Product Type: Hyundai cars
Newest Review: ... it is in proportion with the rest of the vehicle it is far from a problem. The i10 I own has electric front windows but not back, central l... more
The long and the (very) short: Hyundai's newest model
Member Name: kevin121
Date: 23/11/09, updated on 11/11/12 (1254 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap purchase price, low running costs, ideal in urban areas, comfortable, 5 year warranty.
Disadvantages: Not in the slightest prestigious, looks that aren't to everyone's taste.
I started seriously looking at alternatives for my Peugeot in July, by which time the oil stains on the drive, a slipping clutch and rusting exhaust were a small indication of what lay ahead at the MOT in October.
Why this car?
In short the amazing price of a brand new car. The alternative was, obviously, to trade Pepe the Peugeot 106 for a second hand car, but I imagine my cherished 15 year old car would have got nothing more than a chuckle from most dealers.
So, full of the promises of £1000 of taxpayers money being given to me (sort of) to buy a safer, potentially more environmentally friendly (and did I say brand new?) car than my three door, no airbags and no frills car I reconsidered.
I still wanted a modest hatchback (you never know when you might need to take home some 6 foot long timber from the DIY store, and a saloon just won't do) with low maintenance needs.
Other possibilities I discounted included the Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 107/Citroen C1, Kia Picanto and Suzuki Swift. The first mentioned has a risible boot and no real legroom for a child let alone an adult in the back. The Kia, although a very close cousin is older and seems more dated than the i10 which was launched barely 18 months ago, while the Suzuki is over a grand pricier, has a more unattractive dashboard in my opinion and has a higher Insurance band (D) which put me off. BMW's Mini and Fiat's 500 were both more stylish yet out of my price league.
Then a certain Richard on here suggested the Hyundai range. All I knew at the time was that Hyundai was a South Korean company. Perhaps not a company that blazes trails, they do nevertheless have a solid reputation for building cheap yet decent cars which come with 5 year warranties.
Two test drives later, I happily raided my piggy bank for the purchase price of an i10.
So what exactly is my new pride and joy?
My specific model is an i10 Classic.
The i10 is the smallest in Hyundai's' newest ranges which also features, imaginatively, the i20 and i30. Of the three in the i10 range, I opted for the entry level model, albeit with a 1.2 litre engine rather than the 1.1 also on sale. For those inclined to pimp up their cars, the other two trim levels included a rear spoiler, heated front seats and alloy wheels, but what's the point in a car of this size?
With the scrappage discount of £2000, I only paid £5400 for mine. For that, I got a car with four airbags, a six speaker stereo which truthfully is really rather good, air conditioning, and electric front windows.
The engine size of the range is limited, with only a 1.1 or 1.2 to choose from, all of which except for one are petrol. There was also the choice of an automatic gearbox in the range, although mine is a manual.
The good news is that this is a really economical car to run. In optimum conditions it's said to deliver a thrifty 56.5mpg, although most of my driving is in built up areas, so it drops to around 45mpg, which is still very good.
Because the CO2 emissions are only 119g/km, it qualifies for the £35 per year road tax, which was included in the purchase price.
It's also just a class 3 insurance car (out of some 20 I think), which is nice when it comes to the annual premiums.
Appearances are deceptive...
To put the length of the i10 into context, at 356 cms, it's 16cms shorter than the newest Micra!
The i10 proudly boasts having the longest wheelbase in it's citycar class, with what seems like a really small bonnet and an angular, almost vertical rear view. This is great designing because all the room is inside the cabin. Height wise it's one of the tallest small cars I've seen. The brochure tells me it's 154cm, which in real terms means I'm going to have trouble reaching the middle when I'm trying to wash the roof.
All the i10's are five door hatch's. Considering the length I'm somewhat surprised no 3 door models were designed.
Aesthetically, some people might find it slightly strange looking, but personally I like it.
I opted for metallic blue paint which was an extra £350. Having owned a red car for the last 10 years, the idea of owning another red one (the only non-metallic, and therefore cheaper alternative) didn't appeal.
A pretty much standard car exterior, although my Classic model doesn't have front fog lights.
Despite it being an entry level model, the interior is surprisingly rather nice. There are three cupholders in the middle one of which includes a coin holder thingy. Although the fascias and trims are all a dull grey plastic, I suspect most cars in this price bracket are no better.
Behind the steering wheel is the display containing the speedometer ( and odometer in a digital display), to the right is the fuel and temperature gauge, and to the left is the rev counter. Previously, I had simply gone by the noise the car was making to tell the rpm I was doing.
I can't believe how excited I got at the prospect of having electric windows! The rear two are manual, but as I rarely carry passengers in the rear, I'm sure they won't feel hard done by.
