BY BRIAN BYRNE
IN the small car arena, there’s competition in a space which is also a small segment of total car sales.
For Hyundai, the diminutive i10 has been important to lead it in the list. Any car that represents some 8pc of your sales is worth having in your range. It might well be a starter car for some; for others at opposite end of their driving life, it can be a manageable step down in retirement.
The nameplate has been around since 2007. Now with the third generation recently on sale, there’s a definite argument that it could become the best city car in our market.
The length and width are a little more, the style an awful lot more.
A strong design in front, a really smart two-tone effect with the different coloured roof of the review car, and a significant snazzing up of the interior … all contribute to vehicle that overall seems to have really grown up. Outside it has developed a muscular look, inside it’s a mixture of comfort curves and sharp design.
The dashboard style, with the 8” essential centre screen, is well thought out. There’s a good sense of width and some intriguing horizontal patterns.
Traditional analogue-style instruments with all the digitally-sourced information you might want. Blessedly simple climate controls. A snappy right to hand gearshifter. In this size of car, everything can be easily managed.
There is surprising room in the rear for a couple. The boot capacity, at 252L, is the same as before.
The Irish distributor makes a big point of the level of technology in the latest i10, and there certainly does seem to be a lot of it for a baby car. But that’s almost a requirement in any size new car today. Included is a regeneration feature that converts braking into electric energy which can then power the electrics under acceleration.Not really hybrid, but a little help in economy.
In addition, the car comes with Stop and Go, helping a little more. Everybody is now used to three-cylinder engines and their advantages in build costs and fuel economy, and there will be no surprises in the latest i10.
It comes with a manual or automatic, the latter only barely less frugal and still managing to keep in the lowest road tax band.
There are three grades, then you have the two-tone roof or the auto as further options.So far very well received by my colleagues, I heard some minor criticism of the power. But I didn’t find it in any way short, given what one expects in this class.
A sweet car, sweet looks and a manageable price. Not much more to ask for.
What I liked: Sweet all over.
Price: From €14,745; review car €17,645.