The 1.0-litre engine is exceptionally hushed for a three-cylinder unit. In fact, it’s actually quieter than the four-cylinder 1.2 much of the time. Whichever engine you choose, the i10 is also brilliant at shutting out wind and road noise. The only slight disappointment is that the five-speed manual gearbox isn’t quite as slick as the one in the Skoda Citigo and Volkswagen Up.
The suspension is firm enough to keep body roll neatly in check in corners, yet there’s also enough suppleness to cope with all but the sharpest urban potholes. If there’s a disappointment it’s the steering, which is nowhere near as precise as the Volkswagen Up’s, but it is at least light enough to help make parking easy.
The i10 is one of the most aggressively priced cars in the class, offering a price advantage that looks generous at this cut-throat end of the market. Both engines have claimed average economy of around 60mpg and pretty low CO2 emissions. There’s also a greener Blue Drive model that gets engine stop-start for even lower CO2 emissions, but make sure it adds up for you financially before paying extra for it.
Where the i10 leaves all its rivals trailing is in the amount of passenger space it offers; this is a car that can keep four six-footers comfortable on a reasonably long journey. The boot is bigger than those of most rival city cars, but there’s a fairly big lip for you to lift your bags over. Storage space is good; there’s a decent cubbyhole ahead of the gearstick and big bottle holders in both doors.