Hyundai i20 is one of the most popular and important products of the Korean automakaer Hyundai in India, which was first launched in 2009. With stylish looks, premium cabin and lots of features, the i20 had everything for the Indian buyers, which helped it become an instant hit. The Hyundai launched its facelift version with some vital cosmetic and mechanical modifications in 2012. Maintaining a true European personality, the car has received large headlamps, thin grille, redesigned front bumper, new tail lamps, spoiler and chrome door handles. It looks sportier and outgoing than its elder sibling. However, the interior feels very familiar with minimal changes that include the new digital temperature and fuel gauges, leather covered & well-polished chrome gear-lever, comfortable seats with quality upholstery and armrest for driver’s seat.
The new Hyundai i20 shares its engine with its old version, but when you press the clutch and start the engine, you can feel its real improved power. However, the torque output is almost similar. The new Hyundai i20 is available in three engine options – two petrol and one diesel. The 1.2-litre Kappa engine is boosted with the dual VTVT (Variable Timing Valve Train) technology for the intake and exhaust valves. It also helps the car with its fuel efficiency. The Kappa petrol engine powered i20 delivers a mileage of 15kmpl in city and 17kmpl on highways. It produces a peak power of 82.9bhp @ 5200rpm and maximum torque of 113.7Nm @ 4000rom. This unit is coupled with a five speed manual transmission, whereas, the 1.4-litre Gamma AT petrol engine gets a four speed automatic transmission. It develops a maximum power of 98.6bhp at 5500rpm and 136.3Nm of peak torque at 4200rpm. However, it sips more fuel and delivers a mileage of 11.4kmpl on urban roads and 15.1kmpl on highways.
The variable line pressure system and over drive lock mechanism add more life to engine. The Gamma AT and Kappa petrol engines can accelerate 100kmph from stand still just in 15.4 seconds with a top speed of 170kmph and 15.2 seconds with top speed of 154kmph respectively. The Hyundai i20 diesel produces the class leading torque output. The 1.4-litre CRDi diesel engine churns out a maximum power output of 88.8bhp at 4000rpm and 220N of peak torque at 1750 – 2750rpm. This engine features advanced hydraulic lash adjusters and Electric Exhaust Gas Recirculation with cooler, resulting into lower emission, low maintenance and well-controlled NVH levels. The i20 diesel returns an impressive mileage of 18kmpl and 23kmpl in city and on highways respectively. It is one of the most prompt and responsive diesel engines in the segment that can achieve 0-100km within 13.2 seconds and attain a top speed of 166kmph.
In terms of performance and handling, the new Hyundai i20 doesn’t mark any difference from its old version. The engine is smoother and refined, but feels out of breath on open roads. The mid-range performance is slightly improved. The suspension is matured and robust than before. The new Hyundai i20 is a good urban car, which costs around Rs.4.99 lakh to Rs.8.08 lakh.
From inside, there aren’t many changes to notice, it’s very identical to the interior of old Hyundai i20. The black, beige and brown color theme looks very attractive. The darker shades are used in the areas having frequent human touch like steering wheels, dashboards etc. In rest areas, beige interior feels airy and bright. The seats are slung on the lower side, but ingress/egress is comfortable. The lateral support of the front seats is excellent. The seat upholstery is quite durable. However, the seat stuffing isn’t that soft.
The i20 has the best-in-class interior with front and rear seats offering ample space to sit comfortably. The driver’s seat is height adjustable with armrest. The rear view mirror and (externally fitted) electrically adjustable ORVMs facilitate visibility, but the mounted dashboard restricts it especially for the front passengers. The four spoke steering wheel is light and feels good to hold. The instrument console is simple and easy to read. The new MID temperature and fuel gauges and chrome gearlever add more to its refreshing interior.
The cabin is spacious enough to accommodate five passengers without any squeezing effect. The new Hyundai i20 gets an improved climate control unit with front and rear air-con vents. There is a good quality audio system with USB, Aux-in and Bluetooth support. The glove box, two cup holders, cubby holes (near the handbrake) and seat back pocket are the available storage spaces. However, the door pockets are small and bottle holder is missing. The 295-litre of boot space is very practical and purposeful. It can be extended by folding the rear seat in 60:40 ratio.
