Ever since its launch, the Hyundai Elite i20 has been the hatchback of choice for many who are not inclined towards buying a Maruti. The Volkswagen Polo on the other hand, holds a very niche image for itself and buyers who are looking for a posh car buys it. But is the Volkswagen Polo a worthy premium hatchback that can challenge the Hyundai Elite i20 or is it meant for posh buyers only? We did a comparison to find the answer.
Hyundai Elite i20 Exteriors Vs Maruti Suzuki Swift Exteriors
The Hyundai Elite i20 looks a much sportier and bigger car of the two. Hyundai has really done wonders with the new generation Elite i20 when it comes to the looks alone. A big 'hexagonal grille upfront, swept back headlamps and the blackened C-pillars give it a much more sporty, upmarket and premium stance.
The VW Polo on the other hand, isn't something too flashy in terms of the exterior design. Volkswagen gave a rather subtle update to the hatchback and you need to be a VW fan to spot these upgrades. The key styling element includes a new grille with a chrome strip running throughout the nose. The hood is well sculpted and a lot of chrome is added to the overall design of the car. With a new rear bumper design, the hatchback looks fresh and sophisticated, yet it doesn't match the sheer visibility of the Hyundai Elite i20.
Hyundai Elite i20 Interiors Vs Maruti Swift Interiors
If the exteriors were anything that enthralled you, wait till you get inside the cabin. Hyundais are known to be the feature rich machines and being a premium hatchback, the Elite i20 is ought to get good amount of gizmos. Done in beige and black combination, the cabin looks premium and is practical enough. And we need not tell the features put in the Hyundai cabin. You can read all the features in the spec sheet of the Hyundai Elite i20.
The VW Cabin is as posh as it can get and reflects the typical German essence. The Polo gets a new flat bottom steering wheel and the material quality is top notch. While the plastics used even at the far corners and the lower end are as good as the main cabin, the all beige interiors tend to get dirty sometimes. Also, the rear seats don't offer as much legroom as the Hyundai Elite i20, making it a winner even in the interior department.
Engine, performance and gearbox
This is where the same turns drastically in favor of the Volkswagen Polo. We drove the diesel version of both the cars. The Hyundai Elite i20 comes powered by a 1.4-litre CRDi engine that produces 90ps @ 4000rom and 220 Nm @ 1500 rpm. The engine is not at all peppy and if you are a keen driver, this car will disappoint you. In terms of the gearbox, the manual transmission is slick, which makes it easy to drive around the city, but lacks the punch on the highway.
The VW Polo, unlike the Hyundai Elite i20, gets a 1.5-litre TDI engine that generates 91ps @ 4200rpm and 230Nm @ 1500rpm. This is the big change VW made in the Polo and it has done wonders for the car. The car is fun to drive and the 5-speed manual throws quickly to give you a peppy ride. Their's also a much sporty 105ps producing GT TDI motor, which is tremendous in terms of the performance. Overall, the Polo is much more joyful to drive around town and even on the highway.
Ride and handling
While the Hyundai Elite i20 lacks in the driveability, it matches up with the sheer handling and ride quality. Hyundai rides pretty smooth and sails smoothly through most of the rough patches. The steering is pretty light, though not that responsive. As we said earlier, its a town car and not a highway car.
The Polo is more stable of the two and makes a capable highway car. The VW Polo feels like a tank in terms of ruggedness, yet the cabin is comfortable. It's a highly stable car over the speeds of 100 kmph, yet quite agile when taking tight corners around the town. As opposed to the Elite i20, this is a car for the keen driver. So if you like to sit back and relax, go for the Hyundai, and if you like to push the car, go for the VW.
Safety and Equipment
The Hyundai Elite i20 doesn't offer a single airbag in the base variant, while the top variant gets two airbags. The feature list is as exhaustive as it can get and you get rear AC vents, cooled glovebox and many other equipments. Ideally, none of the hatchback can come closer to the Hyundai Elite i20 in terms of the equipment level.
The Volkswagen Polo comes with dual airbags in the base version also, let alone the top variant. But it is not as feature rich as the Hyundai Elite i20. It does get the automatic climate control, Bluetooth for the stereo, steering mounted audio controls and a lot more features. Yet it misses rear AC vents, cooled glovebox and the likes.
For what we thought, if you are a keen driver and want to play with the acceleration, go for the Volkswagen Polo. It may not be funky looking and well equipped as the Hyundai Elite i20, it still holds the posh image of the VW. The Hyundai Elite i20 on the other hand, is more of a rich kids car with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos and futuristic looks. The price margin is roughly between Rs 20000- Rs 30000.