There's a six speaker stereo system with cd player and it has the ability to play mp3's (not something I've tried yet) mounted on the dashboard which is only controlled by using the dashboard dials. No nifty channel changes in the steering wheel unfortunately. The two steering wheel stalks control the lights on one and the wipers on the other. The horn is accessible in the middle, although the only time I've tested it, it gave a rather embarrassing squeak. Not the full-on horn sound I was hoping for.
The cloth interior is a muted grey check colour, which I think suits it better than trying to match it with the blue exterior. You can, after all, have too much of a good thing. The top of the range edition comes with a leather steering wheel and gear knob too, if that sort of thing impresses you.
The rear seats can fold 60/40 if you have to carry any awkward or bulky items.
There's also an immobiliser fitted, which is standard in all the models.
The annual running costs?
It's really too early to say, but compared to my last car, it's fair to say the i10 will be a whole lot cheaper to keep roadworthy, at least for the foreseeable future. A five year warranty means, of course, that I'm obliged to take it back to the dealer for a service next year, although the idea of three years without forking out for an MOT tickles me pink.
For those amongst you who don't drive manual cars, it's worth noting that the automatic model is the only one which has CO2 emissions over the 120g/kmc threshold which puts it in the higher Road Tax band. That plus the fact that it's reckoned to deliver 10mpg less than the petrol models would make it an instant no-no for me.
One of the biggest pluses with this vehicle is the very good driving position. Thanks to the height of the vehicle, and the height of the seats accordingly, I find I can get a better view over the tops of parked cars (excellent for me, trying to pull out into heavy traffic).
Although I've not had any emergency stop situations yet, it's good to know that there's ABS together with Electronic Brake force distribution, which in an emergency basically determines how to best distribute the braking force. I bet you didn't expect that in a car this size.
No front fog lights on my model, which I feel should have come as standard.
Dual airbags to the front and side along with the side impact bars, have helped to convince the staff at EuroNcap to give the i10 four stars out of a possible 5, which is better than most other citycars.
Even though the top speed I seem to manage locally is 'crawling' speed it's still comforting to know that even at the bottom end of the market, car manufacturers seem to take safety seriously.
What's it like to drive?
Being at an age where I don't suffer with many aches and pains, I find the i10 is really rather comfortable to drive. My mother, who has accompanied me on several longish motorway journeys, though, declares she would need to invest in one of those wooden beaded seat covers if she were to travel more frequently in it.
The pedals, although slightly offset, don't leave me feeling as if I'm sitting awkwardly, and there's a nice footrest on the left to take the weight of your clutch foot.
I also find the handling is excellent, and the power steering something which I've come to love very quickly.
The only drawback here is the visibility, which is slightly poorer than I'm used to. The front and rear pillars seem to be quite large from the drivers position, and a slight niggle I have is that being a five door, whenever I have to check over my right shoulder it seems to take longer than it should. That might sound odd, but there really is more metal there obscuring my view than on a three door car.
The top speed of this is stated to be an impressive 102 mph although I can't testify to having travelled anything like as fast. Taking just under 13 seconds to get from 0-62mph however, seems accurate, although as you've probably gathered it's a car designed for city journeys so the chance of me reaching 30mph sometimes is wishful thinking.
One drawback is that there is no intermittent wiper action. I either have to keep it on constant or keep flicking my finger over the stalk. A small point perhaps but both the other models have this feature, and I can't understand how Hyundai have saved any money by dropping it from my model.
At the end of every drive, one needs to park the car, and therein lies one of the trickier aspects of owning this vehicle. Despite sitting so high up, it's impossible to see the front of the car. Likewise, the rear being so angular, it just drops away. This makes it difficult to judge both at the front and rear when I'm parking. The only consolation is that with experience I've found it easier to judge.
This car has a good sized boot in comparison to similar sized vehicles. There is a run-flat spare tyre fitted underneath the boot floor.
The space in the boot doesn't take anything away from the rear passenger seats though. The space here is somewhat limited, but for shortish journeys, I don't imagine too many adults would feel uncomfortable. Luckily I tend to sit with my seat quite far forward, which would help give the person behind me some more legroom. In the front is a different matter, and it really doesn't feel constricted at all.
So would I recommend it?
If you're looking to buy an inexpensive car, perhaps like me in exchange for scrapping your old one, or as a smaller alternative to the main family car, then yes I would.
After all, if you're thinking of buying a car this small (or wiiii maybe?), any thoughts of prestige would have already left your head I'm sure.
The interior, though not exactly flash, is nicer than that in other cars in this range.
Even in citycar or supermini ranges, people now expect more for their money, and I believe Hyundai delivers. Although, as I've said, I don't do much high speed driving, the Ncap rating and various safety features help to put my mind at rest that should the unfortunate happen, I shouldn't feel disadvantaged being in such a small car.
Incidentally, I should point out, that when we went to take delivery of the car, the staff told us that they are now having to turn 'scrappage' customers away, Hyundai just can't make them fast enough - they're selling like hot cakes.
Summary: One of the best city cars around now.