The new Hyundai i20 is available in three engine options – two petrol (1.2-litre Kappa PL and 1.4-litre Gamma AT) units and one diesel (1.4-litre CRDi) unit. The 1.4-litre Gamma petrol engine consumes more fuel than the Kappa unit, offering a mileage of 11.4kmpl in city and 15.1kmpl on highways. Whereas, the Kappa petrol engine delivers a mileage of 15kmpl on urban roads and 17kmpl on highways. Coming to its diesel version, mated with a six-speed manual transmission, it offers a mileage of 18kmpl and 23kmpl in city and on highways respectively.
Performance and Handling
In terms of handling and ride quality, the new Hyundai i20 is a good urban hatchback. The suspension system is matured and flexible to absorb jerks and one can enjoy comfortable ride even on broken surfaces. Front McPherson strut with Gas shock absorber and rear couple torsion beam axle with gas shock absorber soak up the potholes and patchy roads pretty well.
Drivability of the i20 diesel is decent. At 1700rpm the turbo begins to spin for the action and at 2000rpm, it starts showing its real trait. Most of the hatchbacks start breathing out at high speed, but the i20 diesel accelerates 130- 140kmph quite effortlessly. This revv-happy engine outshines everyone by performing excellent up-to 4500rpm. However, it lacks stability at high RPMs.
The transmission gearbox operates quite light and smooth. The engine is quiet like the Fabia and Polo diesels. However, the tyres noise is audible. In terms of handling and drivability, the Hyundai i20 petrol is decent. But, it disappoints when compared with the i20 diesel engine. This petrol unit breathes out at 120-130kmph and feels nervous at high speeds, but city drivability is acceptable. The wide tyres, longer wheelbase and 165mm of ground clearance add more to its ride quality and handling. The 5.2-meters of turning radius is slightly large, but good enough to control the car.
The premium hatchback is one of the fastest growing segments in the country today, sharing more than 50 percent of the market share. Hyundai i20, Maruti Suzuki Swift and Volkswagen Polo being the three leading hatches of this segment are closest rivals to each other.
The new Hyundai i20 gets new styling elements rewarding it refreshing and sportier looks. The redesigned large headlamps, slim grille, new front bumper, tail lamps, rear spoiler and chrome door handles add more to its outgoing personality. The new Maruti Swift is larger and sleeker than its predecessor. The new headlamps, front and rear bumper, fog lamps, tail lamps and other cosmetic alterations enhance the overall appearance of the new Swift. Being one of the most important products of the Volkswagen, the Polo has received various vital exterior changes. It looks very stylish and sporty. The styling is an objective topic and completely depends on the personal preferences of the buyers, so you can pick any of the three since all are good looking hatches.
When it comes to spaciousness and features, the Hyundai i20 takes the lead, however other two too are decent. The new i20 diesel engine is relatively more powerful and efficient than its petrol engine. It offers the class leading torque output and fuel efficiency. However, the high speed performance isn’t up to the mark. The Volkswagen Polo petrol and diesel power-units are decent performer, but don’t impress against its rivals. The Maruti Swift again takes a lead by offering a superb handling and ride quality, however, for city drives the i20’s light steering is a boon. There is not much difference in terms of pricing, but Maruti Suzuki is spot on in this department.
The new Hyundai i20 is a sheer European elegance, which seems to have taken its design inspiration from Volkswagen. The front fascia is now more aggressive and sportier with the all new slim grille, large headlamps and front bumper.
However, the side profile doesn’t receive any alteration. The new i20 is assembled with 14-inches, 8 spoke alloy wheels covered with tubeless tyres. The top-end variants of the Hyundai i20 (Sportz, Asta and Asta optional) get the 185/65 R14 size of tyres, while its base variants (Era, Magna and Magna optional) come with the 175/70 R14 size of tyres.
