Hyundai's rolled out a new city car, the i10, which they feel is so good that it will double Hyundai's sales in that segment. Manufacturer propaganda always ladles on the glowing prose, but after reading through the specs, we were nodding in approval, too. A quick glance at the pictures had us thinking " modern day Excel," but that's not the case. Comprehensively equipped, the i30 comes standard with air conditioning, power windows, six-speaker stereo, and four airbags. The 1.1 liter four cylinder, providing about 60 horsepower, returns fuel economy in the 50 miles per gallon (US, 60 mpg Imperial) range, and low emissions.
Styling, well, it's in the very small car idiom, and it's not breaking any new ground. Tall and short, the i10 is not ugly, and in these days of $90-plus per barrel oil prices, small is ever more beautiful. The i10 will be exported from India, which will be the sole manufacturing base for the car. With the tight supply of Honda Fits, we could use another A-class ride for low dollars on these shores, maybe if we ask real nice?
KEEPING COOL IN THE CITY – THE NEW HYUNDAI i10
* Compact, stylish, practical and fun-to-drive
* Air conditioning as standard across the range
* Set to double Hyundai's sales in city car sector
While Hyundai's rivals are still reeling from the astonishing acclaim awarded to the i30 hatchback, the company has released details of the next instalment in its all-new range of 'i' cars – the i10.
This exciting new city car is designed to be fun-to-drive, affordable and practical while offering quality and equipment that no other rival can offer at the price.
With diminutive dimensions of just 3,565mm long and 1,595mm wide, the i10 promises to be easy to thread through city traffic and a pleasure to park in tight car parks.
Although it has compact overall dimensions, the i10 has a wheelbase of 2,380mm – exceptionally long for this class. With the wheels pushed far into each corner there is more space inside for people and luggage, plus it gives the i10 'big car' refinement and handling attributes.
Unlike some competitors the i10 is a full five seater and has five door practicality as standard too.
Prices are expected to start at less than £6,500 but i10 owners won't feel they're driving something that has been stripped out to keep costs low. Even the entry-level model will have air conditioning as standard – unique in this class.
The i10 also has a proper tailgate rather than just a piece of glass, four opening windows with electric operation at the front, central locking, electric power steering, tinted glass, 14-inch wheels, body coloured bumpers and an integrated six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo.
To ensure high safety standards across the range, all i10s will have four airbags with a passenger side cut-off switch, allowing a child seat to be fitted in the front of the car if required.
All i10 models will be powered by a 67PS, 1.1-litre petrol engine mated to either a manual or an optional automatic gearbox. The gearshift is mounted on the centre console to improve ergonomics and free up the space between the driver and the passenger seat.
Manual versions will be capable of an official average fuel consumption of more than 60mpg and produce just 119g/km of CO2, qualifying for the VED 'tax disc' rate of £35 a year and exemption from the new London Congestion Charge proposals due to take effect in February.
Like all Hyundai cars, the i10 will also be covered by a five year, unlimited mileage warranty to provide peace of mind motoring for half a decade.
Hyundai believes that the i10 is such an attractive, high quality package that its city car sales are set to double from current levels to around 10,000 per year by appealing to new customers and retaining existing Hyundai buyers. The first i10s will arrive at Hyundai dealerships in March 2008.