Hyundai hopes to increase its share of Europe's minicar segment with the third-generation i10.
"The i10 is a key player for us in Europe," Hyundai Europe's head of marketing and product, Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, said at the car's launch in Lisbon in January.
The i10 rose into the segment's top five during the runout of the second-generation model last year, passing the Volkswagen Up, despite a 5.4 percent sales decline. And while a number of automakers are leaving the segment, Hofmann said Hyundai foresees continued strong demand for minicars in Europe.
The i10 accounted for more than 14 percent of the 555,000 cars sold by Hyundai in Europe last year, according to JATO Dynamics. Since its debut in 2008, more than 1.1 million i10s have been sold, Hyundai says.
Affordability is a key issue in the segment, so Hyundai decided to keep the minicar's starting price below 11,000 euros. The automaker also limited the i10's powertrain portfolio to a choice of two gasoline engines. There is no current plan to add any form of electrification to the i10, although the car does have an energy regeneration system that captures kinetic energy when the vehicle is coasting.The energy is transformed into electricity that it stores in the battery.
Hofmann, however, conceded that to avoid future EU emissions fines Hyundai will need to electrify all of its models in the midterm.
To make the i10 more appealing to younger buyers Hyundai enhanced the car's connectivity and infotainment features. "The current age profile of the i10 buyers is not as young as we would like," Hofmann said. The new features in the i10 include an optional 8-inch color touchscreen, Apple Car Play and Android Auto integration, wireless charging and Hyundai's Bluelink telematics system with embedded 4G modem.
Compared with its predecessor, the i10 is 20 mm wider (1680 mm), 5 mm longer (3670 mm) and the car's wheelbase has grown by 40 mm (2425 mm), all of which enhances the i10's interior roominess.
As part of Hyundai's promise to deliver "the highest safety standard" in the segment, a number of the i10's safety and driver assistance features are standard. These include lane-keeping assist, front-collision avoidance, driver-attention warning, speed-limit recognition and high-beam active management.