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Hyundai i10 engines, driving and performance

How does the Hyundai i10 drive?

While the i10 isn’t going to give a hot hatch a run for its money, it’s still good fun to drive. The steering’s direct, the gearshift light and easy to use and there’s not too much lean in corners. We’re not saying you should drive your city car like a hot hatch, but the i10 actually feels quite fun to steer down a country road, especially with the N Line’s 100hp engine pulling you out of corners with an entertaining three-cylinder growl. 

At the same time, it feels like a stable car at motorway speeds and we’d have no qualms whatsoever about taking one on a long driving holiday – although a sixth gear in the manual gearbox would help reduce engine noise slightly at a cruise. 

Is the Hyundai i10 comfortable?

Yes. The i10’s very comfortable for a small car, ironing out most bumps in the road reasonably well. Larger bumps will thud their way through the cabin to your backside, but that’s common in most cars this size. 

Even the sporty-looking N-Line i10 isn’t jarring over bumps, although Premium and Advance models are a little comfier when the going gets rough.

What’s the best engine to get?

That’s an easy one – the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol with 100hp. It’s gutsy, has plenty of low-down shove and is quite entertaining to rev out. Sure, it still doesn’t exactly feel fast, but it gets the i10 up to 70mph with gusto. It’ll still return more than 52mpg along the way. Sadly you can only get this engine on top-spec N Line cars.

The other two engines are non-turbocharged and, as such, need to be worked harder to make decent progress. The 1.2-litre four-cylinder option with 84hp is a decent partner for most driving, though it does lack the oomph of the turbocharged engine above when you’re at low revs. 

Perhaps the hardest engine to recommend is the 67hp naturally aspirated (non-turbo) 1.0-litre. It’s just a bit too slow to recommend and, even around town, can feel a bit lumpy, while it sometimes needs a quick downshift if the motorway starts to head uphill.

It’s best to avoid the jerky automatic gearbox option – it’s an automated manual that is a bit dopey at the best of times, and doesn’t shift smoothly.

Hyundai i10 performance

The i10’s not designed to offer hot hatch acceleration, so expect steady progress rather than whip-your-neck-back acceleration. The 67hp engine takes 16.7 seconds to get to 62mph with the automatic gearbox, or 14.1 seconds with the manual.

The 1.2-litre engine with 84hp drops that time to 12.2 seconds with a manual gearbox, or a lethargic 15.3 seconds with the automatic. 

The turbocharged 1.0-litre with 100hp is only available with a manual gearbox, and it takes 10.5 seconds to get to 62mph from rest, making it the fastest i10 on sale.

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