Friday, 30 October 2015

The Top Gear car review: Hyundai i20

The new Hyundai i20 has been drawing some much deserved attention in the market. Read this review found on

WHAT WE SAY: “ Impressive follow-up to the mediocre original. The all-new i20 may have the competition worried. ’’


It’s Hyundai’s new-generation i20. The previous model was a decidedly average car that surfed into the marketplace on a wave of scrappage scheme trade-ins. Its replacement is a far more style and quality-led product, and while it still represents decent value for money, saving cash is no longer its number one priority. This is Hyundai getting serious about the supermini sector.

Comfort and ease-of-use are the key factors here. The ride is soft (though it’s occasionally perturbed by more broken roads) and the handling balance safe, though its body control is very well managed and it displays talent on twistier roads. It’s not fun or feisty like a Fiesta, though.
The initial engine range consists of three naturally aspirated petrol and two turbodiesel engines, with 85 per cent of i20s expected to sell with petrol power. The 99bhp 1.4-litre is the one to have, as it’s the most potent, but in truth they’re all a little uninspiring and need revs to unleash their tame performance. The upcoming 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder petrol will likely be the pick of the range when it arrives.
Of the diesels, a 75bhp 1.1-litre is most interesting. Not for its pace, which could be politely described as lethargic, but for its claimed 88.3mpg and 84g/km CO2. It’s a remarkably civilised engine once you’re eventually up to speed, and it cruises well. It’s punchy through town, too, if you can tolerate its narrow powerband and aren’t immune to frequent gear changes. Inevitably it’s rather rattly in congested traffic, though.


Hyundai appears to have been eyeing up the Polo when penning the i20, and nowhere is this more obvious than inside. This car gets closer to VW’s ergonomic slickness than the Fiesta or Corsa, with everything operating in a simple and pleasing manner. The materials largely feel good too, and are a world away from budget Hyundai offerings of a generation or two ago. There’s little to excite, but it’s a mature and grown-up place to sit.


Insurance groups are low and everything but the 1.4 petrol dips below 120g/km, while Hyundai offers a five-year unlimited mileage warranty (Kia’s is seven years, but it’s capped to 100,000 miles). Price-wise, Hyundais aren’t the bargain they used to be, and they are pitched closer to more established rivals than ever before. That’s echoed in talents and spec levels, though, and the i20 justifies its cost. The SE model gets 16-inch alloys, Bluetooth and parking sensors, and comes in around £1,000 less than an equivalent Polo, which still edges it for more superficial appeal.


1.4 Premium 5dr
1.2 Classic 3dr
1.1 CRDi Blue S 5dr

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