Our Cars: Hyundai i10 Blue

3 October 2011: Practicality in finer detail

The Details

Current mileage 9047
Average economy 57.3mpg

Small cars are usually blighted and blessed by their small size in equal measure. Thanks to being short and having a wheel in each corner they’re usually nimble in town and easy to park, but with the disadvantage of limited passenger space and a tiny boot.

However, the i10 is well packaged and all models come with five doors. Because of the tall body there is a lot of space in the back. It’s possible to carry two adults without too many complaints and the seats are comfortable enough for a reasonably long journey.

The boot is less impressive though. It’d be cruel to call it inadequate – a weekly shop for two fits in with absolute ease – but it’s not going to carry a small family and their shopping while a trip away would be difficult with rear seat passengers. But while many cars at this price have a single folding bench seat, the i10 has seats that split and fold as standard. That means you can carry one or two passengers in the back and still have a reasonable amount of space for bags.

As a day-to-day vehicle it’s hard to pick faults with the i10 but when it comes to maintenance there are some niggles. Out of interest I inspected how to change the headlight bulbs. Luckily it wasn’t because a replacement was needed because changing them is a fiddly job. As the lights are so large and the front of the car is so short the only way to access the main and dipped beam bulb is to take the wheel arch liner out and reach up and under.

That’s do-able at home but it’s far more difficult than you’d expect it to be. Changing fuses would also be slightly problematic because the fuse box is low down and hard to reach. It doesn’t have a fuse-puller either, or at least I couldn’t find one. So if the fuse for the wipers blew and you were out on the road, you’d have to wait for the rain to stop so you could go home and pop the spare fuse in.

Other routine tasks are very easy though. Accessing the engine bay is simple thanks to a clearly placed release and when you get to the engine bay there’s no big ugly cover obscuring the view. That makes checking and topping up fluids an easy task. Changing the wipers is extremely easy too. The rear one pops on and off and the front two are relatively simple to slide on and off their arms. 

When buying a car it’s easy to overlook the likes of maintenance tasks because they don’t cross your mind early on, but it’s always worth a quick look under the bonnet to see what’s what.

None of the problems with the i10 would deter me, though. They're just something to be aware of, because tasks like changing a bulb or a fuse, or fitting new wiper blades, will eventually come up at some point during ownership. 

« Earlier: Air con-undrum     Later: Windy and wobbly »

Updates
After six months, 10,000 miles, 172 gallons of petrol and numerous trips across the country, it's time to say goodbye to the Hyundai i10.
After a trip up the motorway the lightweight i10 shows a weak spot in some blustery weather.
3 October 2011: Practicality in finer detail
When you've been driving a car for a few months you start to notice finer points, like the layout of the engine bay and the folding of the seats.
It's been warm, and standard air-con has been a boon - but it saps power and fuel economy, quite noticeably so.
I haven't driven the i10 far lately, but that's given me time to ponder the numerous accessories Hyundai offers for it.
Even when compared to used cars the i10 Blue makes financial sense for those who want congestion charge exemption
After a few months running the i10, some of the clever little details start to catch your attention a little more.
Small cars like the i10 occupy a busy marketplace, with seemingly every car maker building something little, frugal and cheap. So if you’re interested in the i10, here’s how it stacks up against models from rival makers.
It might come as no surprise that the i10 Blue won the title of ‘Most Genuinely Economical Petrol Engined Car Award’ at our inaugural Honest John Awards on May 19th. Here's why...
Before the i10 I had an old 'banger' and tried to keep costs to a minimum. But after comparing the running costs of the Hyundai i10 to my old Nissan I was astounded how much more the 10-year-old Primera was costing.
After its difficult first journey down the M1, the i10 is right at home in London town.
The Hyundai i10 is the newest and smallest addition to the HonestJohn.co.uk fleet. It should be right at home in central London, where it’ll be living for the next six months.
 

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