Hyundai i10 review (2020): worth the investment?

7 May 2021, 20:00  •  Review  •  Door Robin Nieuwhof

Appearances deceive. The new Hyundai i10 seems small, but in terms of size it hardly differs from a Hyundai Getz from over ten years ago. And the Getz was a model in the B-segment. The i10 is a five-door hatchback in the A segment. So, the new Hyundai i10 is bigger, but better by definition? We find out.

A-segment under pressure

The A-segment is under pressure. Smaller (dealer) margins make it difficult for manufacturers to set up an earnings model for a car in the A-segment. Moreover, it is more difficult to reduce CO2 emissions in the A segment, because the application of hybrid systems in A segment models is quite expensive and makes cars more expensive. And let the A-segment be a very price-sensitive segment, where every euro counts.

Hyundai i10

All these things result in changes in the A-segment. The Opel KARL and Ford Ka+ have been scrapped due to excessively high emissions, and the trio of Volkswagen Up, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo are going on the electric tour and are therefore increasing in price. Hyundai believes that there are still a lot of people looking for a new, first car of say 15,000 euros with a normal gasoline engine under the hood. And so Hyundai developed a brand new i10. It is here in front of us. Time to take a closer look at it.

I10 Design

Hyundai has given the i10 different proportions. The wheels have been placed more at the corners, the roofline has been lowered by 20 mm and the width of the i10 has been increased by 20 mm. Lower and wider and therefore automatically tougher. To emphasize the rugged character of the i10, Hyundai has even developed a sporty N-Line version with striking red details and a lively power source: a 100 hp 1.0 T-GDi three-cylinder with 100 hp and 172 Nm, which we also know from the Kia Picanto GT-Line. This N-Line version – a kind of hot hatchback light – will be launched in May 2020 and is expected to cost just over 19,000 euros.

Hyundai 1.0 MPi petrol engine

Hyundai has also developed a 1.2 MPI four-cylinder gasoline engine with 84 hp and 118 Nm for the i10, but that engine variant will not come to the Netherlands. The higher CO2 emission makes this power source uninteresting for the Dutch market. So what will we get? That is a 1.0 MPi three-cylinder petrol engine with an output of 67 hp (49 kW) and 96 Nm of torque. Gears can be changed with a five-speed manual transmission or a robotic version of that transmission. On paper, of course, the computer-controlled five-speed manual transmission is an automatic. What is all this supposed to cost? We’ll list that in the next few paragraphs. First a handy price overview of the Hyundai i10.

Prices Hyundai i10 1.0 MPi

5MT i-Drive – €12,995
5MT Comfort – €14,995
5MT Premium – €16,795
5MT Comfort 5-seater – 15,595 euros
5AT Comfort 5-seater – €16,795

Hyundai i10 Air conditioning

The basic i-Drive variant is already pretty rich in the kit, think central door locking, cruise control with speed limiter, electric front windows, Lane Keeping Assist and more. Except air conditioning. In our opinion, this is indispensable and a must-have if only for the residual value of the i10. Air conditioning is included in the second trim level, the Comfort. This is available from €14,995, two thousand more. Our advice, at least go for the Comfort. The i10 also gets an 8-inch display with preparation for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB+ radio, front fog lights and tinted glass. All things you want in a new car.

Hyundai i10 premium

Finally, there is the Premium, the top model. It costs 16,795 euros and has the extras of a reversing camera, automatic air conditioning, cornering lights, an induction charger for wireless charging of smartphones and support for the Bluelink smartphone app, which allows you to remotely check the condition of your car, lock the doors and find your car. For the Netherlands, the Comfort version is the most interesting, with the majority of buyers going for the manual version. In our view also the most fun to drive version.

Interior and seats

Hyundai delivers the i10 with four seats as standard. Optionally, the i10 can be equipped as a five-seater, but that is only possible with the Comfort trim level. You pay €15,595 for the five-seater Comfort. The automatic version – actually a robotized manual transmission – is only available on the Comfort with five seats and costs EUR 16,795, the same as the price of the i10 Premium.

After all these figures, it is time to relax: drive! While driving the new Hyundai i10, it is noticeable that there is absolutely no feeling that you are driving an A-segment car. The feeling of space is large for an A-segment car, very large in fact. The space in the back is also surprising. With the available head and legroom, the i10 is even roomier than some cars in the B-segment. Well done by Hyundai. The luggage space measures 252 liters, ample for the weekly shopping. If desired, you can fold away the backrest, which can be folded down in two parts, to create more space. This creates an almost flat loading floor.

Hyundai i10 comfort

The suspension is pleasantly damped. Comfort predominates, although some extra sound insulation in the wheel arches wouldn’t hurt. That would benefit the silence on board. The new i10 gives a mature impression. It is simply a sturdy little car. The 1.0 MPi does require some revving up to keep up the momentum. When overtaking, it is necessary to downshift in order to reach the desired gear. In addition, the clutch is a bit light. This makes finding the point of engagement a little trickier. A matter of doing a lot of kilometers. The steering is a bit heavier than usual for more steering feel, a good choice as far as we are concerned.

In an A-segment hatchback, do not expect a soft dashboard finish; that would simply make the car too expensive. Nevertheless it must be said that the i10 gives a very solid impression. The dashboard is neatly put together and everything looks neat. In the test car, the dashboard is almost entirely black and grey. That is perhaps a bit boring. Fortunately the dashboard brightens up nicely with some colors. The ergonomics are excellent. Everything is easy to operate, the 8-inch touchscreen in particular by the handy shortcut keys next to the screen. This way you can also quickly adjust something while on the road, which is very nice. The steering wheel also houses the necessary buttons to operate everything as easily as possible.

Hyundai i10 review

For many buyers, the Hyundai i10 is their first introduction to the Korean brand. And that first impression will be very positive for many buyers. The car is well built, comfortable, spacious, has more than enough safety systems, is easy to drive, is quite economical and has a favourable weight of approximately 920 kilograms for the road tax. And then there’s the 5-year warranty, regardless of mileage. That all sounds pretty good. Just forget about the starting price of just under 13,000 euros. Save up and invest 14,995 euros in the Comfort. Only then will you get the i10 as Hyundai intended.

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