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Hyundai i10 safety rating explained: is four stars safe enough?

Hyundai i10 safety rating: key safety features explained
Tristan Honeywill

The Hyundai i10 has a safety rating of four stars from Euro NCAP. Everybody knows that five stars is best, so is four stars good enough for an affordable little city car? Looking at the details of the Hyundai i10′s safety rating, it’s clear that the company wanted to strike the right balance between safety and affordability.

The results for all the different crash tests and assessments indicate that Hyundai was targeting four-star safety throughout its development – its scores place it firmly in four star territory. There’s nothing wrong with that. Euro NCAP’s requirements get tougher each year and a five star rating is now pretty difficult to achieve on a budget. And so while some of the i10′s competitors have five star safety ratings, it’s not exactly a like for like comparison.

Some, however, do offer safety technologies that the i10 doesn’t have. Driver assistance and crash prevention technologies might mean some buyers consider competitors such as the Fiat Panda and Skoda Citigo, however. With these cars, you have the option to add a camera system to the car that will alert you to a likely crash and even brake the car automatically. They are relatively inexpensive because they only work at city driving speeds, but they help prevent the most common rear-end collisions.

This aside, the new i10 still epresents a significant advance in safety, compared to the previous generation model, which also had a four star safety rating. The adults in the front have far better protection in frontal and side impacts.

The front seats offer good whiplash protection. The rear seats aren’t so good, but this is sort-of predictable for a car of this size. Euro NCAP has only just starting looking at this and few new cars of this size currently offer much whiplash protection in the back.

The protection for very young children is good. The i10 scored maximum points for its protection of the 18-month old infant. The scores for the three year old were not so impressive with a lot of force acting on the toddler’s neck and chest. The test used a forward-facing child seat and it is unlikely that it would be possible to fit a safer rearward-facing seat in such a small car.

It’s good to see that the Hyundai i10 is a city car that tries to be pedestrian friendly. The front bumper has been designed to protect legs. The bonnet is pretty forgiving at the centre, but not so kind at the edges. Likewise the windscreen.

In terms of driver assistance technologies, i10 customers don’t get much. If you get an SE or Premium model, a driver-set speed limiter is standard. The basic S version doesn’t have this however.

It would be nice if the i10 at least gave customers the option of fitting more driver assistance technologies. A simple camera system doesn’t cost a lot and it’s reassuring to have it onboard. Its absence probably won’t be a deal-breaker for most i10 customers though. Hyundai has produced a stylish little urban runaround that offers an adequate level of safety.  That’s pretty impressive for a car that starts at £8495.

Buyer’s guide

  • Hyundai i10 starts at £8495
  • You need to buy an SE (£9495) or Premium (£10,195) model to get the driver-set speed limiter
  • If you’re looking for a city car with crash prevention technologies onboard, consider the Fiat Panda with City Brake Control or Skoda Citigo with the City Safe option

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