Hyundai has bold ambitions for the new i10. Longer, wider and quite a bit lower than the current model, this is the car the company hopes will trouble the class-leading VW Up.
Like its predecessor, the 2014 i10 will focus on value for money. While it wont necessarily undercut the headline prices of key rivals such as the Up and Skoda Citigo, it will come better equipped.
A breakdown of exactly what each of the three trims S, SE and Premium will get has yet to be finalised, but Hyundai has confirmed that all i10s will come with five-doors, six airbags (most rivals have four) and stability control along with Hyundais famous five-year warranty.
Whats the 2014 Hyundai i10 prototype like to drive?
Our test drives were limited to just a couple of minutes on a smooth test track, so its impossible to give a conclusive verdict on how the new i10 rides and handles.
However, having tried both engines the car will be launched with a three-cylinder 1.0 and a four-cylinder 1.2 theres enough evidence to suggest that Hyundai has every right to be bold about its ambitions.
The 2014 i10 feels far more grown-up than its predecessor; occupants are better isolated from noise and mechanical vibration, and theres far less body sway through tight corners. True, the steering doesnt weight up as naturally as an Ups, but Hyundai says theres still work to be done in this area.
The 1.0-litre engine is essentially the same one found in the rival Kia Picanto, but its been drastically improved for the i10, with quicker throttle responses and more low-down torque. That said, there are still noticeable steps in the power delivery, which is something the more powerful 1.2 doesnt suffer from. Both engines are expected to emit less than 100g/km of CO2.
Whats the 2014 Hyundai i10 prototype like inside?
The new i10s dashboard is still mostly hard to the touch, but its textured in such a way that makes it look surprisingly upmarket.
To brighten things up, the face of the dash will be available in a choice of four colours red, orange, blue and grey while the no-nonsense control layout is wonderfully simple to get your head around.
Hyundai says that the new i10 best-in-class legroom; its measurements claim that front and rear occupants each get 945mm to stretch out in. The pricier i10 models will be available with equipment usually found on larger cars, such as automatic climate control, a heated leather steering wheel and cruise control.
Unlike the interiors in rival cars, including the Up and Skoda Citigo, there are no exposed areas of bodywork visible from in the cabin Hyundai views this as a sign of cost cutting. Youll also find some soft materials where rivals have hard and unappealing plastics, such as on the door-mounted armrests.
Rear space and outright boot capacity is roughly on a par with the rival VW Up, which means four six-footers will just about fit and theres a big enough boot to cope with a large shopping trip (252 litres). Its just a shame Hyundai wont be offering the option of a height-adjustable boot floor to help negate the huge lip at the entrance of the loadbay.
Should I buy one?
Theres still a fair amount of work to be done before the new i10 goes on sale this winter, but the early signs are promising.
If Hyundai can get the price right something thats more crucial in this class than any other the 2014 i10 has every chance of being a hit.