopping to refuel too often.

Overall: star star star star star

The Hyundai i10 is a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin kind of car. It offers up practical transport thanks to its compact five-door shape, decent interior and boot space, and is a model of simplicity when it comes to driving. For city motoring, it works well, though it misses some of its rivals' kerbside panache, while longer journeys are nothing to fear either.

Alisdair Suttie - 18 Aug 2008



  www.hyundai.co.uk    - Hyundai road tests
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2008 Hyundai i10 specifications: (Road test - 1.1 Classic)
Price: 6,745 on-the-road.
0-62mph: 15.6 seconds
Top speed: 94mph
Combined economy: 56.5mpg
Emissions: 119g/km
Kerb weight: 925kg

2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.

2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.



2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.
 

2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.
 

2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.
 

2008 Hyundai i10. Image by Alisdair Suttie.
 






 

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