Hyundai i10

21 May, 2010 11:12am Jamie Fretwell

Our little city car needed a big clean after sixmonths as a test bed for our consumer writer!

For: 
The low waistline and thin pillars let plenty of light into the Hyundai’s spacious cabin. The sunroof – standard in range-topping Style trim – adds to the airy atmosphere. Other big-car interior features include standard-fit air-con and heated front seats.
Against: 
You get a reasonable amount of luggage space as it is, but the storage tray above the spare wheel acts as a false floor. Take it out and you can see the boot would be able to swallow even more kit. I often fold the back seats flat to lay down tall loads, but a different set-up would allow such items to stand upright.

EVER wished you could clone yourself to make doing the chores less back-breaking? I have, because when I realised that our long-term Hyundai i10 is due to depart in the next few days, I decided to give the tiny city car a gigantic spring clean. And it took four times longer than I expected...

As consumer writer for Auto Express, I have all manner of cleaning products within arm’s reach of my desk, and I put plenty of them to good use on the Korean machine. Inspired by my local drive-thru hand car wash, I tackled everything from the door shuts and wheel rims to the cabin and windows. And while I have previously waxed lyrical about the number of storage cubbies inside, I forgot how much stuff they can hold. After racking up more than 8,000 miles, all this clutter needed to be cleared out, and the whole process made me realise just how much I’ll miss our bright red long-termer.

When EK59 ORP arrived last November it made an instant impression, and was a welcome step up from the Suzuki Alto that it replaced. With a larger boot and more practical split-fold rear seats, it was even
better at swallowing the paraphernalia that I have to carry around for photoshoots.

The i10 was also my first proper experience of the brand – and introductions don’t come any more convincing than this. I’m now a big fan of the marque, and even proposed to my girlfriend inside a Hyundai! Our long-termer previews all that is good about the company’s cars, with its excellent build quality, low running costs and generous kit tally. Its compact design, solid handling and plucky performance are traits you’ll
also find elsewhere in the range.

The Hyundai may be about to depart, but its last few weeks on the Auto Express fleet have been as hectic as ever. In my previous report I fitted a pair of upgraded headlamp bulbs (Issue 1,107), and I have been making numerous late-night trips to test them out. These Osram Night Breakers have shown a marked improvement.

I’ve also driven up and down the M1, to Essex for a photoshoot, attended a car auction in Hampshire and been to visit family in both Kent and Surrey. These out-of-town adventures have seen overall fuel economy hit 39mpg – which is an improvement of 3.8mpg from my last report. Living with the top-spec Style model hasn’t been completely trouble-free, though. Protracted motorway drives can be a bit tedious, as the lack of long-haul refinement is one of the few things to really let the i10 down.

The rear seats have also come in for some criticism, with passengers complaining about how hard they are on long journeys. But neither fault is a deal breaker in a car designed for short trips around the city.

The lengthy kit list includes an auxiliary connection for my MP3 player, a sunroof and heated seats – you can’t ask for more at this price. And judging from Glass’s Guide, our seven-month-old car is still worth more than £7,300, which isn’t bad at all. The wheel-at-each-corner stance and nippy engine mean the spirited i10 has been a pleasure to drive, too. Sadly, that’s not something I can say about cleaning it...

Extra Info

“The i10 did a great job of ferrying my family away for a week in Norfolk. Even with a one-year-old, and all the bits and pieces she needs, we found it surprisingly roomy. We stopped off at the supermarket on the way home and fitted in the best part of a week’s shopping, too.”

Jon Morgan
Staff Writer

Key specs

  • On fleet since: November 2009
  • Price when new: £8,850
  • Mileage: 7,923
  • Engine / Power: 1.2-litre 4cyl/ 76bhp
  • Trade-in value now: £7,310
  • Insurance Group / Quote: 11/ £238
  • Costs: £11.98 for fitment of new headlamp bulbs
  • Any problems?: None since last report
  • Equipment: None
AEX 1330
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