The new Hyundai i10 on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Hyundai i10 on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the Hyundai i10.

The latest generation of the Hyundai i10 goes on sale in Ireland, priced from €14,800. Small and simple, the Hyundai i10 is the most popular city car on sale in the country. Now Hyundai has launched an all-new model, billing it as “the small car that makes the big statement.” In Ireland the new i10 will build on the success of the previous generation, a former Irish Car of the Year category winner, which has established itself well in the A segment.

What’s new for the 2020 Hyundai i10?

The i10 offers a lot for a starting price of just €14,800, rising to €18,450 for a top of the range automatic model. Hyundai promises a youthful spirit, and certainly in a bright colour like the blue of our test car, the i10 helps you find the bright side of life.

Hyundai has modernised the design of the i10 to provide maximum interior space within a small footprint. It is 20 mm wider and 20 mm shorter compared to the previous model, giving it a wider, sportier stance on the road. The belt line has been lowered to improve visibility for driver and passengers. The front end is quite distinct with a wide grille incorporating round LED daytime running lights with a honeycomb pattern. At the rear, two new horizontal creases lines break up the soft surfaces of the boot and run into the taillights. The X-shaped C-pillar is a nice touch especially in combination with the two tone roof option, drawing the eye to the pillar-mounted i10 logo.

The new i10 goes on sale from €14,800 in Ireland
The new i10 goes on sale from €14,800 in Ireland

What’s the range like in Ireland?

There is one petrol engine available for the new i10 in Ireland. It’s a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre affair that falls into motor tax band A with annual motor tax of just €180 or €190 per year depending on trim and alloy wheel size. There are three trim levels – Classic (from €14,800), Deluxe (from €16,250) and Deluxe Plus (from €17,250). A five speed manual comes as standard with the option of an automatic. The Deluxe Plus model on test with a two tone roof retails from €17,650.

Standard features include leather wrapped steering wheel, split folding seats, driver’s height adjustment, cruise control, Bluetooth, electric front windows, driver attention warning, lane keep assist and forward collision warning. The Deluxe adds 15” alloys, electric door mirrors, manual air conditioning, rear privacy glass, front fog lights, and LED daytime running lights. Deluxe Plus adds 8” touchscreen with Android Auto/Apple Car Play, wireless charger and rear parking camera.

I was driving the i10 Deluxe Plus with two tone roof, which is clearly the cool one. The circular daytime running lamps, two tone roof and cheeky i10 scripted in a flick of black at the rear of the car bestow some character upon the smallest Hyundai. It’s visual stance is improved by its lowered roof and wider body.

The interior of the new Hyundai i10
The interior of the new Hyundai i10

Inside the new Hyundai i10

Inside, Hyundai designers have tried to give the i10 a youthful impression without compromising usability. The i10 is a well packaged small car with generous interior space for this class of vehicle and plenty of storage. The wheelbase has been increased by 40 mm for this new model, to create more interior space. At 252 litres, the boot is one of the largest in the segment. They have also lowered the lift-in height compared to the previous model and there is also a two-stage luggage board.

The interior feels good for a small car, and while there are a lot of hard plastics, at this price we don’t really care. The 8″ touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto comes as standard on the Deluxe Plus to give a pleasant technology upgrade.

There is also an impressive list of safety features available for such a small car. We couldn’t help but notice the little lane assist symbol making sure we had good lane discipline. We also noted the rear reversing camera. The new i10 is equipped with the latest Hyundai SmartSense active safety and driving assistance features including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), High Beam Assist (HBA), Lane Keep Assist System (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and the Intelligent Speed Limit Warning (ISLW).

The Hyundai i10 is powered by a small petrol engine
The Hyundai i10 is powered by a small petrol engine

Driving the i10

The new i10 has been designed, developed, and manufactured in Europe. The brand say handling has been improved through changes to the rear suspension and steering system. A small urban runaround powered by a simple 1.0-litre petrol engine with less than 70 hp, means that you won’t be trying anything silly behind the wheel. But as a simple means of A to B, it does go and go. I had it on the motorway and it was not a problem.

This car is perfect for nipping to the shops and excels in the urban environment with its super compact dimensions making it easy to park. Controls are light, with not much weight in the steering at all. It’s far from a sports car but this makes it ideal for parking. The i10 covers town, country and even motorway without any fuss. The i10’s small non-turbo petrol engine will have to work hard to get to 100 kmh – 14.6 seconds in fact – but once it gets there, it’s quiet with a decent level of refinement and comfort for such a small car.

The Hyundai i10 has its market and the brand has modernised the i10 sufficiently to keep the target market happy with an improved interior and updated styling and equipment. The engine is not a performance star but it offers good economy and over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 5.0 litres per 100 km.

The i10 is easy to drive and park in its natural habitat around town, but behaves like a bigger car should you take it out onto major roads.

Hyundai has had great success in Ireland with their small car offering including the i10, i20 and Kona compact crossover. The i10 makes a great case on price and gear, making itself still very relevant to the Irish market.

Plenty of small car charm to be found in the new i10
Plenty of small car charm to be found in the new i10

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Hyundai i10 Deluxe Plus with 2 tone roof
Engine: 1.0-litre petrol
67 hp
Torque: 96 Nm
14.8 seconds
Top speed: 156 km/h
Fuel economy (WLTP): 4.8-5.9 l/100km
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 120 g/km
Motor Tax:  €190 per year