Eyeing up the Hyundai i10

Hyundai’s i10 has built a formidable reputation as one of the very best affordable small cars. The revised range boasts smarter styling, new engines and an eco-focused Blue model with CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.

Hyundai’s i10 has built a formidable reputation as one of the very best affordable small cars. The revised range boasts smarter styling, new engines and an eco-focused Blue model with CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.

The Hyundai i10 has been a very strong contender in the city car segment offering impressive standards of quality and design backed-up by the generous specification you expect from Hyundai and that famous five-year warranty. Now the facelifted little car is on an efficiency drive with an all-new 1.0-litre engine, start-stop technology and a fashionably eco-tweaked green version called, naturally enough, the Blue.

With just 68bhp at its disposal, the new 1.0 i10 Blue just about wings ‘frisky’ in the confines of an urban environment but its rather feeble looking 0-62mph time of 14.8s is actually a whole second quicker than the old 1.1 could manage. Like that car, it struggles a bit out of town but the new three-pot motor is a sweet engine with an engaging off-beat soundtrack that’s fun to work hard. And the precise action of the five-speed gearbox means it’s no chore keeping it on the boil. That said, the updated 1.2 powerplant with 85bhp makes life considerably more relaxed behind the wheel and adds to the fun quotient by actually putting a little heat into a surprisingly nifty chassis. And with a combined consumption of 61.4mpg and CO2 emission of just 108 g/km, you’re hardly going to be branded a climate criminal.

The i10’s cabin design has also been subjected to some tidying but remains simple and appealing. The vibrancy and ingenuity that characterises the best small car interiors doesn’t appear to be in evidence but Hyundai looks to have concentrated on getting the fundamentals right.

The safety-first approach should help maintain the brand’s steady forward momentum. The revised range is divided into four trim grades - Blue, Classic, Active and Style. As before, all models get air conditioning, four electric windows, power steering, central locking, tinted glass, four airbags and a six-speaker CD/radio stereo, but new to the standard kit list is a dedicated connection for your iPod as well as non-Apple MP3 players. The items that make the Blue ‘Blue’ consist of low rolling resistance tyres, an Eco Drive indicator that tells you the most efficient time to change gear, and Hyundai’s ISG stop-start system.

Town car buyers aren’t going short of choice at the moment. Small, economical vehicles that can help motorists sidestep the worst of the environmental taxation burden are very much in vogue and if they can do so with some design flair and a little bit of cheekiness thrown in, well, so much the better. Hyundai’s refreshed i10 might lack the sparkle to seduce the nation’s urban trendies but it continues to put a definite tick in the boxes marked quality, practicality and value.