Review: Hyundai i10 (2014)

Rating:

Stylish and good quality interior. Roomier and more mature than its predecessor. Very refined for a small car. Handles well and good to drive.

Achilles heel (shared with previous i10) is rapidly corroding rear brake discs, which are only covered for 2 years under the Hyundai warranty.

Recently Added To This Review

5 November 2019

Report of 2014 Hyundai i10 1.2 shearing off its crankshaft pulley, throwing its alternator belt and losing most of its oil. Always dealer serviced. 75k miles and 2 months out of 5 year warranty. Dealer... Read more

8 October 2019

Report of rusted rear brake discs on 2017 Hyundai i10. Read more

6 July 2019

Report of intermittent "disturbing noises" from engine of 2015 Hyundai i10 1.25 automatic when taking right hand bends. Owner left car with dealer for testing while on holiday and dealer found failed... Read more

Hyundai i10 (2014): At A Glance

The original i10 proved a big hit for Hyundai, with its practical nature and excellent value for money ticking a lot of boxes for UK buyers. But Hyundai isn't a company to rest on its laurels and for this second generation model it's starting from scratch. In the process, it's focussed on some key areas for the new i10, in particular refinement and quality, but one thing remains and that's its strong value for money.

The new i10 starts at just £8345 which is the same price as the outgoing model and even the top model is only £10,495, yet this car is a huge step change from its predecessor. That's something we've become accustomed to from Hyundai, yet the rate of improvement is still astonishing. Compare a Hyundai from 10 years ago with a modern one and they couldn't be more different.

It's certainly a handsome hatchback with neat lines and a far less boxy look than its predecessor. Yet it still has plenty of room inside, with especially impressive space in the back and a decent boot that's bigger than before.

The interior is another highlight – it's easily one of the best in this class with a good quality feel, no exposed metals and no visible screw heads. From behind the steering wheel it's hard to believe you're in a car that costs less than £10,000.

What the i10 does so well is get the basics right: it's well built, good to drive and has a quality interior. Throw in two great engines along with impressive refinement and you've got a winner on your hands.

After that the rest pretty much takes care of itself. True it may not have the cool factor of the Fiat 500 or the image of the Volkswagen Up, but in our opinion the smart money in this market would go on the i10. It's genuinely a great little car.

Hyundai i10 2014 Road Test

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Hyundai i10 (2014): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 3665 mm
Width 1943 mm
Height 1500 mm
Wheelbase 2385 mm

Full specifications

'Premium' is a word that Hyundai likes to use these days. Whether it's referring to the exterior styling or interior quality, it's an epithet that would seem largely justified. The new i10 has been lifted considerably over the old one, and both the trim materials and switchgear have a genuine quality feel.

The controls on the stereo system combine chunky knobs with big, nicely tactile switches and the overall effect is of a grown-up, tightly screwed together car.

The driving position is spot on, with excellent head- and legroom. It's the same story in the rear, too - it's easy to get in and out through big, wide-opening doors.

Storage in the rest of the cabin is good with a large glovebox and plenty of stowage space in the centre console. And you can fit one-litre bottles in all door pockets. At 252 litres, the load space is what Hyundai describes as class leading, and it's well-shaped with a low-ish loading lip and large opening. 

True, it may not have the same style as some rivals but it gets the key things right – the dials are simple and clear, the buttons are all well laid out and there are some nice details like the circular air vents. The coloured strip across the dash and on the doors really lifts it too and is tied in with the seat cloth – it's cream on entry-level models but on SE and Premium versions you can choose between blue or orange.

The driving position is spot on and the seats are mighty impressive for a small car with great long distance comfort. On the move the i10 also feels like a bigger car than it is and that's down to its impressive refinement. No other car this size is as quiet at motorway speeds – there's no wind noise and barely any road noise either, thanks to details like reshaped door mirror mounts and dual door sealing strips. Sound insulation from the engine is equally as impressive and again unmatched in this class, even by Volkswagen.

So, what about value for money? Well, as you'd expect from Hyundai, standard equipment levels are impressive with entry-level S level models getting central locking, electric front windows, a CD stereo with a USB port, daytime running lights and Isofix points, although if you want air conditioning it's an extra £650.

The SE represents a better option, with things like electric heated door mirrors and driver's seat height adjustment. Plus, like all cars from the Hyundai stable, the i10 comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty – something none of the competition can match.

Child seats that fit a Hyundai i10 (2014)

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What's the Hyundai i10 (2014) like to drive?

While the i10 feels like a bigger car at higher speeds, it has all the qualities of a small car when it comes to handling. The steering is responsive and direct plus it has a good weight to it while the gear box has a nice positive shift.

Overall it may not quite have the character of the Up but in every other respect it's not far behind, feeling nimble and agile. There's plenty of front end grip, a good ride and it's easy yet genuinely enjoyable on the move. In short it's a great little car to drive.

The range is very straightforward with just two engines. The more popular choice is expected to be the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol which has a modest 66PS. On paper it's no ball of fire and you do occasionally have to work the gearbox in order to provide a bit of get-up-and-go, but even at higher revs it remains refined. This engine is used in the BlueDrive model which drops CO2 to 98g/km and averages a claimed 65.7mpg.

The other choice is the 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine which is a bit smoother as you'd expect and has a more in-gear poke. If you're going to be driving on dual carriageways or motorways more, then this is the one to go for. It's helped by more torque with 120Nm and although this doesn't peak until quite high up the rev range, it's an engine that's quite happy to be kept buzzing along. Economy is still good with an official 57.7mpg.

The i10 comes with ESC which is impressive on a hatchback this size - a reminder that Hyundai is very keen to pitch the new i10 as a small car packed with big car features. Emergency brake assist will also be fittted, while we spotted airbags in the steering wheel, dashboard and front pillar curtain airbags. So it's not only responsive, but also very safe.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 55–71 mpg 14.7–15.1 s 93–117 g/km
1.2 58 mpg 12.1–12.3 s 114 g/km
1.2 Automatic 48 mpg 13.8 s 139–142 g/km

Real MPG average for a Hyundai i10 (2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

81%

Real MPG

29–61 mpg

MPGs submitted

358

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Hyundai i10 (2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What's the best budget £5k small auto?

What small automatic can you recommend? My precious Toyota Yaris has just failed its MoT and needs work that is more than the car is worth. My budget is approx £5000. Your review state the Hyundai i10 has rapidly corroding rear disc brakes. Do you still think Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto and maybe Suzuki are good little automatics?
I wouldn't be too concerned about the rear disc brake problems with the i10 - Hyundai developed new brake pads to prevent this issue so it's easily fixed, and most effected cars will have had the work done now. Indeed, the i10 and Kia Picanto are both excellent little cars with reliable automatic gearboxes. The Suzuki Swift might be worth a look, but there aren't as many about as the i10 or Picanto. Also consider a slightly bigger Honda Jazz or Nissan Note.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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