TMR Team | Aug 7, 2013

Hyundai's new second-generation i10 hatch has surfaced online this week, ahead of an official unveiling at September's Frankfurt Motor Show.

And, unlike the last i10 which was kept away by a less-than-perfect 4-Star safety rating, this new i10 could be a starter for the Australian market.

Two versions of the i10 will be offered, with one bound for the sub-light-loving Indian market and the other heading to Europe, where buyers are also very fond of city cars.

India's version will be dubbed Grand i10, while European markets will stick with the simpler 'i10' name. The styling differences are equally subtle.

Front- and rear-end styling is largely identical for both models, although the European i10 gets LED daytime running lights along the edge of the fog-light bezels.

The most obvious difference is in the i10's profile: the Grand i10 gets a squared-off roof for greater head space in the second row, while the Euro i10 wears a style-driven tapered roofline and an upswept belt-line and D-pillar.

And despite sitting one step down from the i20, the new i10 is also a little larger than its predecessor, measuring 80mm longer and 65mm wider. (Suggesting the next i20 will be larger also.)

Hyundai says boot capacity has grown to 252 litres - one litre more than the VW Up - and it claims a six-foot tall passenger will sit comfortably in the second row.

The carmaker also promises an improved interior quality for the new i10, with soft-touch dash and door materials and a host of storage options.

Features in the European model include a heated leather steering wheel, keyless entry and cruise control. Safety equipment includes six airbags, electronic stability control and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

Mechanically, the new i10 is driven by the same small petrol engines driving the current i10 - and Kia's Picanto - including three-cylinder 1.0 litre and four-cylinder 1.2 petrol options.



Speaking with TMR today, Hyundai Australia's Guido Schenken confirmed that the brand is considering its options for a local launch of the i10.

"The existing i10 is much acclaimed in Europe and we're extremely confident that the new car will be class-leading, but at the moment, it's still in the early stages of review," Mr Schenken said.

So, for now, it remains to be seen if the i10 can succeed in Australia, and the light and sub-light markets are not easy segments to operate in.

Tight margins limit the benefit to carmakers and dealers, and the fluctuating Australian dollar has a more obvious impact on lower-end offerings.

But, with the 'cheap and cheerful' Getz once dominating as a top-selling model for the brand, Hyundai Australia will undoubtedly be watching the new i10 closely.

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