The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
All versions of the i10 get a supportive, height-adjustable driver’s seat and a height-adjustable steering wheel. Unlike the Dacia Sandero, though, there’s no reach adjustment for the steering wheel, although that didn’t cause us any issues getting comfortable behind the wheel.
The steering wheel doesn’t obscure the top section of the instruments like it can do in the Volkswagen Up. It lines up well with the pedals and seat, too, so you’re not driving with a crooked posture, and there's more room for your left leg in the footwell than there is in the considerably larger Dacia Duster SUV, which overlaps the i10 on price.
All of which means that, after a couple of hours behind the wheel, we didn’t have any aches and pains developing. Add in the sensibly placed controls, which are supremely simple to use on the move, and it's hard to fault.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The i10 has slender front pillars and well-placed door mirrors that combine to give you a clear view forwards, or sideways when pulling out of T-junctions. The rear window line kicks up more towards the back of the car than the Kia Picanto's, and its rear window is also shallower, but the i10's still not a particularly tricky car to reverse.
And besides, a rear-view camera is standard from mid-level SE Connect trim, which is one of the reasons it's is our pick of the range. Rear parking sensors aren't available, by the way, and neither are LED headlights, which are standard on the Sandero. All i10's get daytime running lights and these are LED on the Premium and N Line trim levels, and those trims come with front fog lights as well.
Sat nav and infotainment
SE trim gets a pretty basic two-speaker, AM/FM/DAB radio, with Bluetooth connectivity and a tiny 3.8in black and white display. However, jump up to SE Connect, Premium or N Line trim and this is replaced with a bright 8.0in touchscreen and an extra pair of speakers in the rear, which creates a much more fulsome sound from the stereo.
The 8.0in infotainment system is similar to the one you get in a Picanto and just as easy to use, like the Sandero's system, and all are a big improvement over the Up's fiddly effort. In the i10 the screen is mounted high on the dash, so it’s easy to see and reach without taking your eyes too far from the road, the menus and software are well conceived, and there are the physical buttons and knobs surrounding the screen, which are easy to find and make swapping between menus a simple job.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, allowing you to control your phone safely on the move and use your preferred sat-nav app. That's useful because no i10 comes as standard with in-built sat-nav; it's available as an option, but only on the Premium and N Line trims as part of the optional Tech Pack. That also adds wireless phone charging and an app for your smartphone, which shows the car’s location, maintenance requirements and even lets you operate the central locking remotely.
While you won’t find any soft-touch plastics inside the i10, the hard stuff that's there is nicely textured and avoids looking cheap. One thing’s for sure: the plastics are no worse than you’d find in a Picanto or an Up. Premium trim adds an attractive hexagonal-shaped pattern to the trims on the doors and dash, while N Line adds a sportier flavour.
Elsewhere, the buttons all feel substantial, working with a precision that wouldn’t be out of place in a car from the class above. Similarly, the soft leather on the steering wheel and gearknob (fitted to all trims) feels good to the touch.
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