Publication date: 18 February 2008
Hyundai i10 (2008 - 2013)

Hyundai i10 (2008 - 2013)

10 steps to success

Review - How does one make a good car? It is pointless to bring out a new model which offers exactly the same as the existing cars. The me-too approach only gets a small share of the market. Real success can only be achieved by improving and inventing. With the i10, Hyundai has followed all the rules of the game exactly. Autozine will explain in 10 steps why the Hyundai i10 has everything in order to be a success.

Step 1: Aim

Begin with a clear aim. A small car must still be a complete car. The available space must be used to the maximum. Consequently, the wheels have been placed at the furthest points and relatively small wheels have been used. This way the wheel arches take up as little room as possible.

Thanks to this set-up, the space up front is good. Especially in comparison with its predecessor, the Amica, the i10 is considerably broader. The passengers no longer sit shoulder-to-shoulder, but have plenty of room to manoeuvre. The i10 sits a little higher than your average private car, which makes getting in easy.

One should not forget the space on the back seat: with even large adults being able to sit comfortably. The leg space in the back of i10 is even better than many a larger car!

Hyundai i10 (2008 - 2013)

Step 2: Luggage space

Don't forget the luggage space. However, unfortunately Hyundai did just that. With 225 litres, the loading space is only average in size. With the rear seat folded down, the loading space increases to just 889 litres. This is again only average. Unfortunately, the i10 also has a considerable loading lip, which makes loading and unloading less easy. The back shelf doesn't move simultaneously with the lid of the boot. This is especially annoying when you're laden down with the shopping bags and luggage.

Step 3: Advantageous in acquisition

Make the car financially attractive. Hyundai is strong in building cars with a favourable price/performance ratio. This starts with very practical matters which make the car handier but not more expensive. The i10 is generously equipped with compartments and boxes. The gradation of the speedometer has been designed in white, while all the other gauges (rev counter, fuel meter) have a black background. This makes it easier to ready and hardly makes it any more expensive.

Hyundai i10 (2008 - 2013)
Hyundai i10 (2008 - 2013)

From the basic model upwards, the i10 has power steering and a radio/CD player. The last of which is also compatible with CDs with MP3 files. There is even a connection for an external MP3-player! The more expensive versions of the i10 have remote central locking, electric front and rear windows, air-conditioning and electric side mirrors. The top version displayed here is equipped with rear spoiler and light metal alloys.

Step 4: Advantageous to use

Make the car not only advantageous to buy, but also to use. With this in mind, the i10 is provided with a 1.1 litre four cylinder engine. It doesn't perform as well as the competition, but on the other hand the i10 is particularly economical.

In the city and on country roads, the 66 bhp i10 keeps up in the traffic flow with no problems. In order to filter smoothly into the traffic on the motorway, the i10 has to work hard. 120 km/hr is a pleasant cruising speed, however above that there is little left over in reserve. Hyundai promises a top speed of 151 km/hr, however 140 km/hr is already difficult to achieve.

The i10 is also available as a four gear automatic. This works as expected, however that's about it. The electronics change gear at the wrong time. Moreover the automatic i10 is considerably slower than the manual model. In short: if it's really necessary the automatic is sufficient, however the i10 with manual gearbox is a much better choice.

Step 5: Comfort

Ensure sufficient sound insulation. At stationary revs, the engine is so quiet, that the front windshield wipers are more audible! Even the sounds from the tyres and the driving wind are extremely civilised for a car in this class. Unfortunately the test car had some rattles on a very poor road surface; a spokesman from Hyundai promised that this is unusual.

The i10 is strongly sprung and consequently unevenness in the road surface is exceedingly noticeable. This affects the comfort slightly, however Hyundai have chosen well with their eye firmly set on points 6 and 7:

Hyundai i10 (2008 - 2013)

Step 6: Driving pleasure

Choose a firm suspension, which guarantees a good road handling. Small, efficient cars have as a rule also an “efficient” suspension which leaves much to be desired of their road handling. The i10 steers through turns at high speed without losing grip. The i10 gives a lot more driving pleasure and trust than many a competitor.

The i10 is very manoeuvrable (turning circle: 9.5 meter) and feels particularly at home in the city. During the test ride there were narrow little laneways on the agenda that would even defy a bicycle. The i10 went down the narrowest of lanes without a second thought. Moreover the i10 has a good overview, which makes manoeuvring even easier.

Hyundai i10 (2008 - 2013)

Step 7: Safety

The good road handling prevents accidents (active safety), but don't forget the passive safety. Unfortunately the basic model i10 has only one airbag. For a modest hike in price, it's possible to increase this to two or even four airbags.

Brakes with ABS, whereby the car remains manageable during an emergency stop, are standard. Moreover the i10 has four disk brakes (drum brakes in the rear are more usual), which means that the car brakes outstandingly.

Step 8: Interior

The driver sees the interior of the car; therefore care has been rightly given to an attractive design. The dashboard of the i10 has been built with playful, round forms. All the knobs and paddles have been brought together in “islands” where each has their own function.

Hyundai i10 (2008 - 2013)
Hyundai i10 (2008 - 2013)

Dependent on the model, the interior is equipped with colourful options. The chairs can be covered with fun prints.

Step 9: Exterior

Even a small car can look nice. With this in mind, Hyundai has given the i10 a flowing shape. The nose with its highly placed headlights gives the i10 a brave and assured look. The black accents give this city rascal a sturdy appearance. The i10 is without a doubt a Hyundai of the new generation, just like i30.

Hyundai i10 (2008 - 2013)

Step 10: Bonus

Aim for the bonus: allow Autozine to photograph the car on a large square in the inner city of Palermo (Sicily, Italy). Put a pleasing female behind the wheel to enhance the photographs.

Follow these ten steps and the Hyundai i10 will certainly become a success!


The Hyundai i10 is a car made according to the handbook. With this in mind the negatives are hard to find: the luggage space has a considerable lip and the shelf doesn't move with the lid of the boot. The automatic gearbox functions no more than reasonably well, but that's it.

The Hyundai i10 offers an abundance in interior space, both in the front and in the rear. Taking into account the finish and the comfort, the price/performance ratio is very good. Due to its economical engine, the i10 is also advantageous to use. Performance (position, control, brakes) is above average, which makes the i10 also very safe. Finally the car looks good. In short: the Hyundai i10 has everything to become a great success!

  • Very efficient
  • A lot of room, even in the back
  • Outstanding road handling, very manoeuvrable
  • Considerable car boot lip
  • Test car not completely free of rattles
  • Moderate functioning from the automatic model