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i10 looks a Hyundai winner

 
Created on 13/10/2016 @ 16:23
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Test Drive by Graham Breeze

With the competition growing and improving there was little option for Hyundai than to relaunch the i10 in the city car sector – a move that looks certain to pay dividends.

Because this is a massively improved i10 ready to compete head-on in a strong sector already heavily populated by such rivals as Skoda Citigo, Toyota Aygo, Kia Picanta and Volkswagen up.

In September, Hyundai sales were up 9.6% year on year, in a market up just over 1%, while retail sales were up 11.5%, a figure made all the more impressive given that the market has declined by 3.4%.

And it was the i10 city car, offering an award-winning package of design, space, technology, efficiency and safety, which achieved the most retail sales.

The last time I drove the i10 I wasn’t overly impressed but on this occasion I found the newly launched 1.0litre SE 66PS three-cylinder model a vastly different proposition, boasting competitive pricing, brilliant running costs, surprising space levels and lots of kit passed down from its big brothers in the Hyundai fleet.

Some of the rivals seat only four in this sector while Hyundai claim five. And yes you can get three across the back seats and though it is still a tight squeeze it does work. A 252litre boot is also a plus but still failed the golf club test.

The New i10 comes with design refinements such as a cascading grille - the new family identity for Hyundai models in the future. There’s also a new bumper design and new round LED daytime running lights, positioned at the edges of the grille.

At the rear the there’s a new bumper design with a black inlay and round fog lights and redesigned rear lights with a darker housing for a sportier look. Redesigned side mouldings with a new shape and size round off the New i10’s fresh profile.

Inside customers can now additionally choose from red, blue, orange, beige and black colours on all trims while the i10 stands on a new design of 14-inch steel or alloy wheels.

Steering is still a little on the vague side but overall handling is much better thanks to an improved gear ratio and performance levels will send a shiver down the spines of rival designers.

There’s combined fuel figures of 60mpg, which around town is exceptional, and a top speed of 96mpg with 0-62mph in 14.9seconds. CO2 figures are just 108g/km, meaning more savings on licencing costs.

The i10 on test would set you back £10,490 with metallic paint included at a cost £515 but you get a lot for your money in such a small car. There’s a Brake Assist System, Electronic Stability Programme and an engine immobiliser for example.

Remote central locking, cruise control, air conditioning, height adjustable steering column and all-round electric windows are not normally associated with this sector but they come as standard on the Hyundai as well as a five-year unlimited mileage warranty. With roadside assistance thrown in.

With sales already racing ahead there seems little to suggest that the Hyundai i10 will be anything other than a massive success for the company. The test car felt as at home on country roads as on the busy streets and it’s as good a city car as I have driven – yet.

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