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The new Hyundai i10 builds on its predecessor’s achievements, says Pierre Fava.

The new Hyundai i10 is a city car that feels more grown up than its size would suggest.

The new i10 is all about size and ease of use – it’s a nimble car with perfect dimensions and apart from being short enough to be able to park almost anywhere, it’s also tall enough to allow most drivers ease of access that is sometimes not even offered by larger and more luxurious cars.

When Hyundai launched the first generation i10, it could not have predicted the economic slowdown that the world would be facing, nor the unprecedented incentives that the Maltese government would offer for those buying smaller cars.

This resulted into a sudden boom for this segment and Hyundai was very quick with its response as it offered a very up-to-date car which offered many advantages over its rivals. To say the least, the starting price for a new i10 is €9,250 including scrappage scheme incentives. And if one goes for the basic model, this also has a lot to offer when compared to other similarly priced cars on our market.

The strong points for Hyundai are the strong build quality, very good interior space and excellent resale value that this car maker commands. The second generation i10 has built on what the previous model had already established and offers a more modern and dynamic car for today’s ever demanding driver.

This latest model offers more efficient engines and a quieter driving experience than ever before. Its closest rivals on the Maltese market would be the VW Up, Skoda Citigo and Toyota Aygo. The i10 comes with a 998cc petrol engine which offers a 4.7l/100km consumption and has an emission level of 108g/km. This 66bhp engine offers all the driving comfort you would need for our roads and does not feel underpowered at any time. The throttle response is very even across and results in a very agile drive. For those drivers who would want a more powerful unit there is the 1.2-litre on offer as well. This engine can also be specified with an automatic transmission for those who feel that this is an important extra to have.

The interior layout of the car is very airy and offers loads of storage space

The i10’s suspension is very forgiving and copes with the Maltese bumpy roads rather well. The handling of the car is dominated by the very good steering set-up which offers a very small turning circle and excellent assistance when parking the car in tight spaces. The set-up also holds well when driving faster and taking bends sharply – a rather sporty drive for this size of car.

The i10’s 998cc engine is very hushed even when revved hard and offers an overall quiet drive. I tested the car on a very windy day and the i10 blocked almost all of the wind noise and buffeting that is usually apparent on most of its rivals. The five-speed gearbox fitted on this model offered ease of use and the car also has a very soft clutch movement which would not tire out the driver even on long drives in the city where gear changes are all too frequent.

The interior layout of the car is very airy and offers loads of storage space in the shape of various cabin trays. The seats are very supportive and offer a multitude of adjustment possibilities that when coupled to the adjustable steering would offer a comfortable drive from the tallest to the shortest of drivers. Obviously the higher specified models would offer even more adjustment options as well. The pedals are well laid out and the dashboard is neatly proportioned having very well positioned vents and not too many switches which are all very clearly labelled. Visibility from the driver’s seat is very good which is obviously aided by the tall stance of the car resulting in higher windows and an increased glass area.

The interior of the car on test was dominated by the seven-inch central LCD display. This effectively controls all the infotainment system in the car and even connect to your phone not only to play music or make calls but also to use your phone’s navigation abilities. As with many cars on the market today the interior is full of black plastic but in this case this is pleasing to the touch and does not have any rough edges.

The car offers an abundance of legroom both front and rear and also has very good headroom as a result of the ample height the design has to offer. The rear seat also has three head rest as standard. This is also split 60/40 offering very flexible adjustment possibilities when putting awkward loads in the booth. Which one must add is already the largest for the category. This will easily swallow your weekly shopping or weekend travel bags.

The new i10 offers an overall package which would serve well both the small family and the city traveller who is looking for a small and nimble car having all the modern technology that the larger cars have to offer.

Hyundai has done justice to the i10 brand by developing a new generation that complements today’s driving needs. Above all it is very evident that this car is built to last, an aspect that is very important to the modern-day driver.

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