Interiors stylist Alannah Monks finds the new Hyundai i10 truly measures up…
My car functions as an office on wheels. As an interiors stylist I spend most of my week zipping from location to location collecting and dropping props, or catching up on emails in free seconds in parking garages. Thus when it comes to finding a car I look for three things; a comfy driver’s seat, plenty of storage space and capacity for coffee cups. The job I do is about having confidence in what I like, and in knowing what will look amazing in a space. But form follows function, so every prop or accessory I place in an interior has to make sense and work well too. Making those judgement calls every day makes me a difficult customer! The all new Hyundai i10 is a nippy little city car that turned out to be just perfect.
When I arrived to collect the car my diary for the week ahead was already a source of stress: a major house shoot in Dublin for an international photographer needed to be stripped out and propped – without dislodging the family living in it. Once transformed and ready to shoot, I would be then calculating the breakdown, contemplating loading up the car again to return the borrowed props to deadline, traffic permitting. As I took in the compact appearance of this city car is I realised how much of a dumping ground my own car can be. Would this stylish runaround be the capacious workhorse I needed it to be? Would it actually measure up?
The Hyundai i10 undeniably cuts a cute figure, to my mind the car has a great look – it’s well designed, cool-looking, modern. I eyed it with some trepidation though – with exterior dimensions of just 3.67 metres by 1.68 metres, I wondered if I really would be able to wedge in half a dozen cushions and multiple vases, let alone a small chair, sculptures and three rugs. However, I discovered the deceptively small exterior makes for an impressively spacious interior, and as I settled into the driver’s seat, the i10 felt just as roomy as any hatchback model I’ve driven.
The sporty exterior has been designed to enhance the interior space of the car in the most clever way. By taking inspiration from the aesthetics of sportswear, Hyundai have used contoured exterior bodywork to mimic the sleekness of human muscles, while maximising the space within. During a week of loading and unloading boxes, rolls of fabric, and oversized house plants, I never once ran into trouble fitting them into the i10. Hyundai claim the car can fit three adults in the back, and while I didn’t put that proposition to the test that I can confirm the i10 is capable of carrying at least one large box of vases, two rolls of fabric, two bags of cushions and one large Monstera Deliciosa in addition to driver and passenger plus numerous bubble-wrapped precious decorative accessories.
Needless to say, I didn’t have any problems with parking the i10. I spent the week weaving through Dublin’s narrow streets, up and down the tight turns and floors of parking garages, and parallel parking on infamously difficult one-way streets in the Grafton Street area. The i10 handled it all with ease. For me, the incredible safety features that come with Hyundai SmartSense made city driving significantly less stressful. From the amazing anti collision active brakes, to the life-changing rearview parking camera*, the safety technology that comes with the i10 was nothing short of a revelation.
For all that is wonderful about this car, I wondered how it rated in terms of economics and carbon footprint. The facts on how this car performs in a world in desperate need of cleaner driving are clear: I drove 300km, city driving mostly, stops and starts, with heavy loads on board, over four days in the i10, and used just under half a tank of petrol. In terms of fuel efficiency I thought that was pretty great. I’m used to living at the petrol pump so to go four busy days without pulling in to a service station was gratifying time-and cost-wise. But what was more impressive is that the i10 model averages 104g of CO2 emissions per kilometre which is within a ten per cent range of most self-charging hybrid models on the road, making it a very green option for cars in its price range.
At the end of my time with the Hyundai i10 I came away with a new respect for this city charmer. Its stylish design and roomy interior facilitated – nay, enhanced! – how I did my job, while its smooth handling and compact shape made travelling around the city streets a breeze. With a start price of just €14,745 and finance available from €147.50 per month, it is a great little city car that you can drive guilt free, with heaps of personality to boot.
*Interior images are for illustrative purpose only. Please visit your local Hyundai Dealer to view Irish model.
*View-camera and connectivity are only available in deluxe models.
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