HYUNDAI has come a long way in a short time, from budget basic to a sales monster.
It should be no surprise, the latest batch of cars from the Korean stable offer decent quality, affordability and come with the peace of mind that a five-year warranty offers.
Many still baulk at the name but the firm's success, bolstered by the Government scrappage scheme, is remarkable, with sales going off the scale.
The I series of cars demonstrate what the Korean firm is all about and the baby city car i10 shows that good things often come in small packages. It is a bit of a star.
This is a proper city car, maximising use of space and offering affordability with a little versatility. It is a neat, European design that is neither especially stylish nor jarring to look at.
The wheel in each corner setup means that passengers get the maximum room available. So the rear passengers have decent legroom and all occupants get good head clearance.
Four adults are accommodated more than comfortably, but the trade off is the tiny boot that is common to city cars. You can get a few shopping bags in there, and maybe a pushchair, but space is at a premium.
Hyundai has moved on leaps and bounds with the quality of the interior and the i10 now matches some of its European budget competitors. Dials, instrumentation and switchgear are solid and well laid out rather than spectacular with everything within easy reach.
The gearstick placed in the central console also provides extra room at the front. There is also a decent smattering of storage space throughout the cabin.
On the road, the car is surprisingly comfortable although there is a fair amount of road and wind noise as speed increases. This is more apparent on the motorway, but thanks to the willing engine, the car has plenty of guts, even when overtaking.
At 77bhp, it does not sound that powerful, but it more than holds its own. It revs sweetly enough and official figures suggest it is capable of delivering an average of 56mpg. The few days I had the car it came nowhere near delivering this and overall I found the fuel economy disappointing. However, low CO2 emissions of 119g/km, put it in the £35 per annum taxation class while a group 3 rating makes it cheap to insure.
The suspension is on the soft side, so the car doesn't crash over potholes and occupants are kept reasonably comfortable, but it does wallow a bit on corners.
Standard equipment is good for a car that starts at just £7,400 with air conditioning, immobiliser and central locking together with a radio/CD player that has an MP3 connection.
Safety is good, the car scores four stars on the NCAP test and anti-skid, power assisted brakes are standard. Driver and front passenger are well protected with front and side airbags.
The car comes in three trim levels, the tested Classic, Comfort and range-topping Style which has a price tag of £8,500.
Hyundai i10 1.2 Classic
Mechanical: 77bhp, 1248cc, 4-cylinder petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox.
Max speed: 102mph
0-62mph: 12.8 seconds
Combined mpg: 56.5
Insurance group: 3
CO2 emissions: 119g/km
BIK rating: 15%
Warranty: 5yrs/ unlimited mileage