Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
At first glance, the Hyundai i10 appears to be rather pricey compared with its rivals. Certainly, the up-front cost for a cash buyer is more than it is for a Dacia Sandero, Kia Picanto, Toyota Aygo or Volkswagen Up, but, as you'll read about in a moment, you get a lot of equipment for your money. And when it comes to selling on in three-years' time, the i10 is predicted to retain more of its list price than its rivals, including the Picanto, which helps even things out.
It’s also worth pointing out that strong resale values keep finance payments low and, sure enough, the i10's monthly PCP costs are very competitive. The same is also true if you lease.
On paper, the 1.0 MPi 67 emits less CO2 and drinks less fuel than our recommended 1.2, but the margins are wafer thin. Indeed, when we tested the 1.2 MPi 84 on a mix of roads it managed a healthy 42.9mpg, which was a few mpg better than the Picanto 1.25 MPi 83. As for the 1.0 T-GDi, it’s the least efficient by some margin. One word of warning, though; the i10 tends to be pricier to insure than the majority of its rivals.
Equipment, options and extras
No i10 is badly equipped. Even the entry-level SE model comes with automatic lights, air conditioning, electric windows (front and rear), cruise control, electric door-mirror adjustment and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearlever.
We’d recommend upgrading to SE Connect, partly for items we've already covered – including the enhanced infotainment system with an 8.0in touchscreen and the rear-view camera – along with 15in alloy wheels in place of the SE's wheel trims. It also opens up the ability to have our favourite 1.2 MPi 84 engine.
High-spec Premium trim is quite pricey to buy outright (although the difference it makes to a monthly PCP deal isn't vast) but brings 16in alloy wheels, privacy glass, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. More expensive still is N Line; your extra money is mainly paying for the more powerful engine, suspension tweaks and some sporty styling touches. On both Premium and N Line you can also add a two-tone roof, plus the optional Tech Pack that we outlined in the infotainment section.
This generation of i10 didn't appear in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, but Hyundai as a brand ranked an impressive 6th out of 31 manufacturers. That's not up there with Toyota, which finished 3nd, or Mini or Skoda for that matter, but still impressive. It was one place higher than Kia and comfortably bettered a few other value car makers, including Suzuki.
Even if things do go wrong, you have Hyundai’s five-year unlimited-mileage warranty plus 12-months roadside assistance to fall back on. Toyota gets close with its five-year, 100,000-mile warranty, while Kia trumps both with its seven-year, 100,000-mile cover.
Safety and security
The i10 gets a three-star Euro NCAP rating, while the Picanto (with its safety pack fitted) gets four stars and the Suzuki Ignis has five. The i10 was tested in 2020 under the latest rules, though, which are the toughest yet. As a result, its three stars is more comparable with the four-star rating that the Picanto got in 2017, and a lot better than something that got three stars a few years ago, like the Toyota Aygo or VW Up.
There’s plenty of standard kit to stop you having a prang in the first place. Impressively, all versions get city emergency braking (another name for automatic emergency braking) with pedestrian detection and a forward collision warning at higher speeds.
But that’s not all; you also get lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assistance, a driver attention alert system and even automatic main beam headlight control. The cherry on top is a system named e-call that’ll call the emergency services automatically in the event of a severe collision. As you’ll probably want to keep hold of such a protective little car, it’s good to know all models get an alarm and an immobiliser.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here
The Dacia Sandero Stepway is a brilliant small car that&n...
The MG 3 is keenly priced, but still hard to recommend
The Kia Rio is a competent supermini, but it’s pricey, and it...
The Suzuki Swift has tidy handling and a strong turbo engine...