Hyundai i10 Premium

SE 1.2

Hyundai i10, front action
Hyundai i10, front action 2
Hyundai i10, side action
Hyundai i10, rear action
Hyundai i10, dash detail
Hyundai i10, instruments
Hyundai i10, dashboard
Hyundai i10, front seats
Hyundai i10, boot

WE Brits spent years moaning about the price of new cars compared to those on mainland Europe and then never bought the cheapest ones anyway.

The prices playing field has levelled out since then, although post-Brexit, who knows?

Had the Hyundai i10 been around in those recent(ish) costly car days there might not have been an argument to start with. Simply put, it's a bargain.

No, more than that. Almost a steal and you wonder if Hyundai hit the wrong computer keys when compiling the price list.

The recently revised range of i10 hatchbacks start at £8,995, which is cheap enough to put the decently equipped entry-level model in the frame for the school run and supermarket shopping duties.

And it is usually at the lower end of the price list you'll discover the best value, especially in cars designed for an economical life with owners who don't want to splash the cash.

Well, this time it's the higher reaches of the i10 range that might make your eyes widen when you discover what comes for not very much.

As well as a car that performs well enough to need no apology when turned on to a motorway and that takes four adults (five at a pinch) and a reasonable helping of luggage, the i10 Premium SE does an amazing job of being a much bigger car.

Bigger in the sense that it comes with the kit you'd expect only on something costing a great deal more, and perhaps not even then.

Heated steering wheel, anyone? Check. Ditto for heated front seats, electric opening sunroof, big screen satellite navigation, air conditioning, cruise control, electric windows all round and rear parking sensors.

Take a deep breath - there's more. The techie types among us will approve of Bluetooth connectivity to quickly link a smartphone and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to make the most of the link. And there's a DAB digital radio, you won't be surprised to learn.

On a deeply practical level the poshest i10 comes, like all Hyundais with a five year unlimited mileage warranty and sitting beneath the boot floor of the test car was a space saver emergency spare wheel, not the can of pressurises sealant that won't work on that split sidewall on a wet Sunday night miles from home.

So, the smallest Hyundai has big car pretentions on the fixtures and fittings front and lacks for little in a tick list contest. What's it like to drive, I hear you ask.

Not bad at all, in fact. There is no hiding the car's modest dimensions on a bumpy road, when the suspension turns firm and lets you and your passengers know about the poor surface beneath them.

You might also miss a sixth gear on the motorway, although the engine never feels too strained to cope. The radio will need turning up a bit at the legal limit but this is a car to cope with hundreds of miles a day and not complain.

A Bentley driver (or Focus, come to that) will notice the swathes of hard plastic covering the dash, but it's neatly done and lifted in the test car with a band of red across the dash - and you'll be changing down a gear or two on long uphill drags.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai i10 Premium SE 1.2

Price: £12,800

Mechanical: 86 bhp, 1,248cc, 4-cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-spd manual gearbox

Max Speed: 109 mph

0-62mph: 12.1 secs

Combined MPG: 57.6

Insurance Group: 4

C02 emissions:114g/km

Bik rating: 21%

Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles

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