I’m not sure if news of the Hyundai i10 not coming to the U.S. will be met with any outrage by potential buyers. Without significant re-engineering the i10 does not meet certain standards, mostly regarding safety, to be sold in the U.S. But as lackluster as it may appear to look at, the i10 has gained quite a lot of positive comments since its release.
Hyundai has so much confidence in the Indian-made i10, that they predict sales to double in the coming year. Despite the fact that it is extremely small (slightly less than 8 ft long) in comparison to its main competition it is considered roomy and is configured with 5 doors and 5 seats. (I said that with a straight face) The i10 is or will be sold with several different powerplants including a three-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that produces 75 horsepower. A manual version of the 1.1-litre gas engine averages 60 mpg.
The higher-end (again with a straight face) Hyundai i10 with the “style” package of options includes air conditioning, sunroof, power mirrors, fog lights and alloy wheels. All Hyundai i10’s have power steering, remote control, four airbags and a CD player. Although it claims seating for five, like anything of this size and in this class, the i10 is suited for quick trips to the store or driving in a city and not for long road trips. The thrifty engine and small dimensions would definitely be too much for any great lengths of time on a highway.
Unfortunately, or fortunately if you hate it, even with upgrades to emissions and safety, because the dollar is so weak right now, the super-affordable i10 is cheap but not cheap enough to sell here in the U.S. The British version would cost $11000 if it were sold here right now. Perhaps that’s a good thing. The i10 is not especially exceptional in style or performance, which you would have to be to sell here. Plus small cars that are already available, like the U.S.-made Aveo aren’t exactly flying out of showrooms. Until there is a consistent market demanding super-compacts automakers will not bother trying to introduce these types of new cars here.