After a week-long test drive of the Hyundai i10 SE here are some of my experiences with the car.
Day 1 – Hyundai i10 SE First Impressions
I didn’t get first sight of the Hyundai i10 until early evening; I was actually very surprised at how much better looking the new i10 is over the previous generation. Hyundai have obviously put an awful lot of effort into making such a cost-effective small car look a lot more appealing to the masses.
The i10 comes in 6 variants, the S, S Air, SE, SE Blue Drive, Premium, and Premium SE. The model we had on test drive was the SE with the 1.0-litre, three cylinders, 65bhp engine. The i10 is really as small as city cars come and I was quite intrigued to see how I would get on during my week with this ultra-efficient small car.
Day 2 – First Real Drive in the Car
Taking the Hyundai i10 out for the first time was a big eye-opener for me. I had expectations of the car being exceptionally slow because of the three-cylinder engine, but I was very relieved to see that the i10 moves around pretty easily. The car weighs a little over 900kg, so 65bhp isn’t as bad as it sounds. Taking off for the first drive I was actually quite enjoying the raspy, unusual sound from the three-cylinder engine.
The controls of the car, as you can probably imagine, are all super-light, to go with the city driving style, the steering in particular. I have never experienced steering as light as the i10, and although it matches the city driving style, I don’t think it is particularly necessary to go to the great extreme as it does and alleviate a lot of feedback from the car. But super lightweight steering will help the older generation, as an example, who may find it difficult steering into a parking space. The five-speed gearbox works very well with the 65bhp, and the brakes have plenty of bite and are also well weighted against the car.
Day 3 – Evening Photoshoot
On Wednesday Ross Jukes and I took the car out for a photoshoot in an urban environment. We picked out a couple of spots we believe really show off the new looks of the latest generation i10.
Taking a look at the i10 in a few different vibrant environments, I think Hyundai have done quite a good job of restyling the car. The model on test is a mid-range model and doesn’t even have alloy wheels, but it is very affordable coming in under £10,000 in the UK.
Taking the i10 around the urban locations we had picked emphasised to me just how beneficial the small turning circle and light weight controls actually are when manoeuvring the car, and even after a few hours of stop-start driving I didn’t feel drained by the experience at all.
Day 4 – Caught in Traffic
Driving home in the i10 through city centre traffic every day, gave me a great opportunity to test the urban mpg. Sitting in fairly heavy traffic the car somehow still seemed to average over 40mpg. The lightweight controls also improve the traffic driving experience as it takes away some of the pain of constantly compressing then decompressing the clutch.
The car’s interior is fairly basic, which is understandable with its low price, but you still have all the standard features that you need. The heating controls are easy to use and very effective, and you still get a CD player, radio, USB input for your mobile devices and even two 12v sockets to charge your gadgets.
You also have the possibility to customise the internal plastic components of the interior from a selection of colours, the model on test came with a blue interior.
Day 5 – People Love Small Cars
I discussed the car with many people through-out the week, they are interested in the i10; wondering how good the car is and just how usable it is with its small size. In England I think there is a certain need for small cars, making driving and everyday tasks simpler. Cars such as the i10 with big car features do seem to get a fairly decent take up and now I am starting to see why.
Day 6 – Photoshoot
We took the car out to a selection of planned locations to try capturing some great shots of the Hyundai i10. We try to capture people’s attention with great photographs of the cars we test. However this day was going to be a challenge, we had a white car on a very dull and drizzly day, so it was going to be tough to get any contrast.
We planned an early start to set the car up at a reservoir and capture a nice sunrise over the water. However we were greeted with horrible drizzle and thick cloud which creates a very different picture overall, and wasn’t what we had initially anticipated.
After the reservoir we took the car to a number of different sites to capture some more urban and industrial style shots and show off the new generation i10’s bolder looks.
Day 7 – Looking Back on the Week
Personally I’m not in the market for a super small city car, but the i10 has shown me that you don’t need a lot of bhp to have a fun time driving. I was very surprised by the i10 and its 65bhp. But I was also surprised by the practicalities that you could get from a car with such a very small footprint. I have tested much larger cars which have been less practical than the Hyundai i10. Overall, I was very happy with car; it’s a great price, it’s a great performer, and it comes with Hyundai’s five-year guarantee, it’s a no-brainer really.