What's the used Hyundai i10 hatchback like?
Fancy a city car with sharp exterior styling, a well-made and spacious interior and a quiet and comfortable ride, and one that's good to drive and cheap to buy and run?
Welcome to the Hyundai i10 – a car that, in its second-generation form ran from 2014 until 2020, and has caught the eye of those eager to tick all of the above boxes.
The first-generation model was a diminutive marvel, pointing the way to a much brighter future for Hyundai and all its subsequent cars. This newer version took all the pluses of the original and added some pleasing styling, as well as introducing a new platform to bolster the car’s dynamics and refinement.
Engines: Power comes from a choice of two petrol engines – a 65bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit or an 86bhp 1.2-litre four-cylinder one. The 1.0-litre engine’s eager responses are fine for most town use, but the larger unit has the edge if your driving is likely to include A-roads and motorways.
Trims: Trim levels range from entry-level S, which is a little too basic in our opinion, with steel 14in wheels and electric front windows. The popular SE model adds air-con, cruise control, Bluetooth, and a DAB radio, while Premium versions have 14in alloy wheels, privacy glass, climate control, and a smartphone docking station.
However, the top-of-the-range Premium SE is our favourite i10 because it comes with big car luxuries such as a heated steering wheel and heated front seats, rear parking sensors and 15in alloys. From 2017 onwards, this version got a 7.0in touchscreen with in-built sat-nav and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone capabilities.
There’s also a special SE Blue trim that is four-seat only (all other i10 models have five seats) and rides on smaller wheels in order to improve its claimed average fuel figure.
Ride and handling: It’s the i10’s refinement on all types of road that marks it out in the city car class – it really is as quiet as a much larger and plusher car. It even rides and handles well, too. You can even have a traditional torque-converter automatic gearbox with the 1.2-litre engine that shifts between gears smoothly. There are only four gears to choose from, though, so it will be loud at motorway speeds.
Interior and practicality: As long as you avoid the S model, every version thereafter has driver's seat height adjustment. The steering wheel moves up and down, but not in and out. Mind you, that's also true of the Volkswagen Up/Seat Mii/Skoda Citigo. Premium models and above do get seatbelt height adjustment, though.
Tall people will be fine for head and leg room up front, while rear passengers have more room to stretch out than in any other city car out there. Parents of little ones will also appreciate the wide-opening rear doors and high roofline that'll make getting a child in and out of a booster seat that much easier.
The boot is a decent size, too, although it doesn't have any clever touches such as hooks or tie downs. If you need even more load carrying capacity, the seat backs can be made to lie down almost completely flat once you've lifted the base out of the way.
What used Hyundai i10 hatchback will I get for my budget?
Just £3500 is the entry point to this generation of i10, and will buy you a 1.0-litre car, likely in the popular SE trim.
We'd spend £5000 or more and pick up a good, clean 2015 or 2016 car from an independent dealer. Anything above £6000 should net you a good 2017 or 2018 car, often with low mileage. Spend between £7000 and £8000 to find 2019 cars, edging into 2020 models on lower-spec trims.
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How much does it cost to run a Hyundai i10 hatchback?
In terms of claimed average fuel consumption, the two petrol engines are pretty close. The 1.0-litre is said to return 60.1mpg against the 1.2-litre’s 57.6mpg under the older NEDC tests. The 1.0 returns 49.6mpg under the later, more realistic WLTP test. The special SE Blue version of the 1.0-litre, with its smaller wheels and seating for four, has an impressive official average of 70.6mpg under the NEDC test.
The best version for low CO2 emissions is the 1.0-litre SE Blue, which emits 93g/km: a significant drop from the 108g/km that the regular 1.0-litre produces. The manual version of the 1.2-litre puts out 114g/km, while the automatic model bumps this up to 139g/km.
Road tax for all models registered before 1 April 2017 will vary depending upon the emissions the engine produces (see paragraph above for more information) while examples registered after this date will have the same flat rate fee for cars that cost less than £40,000 when new. This is currently £180 a year. To find out more about the current road tax costs, click here.
Hyundai offers a variety of cheap, fixed-price servicing schemes for both new and used cars, the cost of which can also be consolidated into any finance plans. There is also an Essentials service programme for models that are out of warranty. It comes in three tiers: base for £99, interim at £169 and the full version for £229. Every Essentials service gets you 12 months of roadside assistance and two years warranty on all parts fitted during the service. Plenty of smaller, independent garages will be happy to service the i10.
Go for a 1.0 in S or SE forms and insurance should be inexpensive because these both sit in group 2. The Premium version with the same engine sits in 3, while the more powerful 1.2 SE sits in 6. Higher specced 1.2 Premium and Premium SE models have the most expensive insurance, both being in group 7.
Which used Hyundai i10 hatchback should I buy?
We certainly wouldn’t blame you if you decided to go for a good used example of a 1.0-litre three-cylinder i10: it’s good to drive, economical and exceptionally refined. But we think there might be occasions when you’d be better off with the 1.2-litre. It’s nearly as economical as the smaller engine and shouldn’t cost you much more to run. It’s also a little punchier throughout the rev range, so we think that just tips the balance in its favour – with a full load of people, a full boot, and a hill to climb, you'll find it easier in an i10 with the larger engine.
Surprisingly, we’d also go for the top trim, Premium SE. S is too basic, lacking air-con among other things, while it has to be said that SE is excellent value. However, if you can find a good used Premium SE car from 2017 onwards, it’s worth having for the impressive infotainment screen. Try to get one with the driver assist pack because this adds forward collision alert and lane-departure warning.
Our favourite Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium SE
What alternatives should I consider to a used Hyundai i10 hatchback?
Perhaps the most obvious rival for the i10 is the Volkswagen Up. It's been one of the best city cars around from the moment it was launched because it combines so cleverly style and practicality, as well as having a charming three-cylinder engine, a spacious interior and a funky infotainment system.
Its cousin, the Skoda Citigo, is another one of our favourites; it's a versatile little car that is capable of doing everything the Up can do but at a lower price. Ditto the Seat Mii, which makes up the triumvirate of Volkswagen Group tiddlers.
The Kia Picanto is closely related to the i10. It features a smart interior, tidy handling and decent practicality. It’s not as refined as the i10, though, and its low-speed ride isn’t as good. It does trump the i10 with a seven-year transferable warranty from new, however, against the i10’s five.