When in Manila, nothing says independence like having your own set of wheels. The freedom to go anywhere you want at any moment is the ultimate expression of freedom in the city. We still have to find a balance between style/form versus function/economy. That is why I decided to purchase a brand new 2011 Hyundai i10 as my city car. It is automatic because there is nothing more painful than driving a manual in the stop and go traffic of EDSA.
Like most people, I am underpaid and have to buy everything with cash, so the most important factor for me is the price. My rule is that if I have to finance it, it means I cannot afford it. I am not going to waste the only life I have making payments on interest. How can I enjoy the car if I am working in a late night shift? At 558k pesos, it costs less than most used cars and cheaper to insure. You should not buy a used car in this segment because they are commonly abused and usually parked on the street where flooding occurs. Besides, everyone should at least experience that new car smell once before they die.
It is a subcompact car so you can park this thing in the tightest spaces in Manila and still have room to open your door and the car next to you. Don’t let the size fool you because with 4 doors and a hatchback, I was able to squeeze in 6 bebots including their oversized bags. It is so small that I can wash it myself in less than 15 minutes. That 150 pesos car wash money I saved can be used to bribe traffic enforcers on my coding days. It has a small 1.1 liter engine so you know more of your money will go to pulutan instead of gasoline.
Next thing to consider is the styling. The Hyundai i10 has been redesigned for 2011 with Mini Cooper like European lines. It does not go over the top like the Chevy Spark or Suzuki Celero which are just plain ugly. People will not flag you down mistaking it for a taxi and the carjackers will not give you a second glance.
It comes standard with power windows, power door locks, power side mirrors, ac, cd/radio, power steering, full size spare tire, 3 year LTO registration, seat covers, floor mats, window tinting, and early warning device. The 2 most important extras for me are the extended 5 year 100,000 km warranty and the lifetime 24/7 roadside assistance. Yes that is right – worry free ownership.
Every rose has its thorn and even the Hyundai i10 has its drawbacks. Other than seatbelts, it has no other safety feature at all whatsoever. There are no anti-lock breaks, no airbags, and no rear head restraint. Of course these things are nice but if you ride a tricycle, jeepney, or taxi, these are sacrifices that you allready make everyday. The backseats do not split or fold all the way down so cargo space is compromised. The Dasmarinas Hyundai branch has lousy customer service. They delivered the car to me with the empty gas light on and did not arrange for a driver to help me transport the car home. At least they did not give me a license plate that ends in zero or nine.
So here it is the everyday city car for the everyday city people. You may not win any drag races with this thing but it is a great whip to zip around the jeepneys and tricycles When in Manila.
2011 Hyundai i10 Video Review
Video of how many bebots you can fit in a Hyundai i10
The Everyday City Car When in Manila: Hyundai i10