The i10 has grown up. OK, so the new baby Hyundai is only 80mm longer than the old model, but that’s huge in car terms.
Motoring designers are used to dealing in millimetres, where a slight improvement in legroom or headroom can make all the difference.
The magicians at Hyundai have managed to make the new i10 a little wider, too, and have given the model much more of a big car feel. In fact, Hyundai claim it’s the biggest city car (that’s A segment to the boffins) and is in fact almost a B segment (supermini).
The i10 has been around since 2007 when it replaced the Atos. It has sold mainly on price as a rival to Kia Picanto, Ford Ka, Fiat Panda and the like, but the new model due on sale in January will major on size.
The price remains, the same, though from £8,345 and comes with a host of new equipment.
Appearing over five years after its predecessor went on sale, the New Generation i10 represents progress. Hyundai has already sold more than 110,000 cars of the original i10 in the UK alone since launch in 2008, accounting for one third of European sales.
A Hyundai spokesman said: “The New Generation i10 features a more expressive design both inside and out, while generous levels of comfort, quality and safety equipment enhance the car’s appeal even further.
“It is equipped with a host of standard and optional equipment typically found on cars from segments above. Automatic climate control, heated leather steering wheel and cruise control provide additional comfort, while safety features include the standard-fitment of Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and six airbags.”
It will be available with two refined and efficient petrol engines. The 1.0-litre, three-cylinder powertrain has an output of 66PS. In manual form, it can travel from standstill to 62mph in 14.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 96mph.
Expected to take 40 per cent of total sales, the four-cylinder 1.2-litre engine delivers 87PS. When mated to manual transmission, it can accelerate from standstill to 62mph in 12.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 106mph.
The biggest change, however, is in the build quality. It’s a safer, more solid vehicle with major improvements in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
Longer (plus 80mm), wider (plus 65mm) and lower (minus 50mm) than its predecessor, the new i10 also delivers best-in-class legroom and luggage capacity. Front and rear passengers benefit from a combined 1,890mm of legroom while luggage capacity is increased by ten per cent to 252 litres with the seats up. It makes for a much more comfortable experience and makes the car so much more versatile.
The i10 aligns with Hyundai’s new trim strategy first seen on the New ix35. The range begins with the new S trim, which starts at £8,345 on the road – the same entry price as the outgoing model.
As standard, the S trim comes with the 1.0-litre powertrain, cloth interior in black with beige inserts, 14in steel wheels, central locking, electric front windows, CD tuner plus USB, daytime running lights and tilt-adjust steering wheel as standard. The S Air with the addition of air-conditioning will be available from £8,995.
The SE adds remote central locking, electric rear windows, electric heated door mirrors, body colour door handles and mirrors, driver’s seat height adjustment and black B pillar. The SE is available in 1.0-litre manual, 1.0-litre Blue Drive with ISG (4 seat), 1.2-litre manual and the 1.2-litre automatic variants. Blue accent cloth interior trim is standard with vibrant orange accent cloth trim available as a no-cost option. Prices begin at £9,295.
The range-topping Premium has 14in alloys, Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, steering wheel controls, LED daytime running lights, front fog lamps, rear speakers, drivers safety window and door mirror indicators.
The i10 is produced at Hyundai’s plant in Izmit, Turkey, which recently received a £420 million upgrade to accommodate the increased production.