Compared to its closest rival’s top-end variants (Maruti Swift ZDi and ZXi), the wheels of Huyndai i20 look smaller. The rear profile is simple and well-designed. The new tail lamps, rear spoiler, electro chromic mirror for anti-glare vision, auto headlight control function, rear parking camera, rain sensing wipers add more to its outgoing
The build quality is excellent. The overall dimensions of the new i20 remain unchanged with 3940mm (length), 1710mm (width) and 1505mm (height). The 2525mm of wheelbase and ground clearance of 165mm enhance the drivability of the car. The new Hyundai i20 is available in six attractive colors: Coral White, Sleek Silver, Ember Grey, Twilight Blue, Maharajah Red and Bronze.v
Engine & Transmission
The new Hyundai is available in three engine options - two petrol (1.2-litre Kappa PL and 1.4-litre Gamma AT) units and one diesel (1.4-litre CRDi) unit. Having the same power-units, the new i20 now delivers a higher torque output.
The 1.2-litre Kappa engine with the dual VTVT (Variable Timing Valve Train) technology contributes to the high fuel efficiency and performance. This powertrain produces a peak power of 82.9bhp @ 5200rpm and maximum torque of 113.7Nm @ 4000rom. Coupled with a five-speed manual transmission, the Kappa petrol engine offers a mileage of 15kmpl in city and 17kmpl on highways. The i20 Kappa petrol can mark 100km from stand still within 15.2 seconds and achieve a top speed of 154kmph. On the other side, the 1.4-litre Gamma AT petrol engine with a four-speed automatic transmission consumes more fuel and delivers a mileage of 11.4kmpl on urban roads and 15.1kmpl on highways. It produces a maximum power of 98.6bhp at 5500rpm and 136.3Nm of peak torque at 4200rpm. This engine features variable line pressure system and an over drive lock mechanism enhancing the engine.
The Gamma AT can achieve 0-100kmph just in 15.4 seconds and attain a top speed of 170kmph. Coming to the new i20 diesel, this engine delivers the highest torque output in this segment. It 1.4-litre CRDi diesel engine develops a maximum power of 88.8bhp at 4000rpm and 220N of peak torque at 1750 – 2750rpm. The diesel powertrain is configured with an advanced hydraulic lash adjusters and Electric Exhaust Gas Recirculation with cooler that controls the NVH levels and lowers emission.
On fuel efficiency front, the i20 diesel takes over most of its rivals by offering a mileage of 18kmpl in city and 23kmpl on highways. Being the most prompt and frugal diesel engine, it can achieve 0-100kmph within 13.2 seconds and attain a top speed of 166kmph.The throttle response is average at rest/stand rpm, but there is a significant turbo lag till 1700rpm.
Braking and Safety
The brakes are confident and supportive. All the variants of the new Hyundai i20 are integrated with front disc brakes. But, the 1.4-litre petrol engine variants of the i20 gets rear disc brakes and 1.2-litre petrol engine powered variants get rear drum brakes. The advanced ABS (Anti-lock braking system) with EBD (Electronic brake force distribution) helps the car perform well during unexpected surprises and panic braking situations.
The new Hyundai i20 comes loaded with various active and passive safety features including ABS braking system with EBD, brake assist, six airbags, reverse parking sensors, front and rear fog lamps, Immobilizer iCATS, driver seat belt warning lamp, central lock, child lock, keyless entry with folding key and burglar alarm, impact sensing auto door unlock and many more.
What we think
The new Hyundai i20 is a good-looking urban car with adequate performance and driving dynamics. If you are looking for an affordable hatchback and don’t want to compromise in terms of quality, features and power, the new Hyundai i20 is worth an investment. The new sporty styling and compact dimensions reflect its original European charm. The offered features and safety measures for this price make it an economical deal. The i20 diesel outshines most its competitors when it comes to power and performance. The new Hyundai i20 is available within the price range of Rs.4.99 lakh to Rs.8.08 lakh.