Every day I’m bombarded by survey results by firms flogging insurance or loans which are hoping to be namechecked in the paper.
Most are fatuous or statistically doubtful, but sometimes one comes along that is worth a look.
Yesterday, one came in from Saga that said the over-50s think car companies aren’t catering for them, building over-complicated cars with features they would never ask for, such as keyless entry and lane-keep assist.
Since the average age of a new car buyer is 54, it’s a survey that car manufacturers would do well to note. Which brings us to this road test of the new Hyundai i10.
The i10 is Hyundai’s smallest car and entered the UK buyer’s consciousness during the government’s first scrappage scheme in 2009 in which motorists were given £1,000 in exchange for their old crock.
Many thousands bought the value-for-money Hyundai.
This latest version of the i10 is new from the ground up and that includes completely revised styling. It’s only 5mm longer than the old one at 3,670mm, but it is 20mm wider, which makes it look more substantial on the road.
A more meaningful dimensional adjustment is the extra 40mm in the wheelbase which provides welcome extra legroom.
This Hyundai is refreshingly simple and just the sort of car that someone who doesn’t want to be bombarded with technology would warm to.
We’re testing the i10 in Premium spec with the more powerful 1.2-litre 80bhp petrol engine (the alternative is a 1.0-litre motor with 65bhp).
An automatic version is available but ours is a five-speed manual. Price on the road is £14,995 to which we can add £550 for black metallic paint and a further £500 for a two-tone roof.
We get off to a good start by starting the car with a traditional key. In front of you is a blissfully simple dashboard.
And although an infotainment screen sits on top of it, most of the regularly used controls, such as heating and ventilation, have easy-to-use knobs and switches.
A sliver of silver trim in front of the passenger gives the i10 a more distinguished and stylish look than it used to have. The quality of materials is more than adequate.
The new Hyundai i10 is not immune from the insidious creep of unwanted technology – it is fitted with wretched lane-keep assist. It is possible to switch it off, but it comes back on as a default if you switch the ignition off.
This system, which no one I know likes – in any car – is of use only to people who are regularly distracted by fiddling with the infotainment system and who might veer out of their lane, but it’s an irritating interference to those of us who are always looking through the windscreen and concentrating.
In the i10, the system intrudes and messes with the feel of steering. Sadly lane-keep assist will be compulsory from next year for cars sold in Europe.
The extra wheelbase has indeed improved rear legroom in the i10. It’ll be a bit of a squish for three adults in the back but it’s possible.
The boot holds 252 litres.
Hyundai says that most customers will choose the smaller-engined i10 rather than this 1.2-litre version. For what is essentially a city or short journey car, that’s a sensible move.
Even this 80bhp engine runs out of puff on motorways and requires downshifting to lower gears when faced with gentle hills.
But the little three-cylinder engine has character and will do the job.
The new Hyundai i10 is a simple and straightforward city car, not bristling with unwanted tech.
It doesn’t, however, have a CD player which is one of the items respondents in the Saga survey missed.
No cassette either, but at least there’s a digital wireless!
Hyundai i10 Premium five-door hatchback
Engine: 1.2-litre three-cylinder, 80bhp
Fuel consumption: 55.3mpg Co2: 117g/km
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