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How low can you go? That is the question. In terms of fuel consumption, that is. And Hyundai is answering that with a very direct and very compact hatch, the i10. The car seems to be saying that in these times of fuel crises and global concern for climate change, to own—to be even seen driving—a gas-guzzling, road-hogging SUV should be declared obscene.

On to the issue of fuel—to prove that the i10 really does go amazingly on consumption, the Hyundai team challenged motoring journos to an eco-run to see how the car drives like a man and sips gas like a woman scared of ruining her lipstick. We cruised through light traffic from Macapagal Avenue to a checkpoint in San Fernando, Pampanga. For the record, FHM teaming up with Andy Sevilla of Business Mirror (who did most of the skillful driving) registered a whopping 22.85 kilometers per liter of gas for the whole stretch. But that didn’t win the challenge. Ours was too costly compared to the record of 30.38 kilometers per liter of the winner, but it revealed that good things do come in small packages.

After the checkpoint in Pampanga, we hit the road again—this time heading to Bataan via the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. And as though Hyundai commissioned typhoon Igme to up the difficulty level, we drove through heavy rain and wind steady. Its tires held the road impressively and the headlights and fog lamps did what it was supposed to do in poor visibility.


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