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Hyundai i10 (2014-2020) Review logo

Hyundai i10 (2014-2020) Review

heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

Hyundai I10
Hyundai I10
Hyundai I10
Hyundai I10
Hyundai I10
Hyundai I10
Hyundai I10
Hyundai I10
Hyundai I10
Hyundai I10
Hyundai I10

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heycar rating
"Roomy, comfortable, easy to drive"
  • Launched: 2014
  • City car
  • Petrol

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Quick overview

Pros

  • Compact yet spacious 
  • Comfortable ride in town
  • Smooth automatic gearbox

Cons

  • Entry-level models sparsely equipped
  • Not the most efficient city car
  • Harsh brake pedal

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Hyundai i10  frontright exterior

Overall verdict

Hyundai i10  front interior

On the inside

Hyundai i10  backright exterior

Driving

Hyundai i10  central console

Cost to run

Hyundai i10  backleft interior

Prices and Specs

Overall verdict

"Buy yourself a Hyundai i10 and we promise you won’t ever feel shortchanged. Yes, it’s affordable and cheap to run, but it never feels like a budget car. It’s got a smart cabin, lots of space, plenty of kit in Premium trim and is comfortable and secure to drive. What more could you possibly want from an everyday runabout?"

Hyundai i10  frontright exterior

The Hyundai i10 is a dinky city car that offers a surprising amount of interior space, and impressive ride comfort in spite its diminutive size. Its predecessor was affordable, good to drive, and came well-equipped, and this version builds on those strong foundations to become one of the very best small cars on the market.


The Hyundai i10 has now been replaced, and we've reviewed the new model separately, but don't write off its older brother just yet. Unlike many rivals, it's only available with five doors (rather than three) and the design was given a refresh in 2016, with a range of styling upgrades including a new grille, front bumper and LED daytime running lights. 


What makes it so good? Well, by focusing on space and a grown-up 'big car' feel Hyundai managed to build a city runabout that can also confidently tackle family duties and longer trips too. This versatility is rare in this class, and its affordable price and cheap running costs only add to its appeal.


It still has all the qualities you'd want from a compact car. Visibility is good, the driving position is well-judged, and the controls are light, so it's an easy car to weave through traffic or park in a crowded multi-story. Yet there is enough room for even taller adults to sit comfortably in the back for hours on end, and a big boot.


The cabin manages to be both cheap and cheerful, avoiding the dreary grey tones that plague so many cars at this price. Build quality is top notch, and the simple, intuitive layout is a joy to use. Avoid the most basic i10 and you'll get lots of standard equipment, with top Premium SE models fully loaded with luxury features that include smartphone mirroring, a heated steering wheel and front seats, climate control and parking sensors.


Power comes from two small petrol engines; a 1.0-litre three-cylinder with 67PS or a 1.2-litre four-cylinder with 87PS. Neither engine has a turbocharger, so performance is not exactly brisk, especially with the optional four-speed automatic gearbox on the 1.2 (a five-speed manual is standard fit on both).


The smallest engine is fine if you mainly drive in town. It's smooth, eager to rev, and doesn't feel as slow as its official performance figures imply, although it can feel out of its depth on faster roads and motorway trips. It's also the most efficient i10, although an official figure of just over 50mpg is nothing to write home about.


If you often visit relatives in Scotland or have a lot of burly mates, you'll want the 1.2-litre model. It's not a lot quicker, and needs working quite hard to get it moving, but requires fewer down changes for climbing hills. It also comes with the option of a proper traditional automatic, which is much smoother than most semi-autos.


For buyers looking for fun, you may be disappointed. The i10 feels nimble and light, gripping well in corners and keeping an impressively tight rein on its body movements over bumps, but rivals have sharper steering.


The latest i10 is safer, even more refined and better equipped, but this generation still has a lot going for it. On the used market, it's exceptionally good value, especially in the highest trim levels. If you need a roomy and relaxing small car with all the toys, it remains one of the smartest choices around. Highly recommended.


If you're looking for the newer version, you need our Hyundai i10 (2020-) review.

Is the Hyundai i10 right for you?

City car buyers want a pocket-sized runabout that's easy to drive. It needs to be small enough to squeeze into tight parking bays and narrow lanes, and the Hyundai i10 has the small footprint to do exactly that. Yet its petite dimensions conceal a surprisingly roomy and practical interior, with space for adults and a big boot.


With five doors, a generous level of equipment in the top trims, and a comfortable ride, the i10 is a great car for young families who'll use it as their sole means of transport; as it can handle town work and longer trips. It's an affordable car, and shouldn't cost you much to buy or run day-to-day, yet avoids feeling cheap inside.


Insurance and maintenance costs will also be very reasonable, and the only black marks against it are the rather sluggish engines (which are fine in town but can struggle on faster roads) and a lack of safety kit.


What’s the best Hyundai i10 model/engine to choose?

Choosing between the two petrol engines will come down to your individual needs. Do a lot of your driving in town? You'll be fine with the 1.0-litre model, which is slow, but smooth and refined, and fairly efficient on fuel.


If you plan to take regular motorway trips, or carry more than two passengers at a time, you'll be needing the extra grunt that the 1.2-litre model delivers to get you up hills and past slower traffic. This engine is the only one that comes with the option to fit an automatic, so if you don't fancy shifting gears yourself, buy this one.


Avoid the most basic S model, it's too sparsely equipped, even by the low standards of the class (it doesn't even have driver seat height adjustment). SE models will suit price-conscious buyers, but we'd plump for the Premium models that bring big car features for only a modest extra outlay, and make the Hyundai feel plush.


What other cars are similar to the Hyundai i10?

For carrying passengers and luggage, not many city cars can compete with the i10. One of the few that can is the Ford Ka+, which actually has a usefully bigger boot and higher level of standard kit, but a low rent cabin.


If you live in a rural part of the country and need the reassurance and capability of four-wheel drive and a tall driving position in a dinky package, the Suzuki Ignis and Fiat Panda 4x4 are the perfect set of winter wheels.


However for buyers keen to cut down their environmental impact with an all-electric model, five door options such as the Smart EQ Forfour and Volkswagen e-Up both start from well over £20,000, off-setting their fuel savings.


Conventional rivals include the Kia Picanto, which is a bit more fun to drive, and slightly smaller city cars that are bursting with personality but less space, such as the Peugeot 108, Toyota Aygo, and the Renault Twingo.


Learn more

Hyundai i10  front interior

On the inside

Hyundai i10  backright exterior

Driving

Hyundai i10  central console

Cost to run

Hyundai i10  backleft interior

Prices and Specs

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