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Hyundai i10: Test Drive

Date: 12 March 2008   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: City car
Prices: £6495-7595
Key rival: Fiat Panda

Hyundais have always been good value: it's at the heart of the brand's thinking. But now, with the new 'i' generation of cars they also offer improved levels of styling and quality.

The new i10 five-door city car is the latest 'i' model and represents the ultimate in Hyundai's value proposition.

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The Korean brand is keeping things simple, too. There's only one engine, a 66PS 1.1-litre petrol, and three trim levels. There's also a four-speed automatic gearbox (£800) aimed mainly at the Motability audience, available on the mid-spec trim.

Good value means that not only is the price low but the equipment levels are high. In entry-level Classic trim standard kit includes aircon, powered front windows, CD stereo with aux connection for MP3 players, seatbelts for three rear passengers, four airbags and a rev counter. No rivals have aircon as standard on their entry models and most make do with just two rear seatbelts. The closest is the Picanto from sister brand Kia, but that's £300 more.

Where the Hyundai will really appeal to the business car market is with the BIK tax levels. With a CO2 output of 119g/km the car not only goes C-charge free in London from October but is in the new 10% BIK band from 6 April. The result for a 20% (don't forget the new income tax band) tax payer is a monthly company car tax outgoing of just £10 a month.

The car is also a good, if not great, drive with responsive steering and throttle. It's not quick though, and inclines will see you changing down gears to maintain reasonable progress, particularly on the motorway.

Interior space is excellent, with room for passengers behind tall drivers and a good 285 litre boot.

For some, cost is all, and for those people the i10 is an obvious choice. Yet even for others who place a value on equipment, room and even styling, this Hyundai should still be the all-round winner.