To be completely honest, I had sort of pre-written this review of the Hyundai i10 even before stepping into the small car. For some odd reason, I seem to find myself frequently behind its wheel and this means that driving it will be all too familiar.

This is after all not a new car. Danny has tested the i10 before and in comparison, the one that I have is just a minor model change – a new face and an upgraded engine. And the rest of the car relatively remains the same. But somehow, it is not. So, into the bin goes my pre-written review.

What changed my mind is this – the acceleration. This car runs with a reworked 1.25 Kappa engine. Reworked because it now has CVVT engineered into it. Power is up by nine to 86 hp, with a torque of 119.7 Nm. It is able to accelerate to 100 km/h and will eventually arrive at the electronically limited top speed of 160 km/h sometime later.

The engine sends power to the wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission box. Which is enough to get the car up and running around town. The gearshifts are gentle comparing to the other four-speeders from other makes, and this also makes the car comfortable to drive. While highways is dispatched with relative ease, I keep wishing there is an overdrive gear to bring the revs down without dropping speed.

I remembered the i10 to have more spunk than this. The compact car does not rev as freely or go at a snap as how I remembered it. Nevertheless, the engine feels smoother and more matured than pre-CVVT.

But Hyundai maintains that this engine is more economical and efficient than the one it replaces. The 1.25 litre Kappa does 5.3 l/100km and stores petrol in a 35 litre tank.

Ride is comfortable, as it should seeing that this car would spend most of its life running the school-shop route. The suspension does a nice job in smoothening out the road and it does not crash hard into potholes. Passengers going on interstate road trips will have to contend with some wind noise, although it is nothing to get upset about.

The i10 handles well, no changes here. The steering may feel loose and detached, but it is quick to respond. Due to its small frame, the i10 is also throws itself willingly into the corners.

It does not take much for the i10 to reach the limits. In fact, you don’t even have to consciously attack corners to make the tyre squeal or make the body feel as it is if going to tip over. It won’t, the i10 is built of sterner stuff, which makes it all the more hilarious to just swing it around the bend.

Who says you need a sports car to have fun? The i10 version of fun comes at a price of RM53,400.80 on-the-road without insurance. The Hyundai i10 also comes with a 300,000 km or 5 years warranty, which is a long time.

For that kind of money, the i10 also comes with redesigned for lamps, wing mirror indicators, an integrated double-DIN MP3 compatible and connectable stereo system and four speakers. As for safety, the i10 offers reverse parking sensors, ABS with EBD and two air bags for the meatbags in the front.

So if you’re in the market for a car that’s zippy to drive and easy to maintain, perhaps this i10 is worth your consideration.