JUST when everyone was thinking that small, city cars were dead in the wood because of changes in consumer tastes and prohibitive emission rules up pops Hyundai to confound the doubters with an all-new version of the little i10 hatchback.
The third generation i10 is completely new having been re-engineered from the ground upwards resulting in a more spacious and practical five-door, five-seater supermini that's extremely comfortable and - crucially for buyers - affordable.
At first glance it may not seem to look much different from its predecessor but it is with a more sporty and even more muscular body style and it's just 5mm longer, sits 20mm lower and is 20mm wider.
The key though is that it has a 40mm wider wheelbase which means inside there's more leg room, noticeably for rear seat passengers who also gain electric windows, and all versions have loads of safety and high tech equipment on board as standard.
There are three trim levels starting with the SE (the old S trim model has been dropped), on to the SE Connect and the top spec Premium with all offering exceptionally good value for the money.
Prices start at £12,495 for the SE 1.0-litre three-cylinder 66bhp five-speed manual through to the Premium 1.2 four-cylinder 83bhp automatic at £15,495. The expected best seller is the 1.0-litre SE Connect coming in at £13,495.
The surprise package though is the 1.0-ltre with an automatic gearbox in SE Connect trim. It's priced £13,995 and will certainly appeal to those drivers who spend most of their time journeying through congested town centre roads.
The gearchange, even left in automatic mode without touching the manual option, is smooth, really responsive and exceptionally quiet running which is a break from the norm for city cars which in the past have been renowned for being sluggish and noisy.
All versions of the i10 come with an impressive list of standard kit such as autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, tyre pressure monitoring, leather steering wheel, cruise control and air conditioning.
The SE Connect versions have an easy to use eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and sit on 15-inch alloy wheels but spend an extra £500 and move into the Premium range with 16-inch alloy wheels and there's built-in sat nav, speed limit warning, a telematics app and heated front seats.
The dashboard has a touch of Hyundai's bigger Kona model about it but sensibly the Korean car maker has kept the raised gear level position.
There's lots of hardy but strong feeling plastic trim in the cabin but overall the interior has a far more airy feel thanks to that wheelbase.
Boot space at 252 litres remains as before but again it's around the best in class.
On the road, the latest i10 is much more impressive than before - quieter all round although the smaller of the two petrol engines has to be worked more when accelerating.
The ride is comfortable, more stable than before and the car's ride is less fidgety too - certainly when driving around twisty country lanes.
Overall it delivers a far more competent ride and drive than some rival bigger hatchbacks.
It's also more of a fun car to drive with a satisfying 0 to 62mph acceleration in around 12 seconds and a claimed top speed of 106mph for the 1.2-litre manual driven here.
Naturally for any city car decent fuel consumption is imperative and the figures are impressive with the 1.2-litre manual returning an average of 55.4mpg with a CO2 emission of 105g/km.
Both petrol engines seem to be frugal enough on fuel consumption and again running costs are low - important for drivers who opt for a city car.
For those more enthusiastic drivers wanting a more sportier drive in this new i10 they will have to wait until later this year when a series of special N Line models become available.
In the meantime the new i10 is clearly bucking the trend and showing that the city car is by no means dead. This latest incarnation is highly impressive - particular with that automatic gearbox on board.