Hyundai i10 joins the What Car? test fleet

* Hyundai i10 joins long-term fleet for a year * Crowned 2014 City Car of the Year * Run by consumer reporter Matthew Burrow...

Hyundai i10 joins the What Car? test fleet

Hyundai i10 1.2 SE

Read the full Hyundai i10 review

Week ending April 4
Mileage 1543
Miles this week 489

Competition in the city car class has heated up considerably in the past couple of years. Hyundai's answer is the i10.

The previous-generation car put Hyundai on the map in the UK, thanks to the scrappage scheme and a headline-grabbing five-year warranty.

The new i10 is stylish, good to drive, and economical. It's also much bigger than the competition, offering five seats and a class-leading 252-litre boot, all of which made it an obvious choice to win City Car of the Year at the 2014 What Car? Awards.

On the back of this success we're subjecting the new i10 to the same long-term test we put the Volkswagen Up through, and I'm going to be its custodian for the next year. My daily commute through central London to suburbia should prove the ideal testing ground for the little Hyundai.

So which i10 have we chosen and why? Both petrol engines suit the car well but we decided against the three-cylinder 1.0-litre unit and instead went for the four-cylinder 1.2, which is faster and a better motorway companion.

The 1.2 comes in either SE or range-topping Premium trim. We opted for the SE because it's well specced and the list price is less than £10,000. It includes air-conditioning, body-coloured bumpers and mirrors, remote central locking, electric front and rear windows, a height-adjustable driver's seat, electric mirrors and a CD player with USB connection. It does without the chrome touches of the Premium spec cars, but it does have a blue interior, which lifts what would otherwise be a dull cabin.

To this, we've added Stardust Grey metallic paint (£455) and the Connectivity Pack (£175), which includes Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls and rear speakers; it's also the only way to get Bluetooth on SE trim. It's a bit disappointing that Bluetooth isn't standard but not unusual on mid-level cars in this class.

First impressions are good. Around town the i10's light steering, smooth gearchange and tight turning circle make it a pleasure to drive. Visibility is good all round and the 1.2-litre petrol is refined and spritely. How it will cope with longer runs remains to be seen but I'm sure it will take them in its stride.

By Matthew Burrow