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Easy-driving Hyundai i10 is packed full with kit and technology

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The latest version of Hyundai's i10 citycar has landed. Here's the lowdown.

What is it?

The i10 is a citycar made by Korean manufacturer Hyundai. It's been around since 2007 when it replaced the little-loved Hyundai Amica.

The first generation i10 was a big improvement on the Amica, and by the time the second-generation i10 landed in 2013, with electricity stability control as standard across the range, the i10 was a force to be reckoned with in the highly competitive citycar market.

The latest generation car was unveiled in the summer, with UK price and specification confirmed in December and the car officially going on sale on 18 January.

Prices range from £12,495 to £15,495, which means the i10 isn't the cheapest citycar on block, but it is one of the best equipped as it goes head to head with the likes of the Toyota Aygo and Volkswagen Up.

What's new?

The car has been redesigned as new from the ground up, with a substantial investment in exterior and interior design, equipment, technology and driving dynamics.

However, the key focus is on technology, online connectivity, safety and a 'proper' five-seat experience if required (several citycars only offer 4 seats).

It's absolutely packed with kit and tech for a car of this size and class. Young people - and their parents - in particular will appreciate connectivity like Bluelink telematics, intelligent speed limit warning function, subscription-free Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and DAB radio.

How does it look?

The car has a sleek new look and different proportions to the outgoing model, with softer surfaces and sharper lines.

The roof's been lowered by 20mm to help with the looks, whilst a wider body (20mm) and longer wheelbase (40mm) make the cabin roomier. Optional new 16-inch alloy wheels help with the overall effect, too.

Prospective buyers can choose from 10 exterior base colours, including three new ones: Dragon Red, Brass and Aqua Turquoise.

The other exterior colour choices are Phantom Black, Polar White, Star Dust, Sleek Silver, Champion Blue, Tomato Red and Slate Blue.

A nice option is a two-tone roof - in either Black or Red - that dials up the funkiness. Overall, 22 exterior colour combinations are available.

What's under the bonnet?

Two engines were available at launch: a 1.0-litre MPi 3-cylinder with 67PS and 96Nm torque, as well as a 1.2-litre MPi 4-cylinder with 84PS and 118Nm torque. Other powerplant choices are in the pipeline.

Both these engines are available with two transmission choices, a five-gear manual transmission and a five-gear automated manual transmission (AMT). Hyundai says AMT increases efficiency thanks to its lighter weight and reduced friction.

Idle Stop and Go (ISG) is a standard feature, helping to lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by automatically switching off the engine when the car comes to a halt.

In order to further enhance aerodynamics the drag coefficient of the car was lowered from 0.32 to 0.31.

There's an ECO Pack available, too, which includes an adjusted gear ratio, four seats and 14-inch wheels for optimised efficiency.

We haven't driven the third-generation i10 yet, but by all reports it's easy and light, particularly when used as an urban runaround.

What's it like inside?

The cabin has had a significant makeover, with all that connectivity and touchscreen tech added.

There's a large decor panel on the dashboard, showing the 'honeycomb' 3D pattern that is carried as well into the door panels.

The door trim is designed to look like it's a visual extension of the dashboard while also guiding the eye towards the large storage compartments in the door.

As well as glovebox storage, there's an extra open storage compartment above the glovebox on the passenger side. Four different interior colour combinations are available.

Thanks to the increased wheelbase there's more room in the rear, and both four and five-seat versions are offered.

Boot space is decent for a car of this size, with a volume of 252 litres. Hyundai's engineers have made the lift-in height 29mm lower, making it easier for drivers to load luggage into the trunk.

The two-stage luggage board and one-hand folding rear seats add to convenience too. A rear-view camera is available to help with reversing.

Trim and tech

The new car is big on tech, connectivity and safety, with the manufacturer claiming that it offers the best safety package in its class, including as standard autonomous emergency braking and forward collision warning.

Also offered as standard are tyre pressure monitoring, driver attention alert, lane-keeping assist and hill-start assist.

These, in particular autonomous emergency braking and tyre pressure monitoring, are significant upgrades in the citycar class and will hopefully encourage the current move towards incorporating such features as standard in all classes of cars.

The previous entry level S spec has been banished, and the range now starts in SE trim.

For your £12,495 SE model you get plenty of standard kit including: DAB radio with 3.8" display, Bluetooth, air con, electric windows, leather steering wheel and gear lever, electric mirror adjustment and cruise control.

Trade up to SE Connect trim, starting at £13,495 and goodies include 15" alloys, 8" touchscreen display audio, rear view camera, subscription free Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth with voice activation and better engine options.

The i10 Premium (from £14,495) includes 16" alloy wheels, halogen bi-function headlamps with integrated position light, LED daytime running lamps, front fog lamps and privacy glass.

The cabin gets heated front seats and steering wheel, a unique to Premium honeycomb interior design and the top-rated engine options.

There are also various further customisation options like a Tech Pack (£1,000) and contrasting roof colour (£500). All models come with Hyundai's five-year warranty.

Verdict

This is a timely and well-executed revamp for a car in a competitive segment. The levels of tech are impressive, not just the connectivity ones but the safety equipment as well.

These will make the i10 a compelling proposition in this sector not just to parents wanting to buy a connected-yet-safe vehicle but for anyone of any age in the market for a bang-up-to-date city car.

Belfast Telegraph