Which is better i10 or Swift Auto

If the controllers had even more to say to the automakers than they already had and had to decide where to thin out the product range in order to save costs, most would probably put the ax in the A segment, with the microcars. Because the dwarfs often sell well to very well, but the manufacturers make little money from them. Because everything that makes a car better, but also more expensive, cannot simply be added to the final price of the small car. Anyone who can afford an 80,000 euro car will hardly notice when new safety features make the car, say, 2000 euros more expensive. Even in the 50,000 euro class, most customers will swallow such a price increase. But having to pay 10,000 euros for a small car instead of 12,000, many will say: No, thank you.

If you want to assert yourself in this segment and still be technically up to date, you have to calculate carefully. Many people have therefore already said goodbye to this area. Two Asian manufacturers, on the other hand, launched the next generation of the smallest vehicle in their fleet this year - and demonstrated that "new" can be interpreted in very different ways.

With the third generation of the i 10, Hyundai has launched a completely new car. With around 20,000 units sold, the Korea Mini has already been one of the brand's most popular models in Germany. With the successor, they are "clearly committed to this vehicle class", says Hyundai. Mitsubishi, on the other hand, has limited itself to further developing the tried and tested with the Space Star, which has been on the market since 2012 and of which around 20,000 vehicles have been sold a year so far. The new Space Star is, so to speak, a facelift of a facelift.

What's the better concept? What does the customer have more of? Both cars are available with two engines: the Hyundai has a three-cylinder with 67 hp and a four-cylinder with 84 hp, and the Space Star has two three-cylinder with 71 or 80 hp. The SZ has tested the two more powerful engine variants, with the i 10 in the highest equipment variant Style, with the Space Star the second highest line called Intro Edition plus.

The Mitsubishi is getting on in years

The interior already shows how much a few years mean in automotive engineering. The fact that the inside is the new outside, as it is often called in marketing jargon, you don't notice with the Mitsubishi, the new inside is largely the old one, because the Japanese have made little changes to the interior. Those who switch from the i 10 to the Space Star will find the Mitsubishi to be a bit old-fashioned. The interior of the Hyundai looks much fresher and tidier in comparison. Because the wheelbase of the 3.67 meter long car has grown by 40 millimeters, the rear passengers also have more space than in the previous model. The Space Star, which is 18 centimeters longer, offers a little more space at the rear. When it comes to assistance systems, the new Hyundai is also ahead, because features such as an autonomous emergency braking assistant or an active lane departure warning system are standard on the i 10, while the Space Star only features them in the top equipment line.

Even with the infotainment system, you can tell that the Mitsubishi is getting on in years. Its touchscreen is more like a push-button, the telephone connection works perfectly, but the hands-free system is so quiet, even at the highest volume, that it is practically impossible to make calls in the car. The Hyundai can do better. Mitsubishi already offers an on-board navigation system for the Intro Plus line; Hyundai is paying more than 1200 euros for the navigation package for the two highest equipment lines - incomprehensible.

The i 10 is also clearly ahead when it comes to the chassis. Where the Space Star hops like a rabbit on a bad road surface, the i 10 largely irons that out, and its steering is tighter and more direct than in the Mitsubishi, so that the car can be moved much faster and more stable in curves. In terms of engine, however, the Mitsubishi is making up ground. Thirty years ago you would have been motorized with 80 hp in a small car, but in today's horsepower craze, the acceleration values ​​are modest. The engine of the i 10, the four-cylinder of the Space Star, is particularly tough in the critical area between 80 and 120, where you want to pick up speed quickly in order to overtake a truck on the country road or to switch to the left lane without fear on the highway works a lot more lively here despite four HP less. However, they are both loud under full load.

And when it comes to gasoline consumption, both are far from the manufacturer's specifications, a well-known nuisance. Mitsubishi specifies a combined consumption of 4.7 liters / 100 kilometers for the Space Star, Hyundai a range of 4.6 to 4.9 liters. In the SZ test, which was a mixture of city traffic, country roads and autobahns, the Space Star consumed an average of 7.2, the i 10 7.3 liters - significantly too much for cars of this size.

Last but not least, the decisive factor for buying a micro car is the price. On paper, both manufacturers are close to each other here. At Mitsubishi, prices start at 10,490 euros and end at just under 17,000 for the highest equipment line; at Hyundai, including the VAT discount, it is a few hundred euros more each time. In practice, however, Mitsubishi grants a discount of 3000 euros for the basic version until the end of the month. The other model variants of the Space Star can be obtained from dealers at a discount of 2000 euros.

When every euro counts less when buying a car, the Mitsubishi has a clear advantage. The more modern and therefore better car is the Hyundai.

Editor's note

Some of the products presented in "Mobile Life" were made available to the editors by the manufacturers for test purposes and / or presented on trips to which journalists were invited.