THERE are occasions when building a class-leading car involves pioneering new technologies, catching the eye with bold styling and combining ideas in a way never seen before.
Hyundai’s i10 plots a different path. It just does the basic things really, really well. So while it may not be the most exciting city car you can buy, it’s undoubtedly one of the very best, particularly in 1.2-litre guise.
Current car sales figures suggest that the good times are coming back. Does that mean that buyers will start to lose their appetites for cut-price urban tots like this?
Hyundai is banking on the fact if it builds a good enough car and keeps the sticker price modest, the orders will continue to flood in.
And that’s pretty much the premise behind this Mk2 i10 model.
Where its predecessor established itself during the Government scrappage scheme in 2009, appealing to all those people with money in their pockets looking for something shiny and new to spend it on, this one has to work a bit harder in order to get a look in against some really strong competition. Cars like the Volkswagen Up and the Peugeot 108 pack some serious buyer appeal.
There are a few things you want to tick off as soon as you get yourself seated behind the wheel of a good city car. The first is visibility. If you’re going to be jinking from lane to lane, you need to great all-round sight lines.
This i10 scores well in that regard, with good mirrors, windscreen pillars that aren’t too obtrusive and a fairly high seat height. Point two - steering. If there’s one thing that instantly takes the shine off a city car it's heavy, unresponsive steering. The i10’s rack is quick, accurate and very light. And the third thing you need to look for is a small turning circle - which this car certainly has.
It takes a lot to better Hyundai when it comes to cost of ownership.
As you might expect from the sheer substance of this thing, the i10 is a whole lot more than a five-year warranty with a car thrown in for good measure but there's no doubt that the comprehensive after-sales package remains a major attraction for citycar customers.
It’s a really good unlimited miles deal that also includes annual vehicle health checks and roadside assistance to add peace of mind. City driving is just about the toughest thing you can put a car through.
We all knew the day would come when Hyundai would build a genuinely class-leading car. Well that day has come and that car is the Hyundai.