New 2020 Hyundai i10 gets hi-tech overhaul at Frankfurt

10 Sep, 2019 5:02pm Alex Ingram

The all-new Hyundai i10 city car gets a major tech and safety kit boost, and is expected to start from around £11k

Hyundai has given the city car market a welcome lift with the launch of its all-new i10. Having made its debut at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show, the Mk3 model is will go on sale early next year.

The market for entry-level city runabouts has shrunk rapidly in recent months, with the Ford Ka+, Renault Twingo and Suzuki Celerio all being axed from UK showrooms. But Hyundai shows no sign of leaving the segment any time soon, as it reveals what it’s calling the most hi-tech city car ever.

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The VW up! rival is completely new from top to bottom. It sits 20mm lower and 20mm wider than its predecessor, while elements like the cascading grille, complete with LED spotlights and slimmer headlights, give it a more upmarket look.

It can now be fitted with alloy wheels up to 16 inches in diameter (an increase from 15 inches on the old model) while there’s a choice of 10 exterior colours, three of which are new. The option of a contrasting roof in either black or red means that the i10 has a total of 22 exterior colour combinations.

The newcomer is just 5mm longer than the second-generation i10, but the wheelbase has grown by 40mm, pushing the wheels further out towards each corner. Hyundai says this not only gives its smallest model a sportier look, but improves cabin space, too. Rear legroom has increased to a point where Hyundai claims that four adults will find more than enough space inside – impressive for a car in this class. At a push, there’s room for a fifth occupant as well.

At 252 litres, the boot is exactly the same size as the old model’s, and it’s a class-leading figure. A false floor can be raised up to create a flat loading area when the seats are folded down, or lowered to make the most of the space available.

The new dashboard design carries over certain elements from the old model, such as the raised position of the gearlever, for example. Others, like the slim central air vents, are inspired by the Kona crossover.

The most significant update comes in the shape of the infotainment system. The housing for the new eight-inch touchscreen display, which is largely similar to the unit used in the i30, flows in one continuous sweep towards the instrument panel, and features physical shortcut keys around the outside. It’s linked to Hyundai’s Bluelink telematics app, which allows i10 drivers to use their smartphone to search for parking spaces, fuel stations and points of interest, and then send the results directly to the car’s navigation system. In a class where rivals such as the up! offer little more than a smartphone cradle, a full-size infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto gives the i10 an edge.

Hyundai doesn’t just take pride in the infotainment tech: it also boasts that the new i10 will offer one of the most comprehensive safety equipment packages in the class. The likes of forward collision warning, high-beam assist, lane-keeping assist, driver attention warning, and a speed limit alert will all be available on the i10.

Indeed, equipment levels are strong elsewhere, too. A rear-view camera, wireless smartphone charging, climate control and electric windows all round are available.

While the tech is all new, the engine line-up is carried over from the previous model virtually unchanged. That means buyers will be offered a choice of two petrol units: a 1.0-litre three cylinder with 66bhp and 96Nm of torque, or a four-cylinder 1.2 with 86bhp and 118Nm. Both motors are offered with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automated manual, and stop/start tech is fitted as standard. The efficiency tweaks should see the smaller engine emit around 103g/km of CO2.

While there aren’t immediate plans for an electric version of the i10, when pressed, Hyundai insiders wouldn’t rule out the prospect in the future.

Full UK pricing and specs have still to be confirmed, but expect the added tech and safety kit to push the i10’s starting price up to around £11,000 – a jump of £2,000 compared to the current car.

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