Entry into the industry was a challenge for Hyundai. The manufacturer was unable to provide a vehicle that would cause worry to its rivals. Thankfully the Korean brand stepped up its game and came out with the i20 as its forerunner in the supermini sector. The i20 is considered as the smaller version of the i30. It combines frugal engines, safety, and an inoffensive design, along with a generous standard kit that the brand has been known for. The current i20 is offered either as a three- or five-door model; the latter including more diverse choices in engine and trim.
The European design team approached the i20 with a pleasant and inoffensive style to its look. Although many of its cues are derived from rivals in a similar segment, the models that were released after 2012 sport remarkable improvement. Expect the current models to have the more fluid look to the intended design language.
Unlike other rivals that have shed off the weight, the i20 dares to boast of a five-door 1.4-litre diesel at 1226kg. This makes the vehicle 140kg heavier than the 1.4 diesel Fiesta and 201kg bigger than the Getz 1.4GSI. The standard safety equipment could be the cause for the weight increase. Nonetheless this assures owners of a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. All i20 trims and models include six airbags in the curtain, side, and front, plus ESP comes as standard.
The Hyundai i20 is spacious in the inside, providing enough accommodation up front as well as steering column adjustment and a decent seat range. The space is so large that you’ll have no problem fitting two six-foot tall passengers behind each other. Boot space isn’t as generous as the interior but offers a wide tailgate aperture and a flat load area.
Drivers will have no problem navigating through the clearly laid out controls. The interior also features remarked quality improvement, with dashboard and centre console revisions appearing sleeker in their metallic silver finish. Music lovers will appreciate the crisp quality of the audio system and the ease of iPod connectivity.
The i20’s 1.2-litre base engine at 84bhp delivers 6000rpm at its peak. At 4000rpm it delivers 88lb ft. Such prowess enables an acceleration into 60mph in just 12.7 seconds. The diesel alternative would be the 1.4-litre unit at 89bhp that takes 13.5 seconds to reach 62mph from standstill.
The i20’s braking performance is not as impressive as the engine range. There’s a tendency for the pedal to over assist, along with a lack of retardation. Along wet road surfaces, braking takes 3.3 seconds from 60mph and at 2.95 seconds for dry roads. The 1.4-litre petrol unit at 99bhp gives extra power at 101lb ft, yet doesn’t deliver more speed than the 1.2-litre unit. This engine can work with either a four-speed auto or six-speed manual. There’s also the 1.4-litre diesel at 89bhp but it tends to grumbly when idle. You can cut emissions of this unit by getting the Blue Drive variant. Handling isn’t too impressive either, as you have to get used to the clutch pedal’s lack of resistance. Thankfully steering becomes light and gearshifts accurate as you drive.
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