Super little car for the run-around

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

A week behind the wheel of the Hyundai i10 simply confirmed my original impression of this vehicle when launched about four months back - it's a super little car.

It may be small dimension wise, but what it packs into its small frame will leave some of its bigger and more established competitors blushing and envious.

The designers have done a good job and the curves and lines blend nicely into the panels.

First impression when hopping into the driver's seat is, there is not much space between you and the car in front due to the small space it takes up, but a couple of hours behind the wheel and you quickly become used to it.

The interior is basic, but nicely laid out and gives a clutter-free appearance. The main instrumentation panel houses the obligatory rev counter, speedometer, fuel and temperature gauges. Also standard is the air-conditioning, heater and front electric windows.

The cloth interior is comfortable and practical and appears very easy to keep clean and the front mats are embossed with the i10 logo. Nice touch.

Power wise, the i10 makes do with a 1,1-litre engine pushing out a respectable 49kW which, considering the size and weight of the vehicle (just on 1 ton), is ample.

In fact, even travelling in the fast lane with the "big boys" never once did I feel I was going to be eaten up and spat out! No, the little i10 held its own against the best of them.

In the six days I had the car, I travelled 320km and just over half a tank of gas was still available when I reluctantly handed the keys back.

Hyundai claims it has a top speed of 158 kmh, but I must admit I got nowhere near that. On the open road I was quite happy cruising along at the national speed limit of 120 kmh, at which speed the car remains steady.

Parking was a breeze due to its small size and very responsive power steering.

Admittedly, I did have the front seat pushed right back while driving, which would have made it difficult for anyone sitting in the rear, but then again I doubt whether the i10 will be attracting too many customers over 2 metres tall.

The boot, while obviously not large, is not small either, and if you need some extra space the back seats fold down easily.

If you are looking for a second car, an every-day commuter or a mom's taxi, the little i10 fits the bill perfectly.

The Hyundai i10 costs R89900 for the five-speed manual and R99900 for the four-speed automatic. Like all Hyundais, it comes with a five-year-150000km warranty. A service plan is an optional extra.